DaRT workshop for COMIFAC countries, 23-25 April 2024, Mbankomo, Cameroon

Twenty-eight biodiversity experts of the COMIFAC countries - national focal points of multilateral environmental agreements and national reporters to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade for Endangered Species (CITES) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands - attended a regional workshop on 23-25 April in Mbankomo, Cameroon, to learn how to utilize the Data Reporting Tool for MEAs (DaRT). The workshop was organized by UNEP in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) of Cameroon, as part of the technical assistance provided to countries Parties to the CBD under the GEF-7  "Global Biodiversity Framework Early Action Support" project and with co-financing from UNEP Treaties Project "Leveraging transformational change through coherent and synergistic implementation of Environmental Treaties"

The DaRT is a voluntary tool developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to support countries parties to environmental agreements and conventions with national reporting and revision of national strategies, with the overall objective to alleviate the reporting burden and improve the quality of national reports. During the workshop, participants shared their experience and lessons learnt from national reporting and discussed the consultation process for the revision of their national biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAP) with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also simply called  the "Biodiversity Plan". They also learnt how to utilize DaRT to access new biodiversity information in one place, store, organize and share knowledge with their colleagues to improve collaboration for the preparation of national reports. 

Cameroon’s experience was particularly appreciated by participants from other COMIFAC countries, as experts from Cameroon demonstrated how the tool had been utilized and tailored to national needs to trigger a larger coordination process of MEA focal points in Cameroon. A pilot report prepared by Cameroonian experts with the help of the DaRT and they plan on using it for the submission of the next report to Convention on Biological Diversity, the 7th national report, due by February 2026. Participants noted that DaRT was a practical one-stop-shop tool, providing quick access to data for the preparation of reports, strengthens synergies between biodiversity MEAs at national level and supporting the first steps of NBSAP alignment. They also saw the potential role DaRT could play in supporting the COMIFAC Secretariat to bridge regional data gaps and reporting. 

Read more in French from Cameroonian media