A young and emerging GBIF node, The Nigerian Biodiversity Information Facility (NgBIF) is being established to enable greater access and use of biological collections. Currently lacking adequate information, technology, experience and best practices in the biodiversity information facility’s activities, there are still hurdles to overcome to support national data holders in managing their data, promoting incentives for data publishing and ensure a smooth-running GBIF node.
This project supports an opportunity for guidance and knowledge exchange from GBIF Benin and GBIF France. Through close-mentoring offered by established nodes, the project team will identify and address national partner requirements in Nigeria. Tailored guidance will provide NgBIF with training on governance issues, data publishing processes in the international GBIF platform, and incentives to publishers.
The mentoring process will evaluate contents to be addressed during meetings, the focus and themes, as well as other logistical matters. Locally, the project is working with partners from South West, South East and North Central areas to support the user community, while seeking to expand to the wider region of the North West of the country.
The project began with a mentoring workshop “Workshop on GBIF Node Management, Biodiversity data types, Data cleaning, Biodiversity Data uses and Biodiversity Data analysis” held by GBIF Benin in Benin, in December 2018, whereby node staff and key holders attended, including five mentees from Nigeria (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), University of Calabar and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria).
Two training workshops “Biodiversity data Management and Usage” were then subsequently organized, whereby participants were taught all relevant elements learnt during the Benin workshop and about data mobilization and publishing on GBIF. The first was held in January 2019 at the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Nigeria and the second in April 2019 at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Through these three workshops, the interactions of NgBIF with GBIF Benin have aided the transfer of knowledge with the objective of acquiring the best practices in the running of biodiversity information facility’s activities and management of national biodiversity data. These activities have also contributed to strengthening NgBIF in sustainable performance of GBIF programmes in Nigeria, expanding the national network and enhancing the coverage across the various ecological zones.
At the end of the project implementation period, the project has also successfully published three datasets, amounting to 745 occurrences.
Post-project plans include mobilizing and publishing more data, and reminding and encouraging workshop participants to do the same.