Programmes like the African Biodiversity Challenge and Biodiversity Information for Development have catalysed the development of a community of practice that has successfully mobilized biodiversity data from Malawi. Having come together under the national Biodiversity Information Management Forum (BIMF), the country's key data-holding institutions are now eager to improve the quality and quantity of data on targeted species to support upcoming assessments on a national Red List, Key Biodiversity Areas and other development planning activities.
The project will leverage available funding for KBA and Red List training assessments to build staff skills and technical capacity within the BIMF institutions. To ensure that data for relevant target species is mobilized, digitization will focus on specimen collections with pollinator and inland aquatic species along with survey data from journals and reports that could help inform historical biodiversity baselines.
The project's goals are to:
- Train at least five technicians in key institutions to consolidate the data-mobilization community of practice
- Publish more than 25,000 records through Malawi’s GBIF node at the National Commission for Science and Technology
- Incorporate data for selected taxa into Malawi's first national biodiversity assessment, which will inform decision-making in Shire Valley Transformation Program and other policy interventions