Having developed largely independently of each other, the GBIF nodes of the Latin America and Caribbean region have implemented different solutions for organizing and displaying biodiversity data and deploying related information services. This fragmented approach has often come with high costs, particularly in terms of supporting individual bespoke solutions. To represent the region's natural capital effectively in all its richness, the project team led by SiBBr Brazil (Sistema de Informação sobre a Biodiversidade Brasileira) will organize a workshop to explore their experience, capacity and challenges as they aim to exchange knowledge, methodologies and tools for sharing and using biodiversity data and information in the regional scenario and start working together as a regional node.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions the project realized early on it was not going to possible to hold the workshop as original scheduled and by readjusting and adapting its objectives and implementation plans, instead of holding a face-to-face meeting to discuss national portals and sharing information about taxonomic data and the species descriptions, it resulted in a project where all the resources were destined to produce material for the organization and publication of data on species, whether taxonomic or descriptive.
After the restructuring of the project and in order to remain in line with the initial proposal, the project was divided into three main modules: 1. National Taxonomic Databases; 2. Species catalogs; and 3. Data visualization. Faced with this situation, resources and efforts were focused on producing tutorials, webinars and videos. Thus allowing all countries, although at different stages of organizing species, to be able to use the project results as subsidies for organizing information on national biodiversity.
Module results are summarized below.
For module 1, which focused on national taxonomic databases, the project finalized the update of the Brazilian taxonomic database and in addition to this, improved the bank's project, the API to create and the code. Five step-by-step tutorial videos on ‘Building a national taxonomic bank’, subtitled in English and Spanish, have also been developed so that any partner country can adapt the code to their needs.
Image of videos accessible at: https://www.sibbr.gov.br/page/cesp/resultados-banco-taxonomico.html
For module 2 of Plinian Core, the project supported the progress of the development and implementation of Plinian Core in the Living Atlas and organized sample datasets for testing in addition to presenting the results in the TDWG event. A presentation of the results can be found here, with further information, including these results, webinars, the TDWG abstract and code development is available on CRBio's github, also on the SiBBr project website, under Module 2 ‘Species catalogs’.
For module 3, the project has improved the Living Atlas infrastructure and shared the results with the ALA community. As part of this, the results and processes were summarized in a presentation made by SiBBr called “Self-service Living Atlas in containers, Kubernetes and Rancher” , available also on the SiBBr project website, under Module 3 ‘Biodiversity data portals and visualization’.
To support the project work, the project team held a series of webinars relating to the different modules and in December 2022, held a final “closing of the project” webinar which presented all the results of the three modules. The results of the project can be found on the SiBBr project website, the CRBio github and SiBBr's Youtube channel.
Despite the challenges encountered by the project due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of the project, and the need to extend the length of the project implementation period, the project has exceeded expectations with high quality and relevant products delivered, strengthened partnerships and created a starting point for new challenges as a region. Post project, activities envisaged by the project include presenting the national taxonomic database to the rest of institutions that work with biodiversity in order to establish a partnership in the use of the database and ensuring the sustainability of this result, as well finalizing other aspects of the project work.