Biodiversity data mobilization in the Albertine Rift region

Image 

Rainforest tree, Uganda. Photo by JJ via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

This regional project brings together partners from DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda to strengthen the Biodiversity Information Management System of the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) by enhancing their data portal and expanding the data manager’s network. 

The project builds on the earlier data mobilization efforts of ARCOS. The partners mobilizes and will publish more than 100,000 records of herbaria specimens in eastern DR Congo, sampling-event data from Rwanda and occurrence records from Uganda, following a workshop on biodiversity data standards and publishing. A citizen science initiative to collect data via a mobile application will also be piloted during the project targeting the participation of tourists and naturalists.

ARCOS coordinates a regional network of civil society and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) practitioners, through which the project contributes to improving EIA processes by providing biodiversity data on ecosystems that are currently under pressure from imminent development projects. The mobilized data will also be used to develop biodiversity atlases for key biodiversity areas as part of ongoing efforts to support environmental reporting in the Albertine Rift countries.

Project Progress

The Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN - DRC) has started its digitization activities with a focus on the Acanthaceae family. Over 1 000 specimens have been prepared for digitization, 304 of which are already digitized. 10 of these specimens are type-specimens used for species indentification, and 192 are species endemic to Central Africa.

The National Biodiversity Data Bank (NDBD - Uganda), is mobilizing data from 13 Ugandan Central Forest Reserves' surveys and 4 National Parks. So far, 18 133 records of higher plants, birds mammals and Lepidoptera have been mobilized.

The Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS), as coordinator of the project, has facilitated communications within the regional consortium and helped to define each partners' contribution to the project. ARCOS also contacted several data holders to encourage collaborations in relation to biodiversity data mobilization.

Partners
Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN), Lwiro, DRC
National Biodiversity Data Bank (NBDB), University of Makarere, Uganda