The Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA-REC&N), an autonomous institution under Addis Ababa University, is the newest member of the GBIF network.
The centre and network works on climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental governance and ecosystem conservation in the region, and promotes more than 40 higher education, research and civil society organizations in six east African countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
Araya Asfaw, the Executive Director of HoA-REC&N, signed the GBIF Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) making the organization the fortieth non-country Associate Participant of GBIF.
Among the activities of the centre is to work with institutions such as the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity Conservation, the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority and the African Parks Network to monitor the distribution, abundance and movements of key wildlife species in the Boma-Gambella transboundary landscape in South Sudan and Ethiopia.
“Information gathered from the monitoring will help decision makers, and the HoA-REC&N believes that GBIF is among the best channels to present the data,” says Araya Asfaw.
The executive director of GBIF, Donald Hobern, welcomed the centre and network into the GBIF community. He said: “We are looking forward to working with HoA-REC&N to help promote the mobilization and use of biodiversity data in the Horn of Africa region. It clearly has an important role to play in helping to bring together data from a range of projects and institutions, adding to our collective knowledge of biodiversity in these countries.”