When it comes to parks, reserves and every other flavour of conservation area, there is no bigger global player than the World Database on Protected Areas. Over the last few days we have been meeting with them and their Africa representatives, and they have bought into MAPA completely.
MAPA needs to collate all of Africa’s protected area boundaries, and all the mappable stuff inside those boundaries. Mapping inside the reserves is the easy bit; there is already lots of data out there and what doesn’t exist can be got by MAPA – assuming we have enough volunteers and money in the bank.
Actually it’s not that easy – but it is a lot easier than getting the boundary data which we cannot get from on the ground.
The people at the WDPA (who are actually the WCPA, and part of the IUCN and UNEP….) have offered us all of their existing African boundary data – about 800 parks and reserves in total. Add that to the initial data donation from Tracks4Africa (whole and partial data for over a hundred parks) and we are off to a flying start.
It is a great vote of confidence in our objectives and approach.
The great thing about this boundary data is that the whole project immediately has a shape – and we will now work out how to get that up on the website. From that we can see exactly what needs to be done in your country or region.
We in turn will be giving our data back to the WDPA.
I’m incredibly pleased that this world authority on protected areas has understood what we are trying to do