Gabonese biodiversity data are housed in several institutions and their availability is often problematic. To best support decision-makers and data users, data must be reliable and deliverable in appropriate formats. This requires a centralized, effective and easy-to-access database.
In most African countries the few databases that exist are underused. For instance, specimen data are exploited by researchers only when they are planning field trips.
As strategies to transmit relevant information on plant biodiversity to decision-makers are deficient, this project aims to mobilize biodiversity data and categorize them according to their utilization by local populations, their importance in conservation and their commercial use, in order to support their integration into policy and decision-making processes.
Specifically, this project aims to fill data gaps through
- Digitalization of herbarium specimens at the National Herbarium of Gabon (LBV). The images of the scanned specimens will be linked and available online in a database that has already been developed during the previous project. We plan to scan about 2000 herbarium specimens.
- Categorization of medicinal, cosmetic, endemic and threatened plants using an existing database created during the a previous BID project. Further categorization will improve the database and will greatly accelerate their utilization.
- Habitat modeling of commercial timber species for their sustainable management in Gabon. This activity will concern the main commercial timber and threatened species.
- Appropriate communication tools about data to decision-makers such as the production of online checklists of medicinal, endemic and cosmetic plants, and writing policy briefs for policy-makers.