Togo has changed its status in the GBIF network from Associate to Voting Participant. This update gives representatives to the West African country a direct role in GBIF’s governance and contributes financially to the global open-access enterprise. The number of full Voting Participants now stands at 38—the most in GBIF’s history.
The Faculty of Sciences at the University of Lomé hosts GBIF Togo, the national ‘node’ or coordinating unit, which joined the network as an Associate Participant in 2009. Togo’s Ministry for Higher Education and Research provides additional support and guidance.
GBIF Togo received mentoring support through GBIF’s capacity enhancement programme, which enables the transfer of technologies and expertise between the network’s nodes. Its staff collaborated with GBIF France in 2010 to set up the node and begin publishing data. The mentoring project resulted in making specimen records from the country’s herbarium available through GBIF.org.
In 2013, GBIF Togo received additional mentoring, this time from GBIF Belgium, with the goal of improving its data publishing capacity, leading to the publication of checklists related to leguminous plants, algae and West African mushrooms.
As of February 2015, GBIF.org provides nearly 37,000 occurrence records of species in Togo, contributed by 22 countries.
Photo: Grottes de Nok, Togo. By Panoramas. CC BY-ND 2.0