The South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) announced that teams from four countries, Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, and Namibia, will compete in the JRS-funded African Biodiversity Challenge. The competition aims to develop strategies for capturing, digitizing and publishing policy-relevant national biodiversity data and strengthen regional capacity and collaboration in biodiversity information management.
The selected proposals were chosen from over 40 initial applications, spanning 13 countries. Each awarded project team is motivated to build biodiversity information facilities and systems in their countries, with strong potential for long-term partnerships to develop a critical mass of biodiversity informatics capacity. Each country’s project is summarized below.
- Team Rwanda, led by the Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management, intends to mobilize freshwater biodiversity data to incorporate into a State of Freshwater Biodiversity Report.
- Team Ghana, led by Conservation Alliance and supported by the Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute, will mobilize biodiversity data from Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) to help assess the effectiveness of this policy in conserving biodiversity.
- Team Malawi, led by the Museums of Malawi, will digitize specimen collections, as well as data from vegetation survey reports, local journals and environmental impact assessments, and work with the Malawi Environmental Affairs Department to identify relevant information products for the data.
- Team Namibia, led by the Namibia Directorate of Scientific Services, will mobilize biodiversity data contained in wildlife use and trade permits dating back to 1975 as well as radio-tracking data from collared animals to help better inform and manage the wildlife economy.
The competition officially began August 31, 2017. For more information regarding the African Biodiversity Challenge proposals, click here.