Title: Mobilizing Africa’s policy and decision-making relevant biodiversity data
Donor: JRS Biodiversity Foundation
Grant size: USD 250,000
Duration: 21 months (October 2013 – June 2015)
Contact: Russell Galt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Conserving Africa’s rich biodiversity in the face of profound socio-economic transformation is a critical challenge for the continent’s policymakers. The success of their efforts demands accessible, relevant and reliable biodiversity data.
Such data underpins good policy and decision-making in the field of natural resources management and indeed, many other sectors. For example, economic policymakers require data on traded biological products like timber, food and medicine; agricultural policymakers require data on pollinators, crop diversity, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs); water policymakers require data on biological indicators and invasive alien species; and health policymakers require data on pathogens and disease vectors.
The process by which species records are captured, digitized and published – to become globally discoverable, freely accessible and easily consumable – is known as biodiversity data mobilization. Whist millions of records have been mobilized in recent years, the nature of these efforts has been predominantly opportunistic, focusing on low-hanging fruits that can be readily published, rather than data of strategic importance to research, policy and decision-making. As such, insufficient data continues to constrain important policy areas.
Adopting a more strategic, purpose-driven, and policy-oriented approach to data mobilization can help to alleviate these constraints. Doing so would constitute a more efficient and effective use of limited conservation resources. To this end, SANBI is received a grant of USD 250,000 from the JRS Biodiversity Foundation to work directly with a network of African biodiversity informaticians to develop a Biodiversity Data Mobilization Strategy for Africa, whilst enhancing regional collaboration and capacity. Key objectives of the project were to:
- define priority policy-relevant data;
- conduct a gap analysis of priority data;
- identify data-holding institutions;
- foster collaboration and data-sharing between institutions;
- develop appropriate online support tools; and
- inform the development of academic curriculum.
This 26 month project built upon the substantial groundwork laid by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Africa Regional Group. The following materials constitute key outputs of the project.
- Toolkit to determine policy-relevant biodiversity data (updated 29 January 2016)
- Lessons learnt discussion document 16 May 2015
- Brochure for Africa Rising Conference 19-22 May 2015
- Project poster presented at GB21 in New Delhi, 15-19 September 2014
- Report of the 3rd project workshop 1 July 2014 in Cotonou, Benin
- Report of the 2nd project workshop 25-27 March 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa
- Report of the 1st project workshop on 2nd and 3rd October 2014 in Berlin, Germany (for the French version, click here)
- Russell Galt_SANBI_26Jun2015
- Russell Galt_SANBI_3Jun2015
- Nadine Bowles-Newark_UNEP-WCMC_1Jul2014
- Russell Galt_SANBI_1Jul2014
- Russell Galt_SANBI_27May2014
- Russell Galt_SANBI_12May2014
- Jean Ganglo_GBIF Benin_27Mar2014
- Fatima Parker-Allie_SANBI_27Mar2014
- Russell Galt_SANBI_25-27Mar2014
- Hulda Gideon_TanBIF_25Mar2014
- Selwyn Willoughby_SANBI_25Mar2014
- Olaf Banki_GBIF_25Mar2014