Institutions in Malawi combined hold a wealth of biodiversity information, including 100,000 plant specimens at The National Herbarium of Malawi (MAL), up to 20,000 zoological specimens at The Museums of Malawi (MOM), and various seed collections with the The National Tree Seed Centre under Forestry Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM). Currently, however, data on these specimens is fragmented, difficult to analyse, and not accessible to the wider community nor the many government agencies, research institutions and NGOs that could make good use of improved biodiversity data.
In this project, a team led by the National Herbarium and Botanical Gardens of Malawi will develop and manage a comprehensive national biodiversity database using BRAHMS, through training of project technical staff and local partners; including the Environmental Affairs Department (EAD), a central user of biodiversity information, particularly at policy level.
The team will construct the database by mobilizing, digitizing and publishing selected biodiversity datasets comprising threatened plants, invasive alien species (IAS) and pollinator species. Available online and updated regularly, the database and associated website will providing access to reliable biodiversity information for research and natural resources management and strengthen the biodiversity information infrastructure of Malawi.