Effective conservation planning, policymaking and decision-making depend on the existence of reliable data on the conservation situation of plants and their habitats. The Cuban Plant Specialist Group (CubanPSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) has been compiling records of native and invasive plant species of Cuba and producing Red List assessments since 1998. However, most of the data exist in printed reports or in various digital formats unsuitable for sharing, remaining accessible only to a few CubanPSG members.
The goal of this project is to improve Cuban plant data accessibility for conservation planning, policymaking and decision-making by
- organizing, consolidating and publishing CubanPSG data
- assessing biodiversity data user needs
- training students, partners and stakeholders on data mobilization
- making CubanPSG data available to the organizations devoted to the preservation of Cuban plant diversity and the public via GBIF and the CubanPSG websites
The project will mobilize data from at least 6,132 species conservation assessments, which include more than 18,800 occurrence records of native species, over 4,000 unpublished and undigitized occurrences of invasive species, and 16,600 unpublished digitized occurrence records from 368 conservation assessments of native species.
By publishing the mobilized data through GBIF.org and its own website, the CubanPSG will promote the use the data in conservation planning, policymaking and decision-making through close collaboration with biodiversity stakeholders and other data holders.
During the first half of the project implementation the project digitalized and prepared for mobilization according to DwC standard arround 33 319 occurrences which is about 3029 records per month, and almost the full amount anticipated to mobilize by the end of the project. Also a checklist dataset (617 records) based on updated list of invasive plants in Cuba was published. In addition, during this period the project team accomplished to train about 22 students and stakeholders on data mobilization.
A questionnaire to assess biodiversity information need of conservation stakeholders was produced and made available online. Surveys were conducted and responses were analyzed and summarized. Based on the results of the questionnaire, a workshop was organized to discussed about plant data needed for conservation planning, research, and policymaking.
The project and its results were presented at the First Cuban Botanical Congress, and at the Annual Meeting of the Cuban Plant Specialist Group (2022).