A 3-year project 'BEST RUP' started on 15 January 2017. Its aim is to implement the pilot project 'inventory of species and habitats and environmentally sensitive areas in the French Outermost Regions (ORs)' submitted by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Younous Omarjee.
BEST RUP is taking advantage of any possible synergies with the work carried out under the BEST preparatory action, which privileges a voluntary and participative approach for the development of regional ecosystem profiles, the identified key biodiversity areas (KBAs) and the collection of information on species and habitats done by the BEST III consortium.
In its conclusion of 16 December 2015, the Environment Council noted “the results of the preparatory action on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas (BEST), the funding available under the Commission's BEST 2.0 Programme, and urged the Commission and the Member States to move forward on sustainable partnerships dedicated to mobilising resources to protect the unique ecosystems and the services they provide in the EU Outermost Regions (ORs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).” BEST RUP is conceived as a further element to build a sustainable partnership to promote the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of ecosystem services including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation and nature-based solutions in the EU's ORs and OCTs.
The project will deliver lists of species and habitats of the French ORs, explore the feasibility of Mapping and Assessing of Ecosystem Services (MAES see http://biodiversity.europa.eu/maes ) implementation in ORs and carry out and manage one call for proposals in 2017 for swift small grants in the 3 Regions where the French ORs are located (Amazonia – Caribbean – Indian Ocean) following the modalities of the BEST 2.0 Programme. A central co-ordination team will be reinforced by a decentralised structure able to reach the local level with BEST Regional officers (focal points) for promoting and implementing the open call for swift small grants in the French Outermost Regions.