This event, sponsored by GBIF Secretariat, showcased a range of complementary initiatives aimed at addressing the need to improve the data and information available to support sustainable development in Africa.
Tim Hirsch, Deputy Director, GBIF Secretariat, outlined progress in the GBIF Biodiversity Information for Development programme, funded by the European Union. He summarised the range of national, regional and small data mobilization projects funded through the programme. He emphasized the essential role of trainers and mentors from around the GBIF community to help develop a community of practice to support data mobilization (see slides).
Tanya Abrahamse, CEO of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), highlighted the importance of data mobilization, building human capacity and regional engagement through GBIF as the key to meeting the continent’s needs for sustainable management of its massive biological resources.
Hilary Allison of UN Environment’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre introduced the Connect programme, funded by the Global Environment Facility, which aims to target biodiversity information and data directly towards the priority needs of decision makers, demonstrating the approach in Mozambique, Uganda and Ghana with a view to scaling up the methodology more widely based on the lessons learned.
Finally Maïté Delmas, of National Museum of Natural History in Paris, presented on Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable (SEP2D), a programme to help countries in the tropical belt to document plant diversity and manage it sustainably.