There is a growing need in the world to generate accurate and detailed information on biodiversity, which can be made available in databases with free and open access, using common standards, which are useful for decision-making based on scientific evidence. This allows us to support the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, promote the obtaining of resources for the creation of capacities, as well as promote the articulation with the institutions that interfere in the matter.
Venezuela is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world, which accumulate more than 70% of the Earth's biodiversity. Therefore, publicly sharing individual and institutional data on our biodiversity is of great importance not only at the national level, but also at the regional and global level. For this, an essential first step is building necessary capacities among data producers, holders and users to not only recognize the value of data-sharing, but to become fluent in standard data processing and publishing formats.
This project seeks to enhance the capacity of Provita, a leading Venezuelan NGO with over 30 years of experience, to organize and manage biodiversity data following the Darwin Core and GBIF standards. This capacity building will be extended to key members of our large network of research collaborators.
The team furthermore intends to publish two Venezuelan checklists compiling valuable information of the conservation status of the country’s biodiversity:
Red List of Threatened Fauna (~4,000 records including all species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fish recorded for the country, as well as some invertebrates)
Red List of Endemic Trees (~700 records from 72 families)
These checklists are the result of national-level risk assessments that the project team completes every few years and that have been a key part of the team's work. Finally, a multi-stakeholder advocacy workshop will be held to further promote the mobilization of the country’s biodiversity data.
The ultimate goal of the project is to set the base for regular mobilization of biodiversity data from Provita's own projects, as well as from its network of collaborators, in order to ensure that high-quality Venezuelan biodiversity data become available to inform evidence-based decision-making processes in the country.
Between July and December 2021, the project team accomplished the following achievements:
- Completion of the BID Data Mobilization Workshop by a team member, including the certification exercises
- Successful completion of the Institutional capacity-building workshop on DwC and GBIF standards, with the participation of 12 of Provita’s project coordinators and leaders
- Successful publication of the checklist of the Venezuelan Red List of Endemic Trees on the GBIF portal
- Preparation of a first draft of Provita’s “Institutional biodiversity data management policy”
- Initiated preparation for the "Training workshop for research collaborators" that will take place in 2022 with the participation of stakeholders from academia, government and non-governmental organizations, museums and herbariums.