Inaugural Biodiversity Informatics Master’s Program cohort, University of Abomey-Calavi.

Expanding access, expanding knowledge: Regional capacity building and biodiversity conservation in West Africa

Since its implementation in 2018, the Master’s Program in Biodiversity Informatics at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin successfully graduated 29 students through to their thesis dissertation defense. The program covers in-depth research in biodiversity informatics of: Togo, Niger, Côte-d’Ivoire, DRC, and Benin with programming support and scholarships funded in part through the JRS Biodiversity Foundation. Graduates of the program are already working in NGOs and other institutions in Benin, Togo, DRC and Côte-d’Ivoire and are contributing to the conservation of biodiversity.

In addition to the Master’s Program, JRS funding supported 5 high level professional skills workshops with an average of 53 attendees at each and was instrumental in data collection in the areas of: threatened plant and animal species, agroforestry species, medicinal plants, public health, and invasive alien species. In total 422,883 occurrence data was collected and a checklist of 4,659 plant species names were published in the framework of this project.

For more information about this project with the University of Abomey-Calavi visit their JRS grant page.