Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado (2011)

The Geospatial Center for Biodiversity

Project Details

Grant Amount: $190,750
Contact: Kathia Rivero
Contact Email: krivero 'atsign' museonoelkempff.org
Funding Dates: 7/1/11 - 7/31/13
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UPDATE: JRS awarded follow-up grant to continue the work of the project. Please click here to view. 

BackgroundMHNNKM logo

Years of national and international research have left Bolivia with extensive documentation of its biodiversity but limited tools for assimilating, interpreting and disseminating this data. There is also a shortage of digital data and limited access to outputs, particularly for teachers, stakeholders and the public. With important tropical ecosystems in Bolivia and elsewhere under growing pressure, there is an urgent need for new ways to acquire and distribute biodiversity information.With the funding from the Foundation, the Noel Kempff Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz is responding through creation of the Geospatial Center for Biodiversity.

Key Objectives and Activities

A key objective is to develop data collation protocols and an online data entry system for scientists and researchers. The project will also create an online science portal for biodiversity research and training; and an educational portal and virtual museum to deliver information for decision makers and the public.

Planned Outputs

  • To develop data collation protocols and an online data entry system for scientists
  • To create an online science portal for biodiversity

Planned Outcomes

The center will collect, assimilate, synthesize and disseminate geographically specific information and scientific biodiversity knowledge to students, policy-makers and the public to promote the sustainable management of Bolivia’s biodiversity as natural capital.

Results to Date

Our current grant has led to the development and implementation of the Geospatial Center for Biodiversity (GCB) which was officially launched on April 19, 2013. We have uploaded and made available to the public > 80,000 records of vertebrate data into the GCB system. One of the most significant results of this project is the positive change of culture in data sharing, this is the first time an organization is delivering to the public free, accessible, non-restricted biodiversity data, not only in Bolivia, but in the region.

Lessons Learned

Clarity and openness have been key to the success of the project and the open source nature means that the GCB will be able to evolve and continually improve through its use. This experience has given us the confidence to expand the GCB across taxonomic groups and apply our operating model at an international level. We learned that institutional and personal recognition via the GCB have been fundamental to engage with partners.

Why JRS Funded this Project

With important tropical ecosystems in Bolivia and elsewhere under growing pressure, there is an urgent need for new ways to acquire and distribute biodiversity information. With the funding from the Foundation, the Noel Kempff Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz is responding through creation of the Geospatial Center for Biodiversity. The center will collect, assimilate, synthesize and disseminate geographically specific information and scientific biodiversity knowledge to students, policy-makers and the public to promote the sustainable management of Bolivia’s biodiversity as natural capital.

Last Updated: February 28th, 2017

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