Malawi has signed the GBIF Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) making the African nation the eighteenth member of GBIF’s African region and the 92nd Participant of the GBIF network.
“Joining GBIF will help Malawi gathering biodiversity data relevant for policy makers,” says Lyson Kampira of the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) and the GBIF Node Manager in Malawi. “We expect that, by taking part in the GBIF network, we can mobilize more data and information for Malawi’s commitments to intergovernmental processes like the CBD and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services."
According to its 2014 report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Malawi’s richest concentrations of species occur in Lake Malawi, the Nyika plateau’s evergreen forest and high-altitude grasslands, and the forests of Mulanje Mountain. Aquatic habitats cover nearly 20 per cent of the country’s surface area, supporting more than 850 fish species, accounting for 15 per cent of the world’s known freshwater fish. Lake Malawi alone is home to more than 800 of these—nearly all of them Cichlid species occurring nowhere else in the world—making it a globally important location for fish diversity.
As of February 2015, GBIF.org provides access to 249 datasets containing 110,545 records of species occurrences in Malawi drawn from publishers in 23 other countries.
Photo: Mount Mulanje, Malawi. By David Davies. CC BY-SA 2.0