GBIF Africa regional meeting 13 and 14 September 2011

20 September 2011

GBIF Africa Workshop delegatesThe second regional meeting of the GBIF Africa nodes took place in September 2011. Increased clarity was reached on the priorities, purpose and actions required to facilitate advances in science, biodiversity informatics and development on the continent.

Delegates from African Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) nodes are determined to move beyond abstract collaboration towards changing the way things happen on the ground.

GBIF Africa nodes meeting

The GBIF Africa nodes was attended by 28 delegates representating18 country and organisational nodes. The purpose of this meeting was to build on the achievements of the 2010 Entebbe regional workshop, ensuring clear prioritisation with concrete outcomes, and preparing for the global conference in Argentina in October. This two day meeting was hosted by the South African Biodiversity Information Facility and funded by the Department of Science & Technology, at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens.

Priority areas identified

Three priority areas of work identified for regional collaboration and partnership over the next two years are: capacity building; data publishing and regional node activities. Key outputs were identified and will be finalised by the relevant task teams and leaders established for each work area.

Smoother implementation of biodiversity informatics

According to Selwyn Willoughby, Director of Biodiversity Information Management at SANBI "we are working towards the practical implementation of actions that would ensure that the data we manage contributes towards initiatives beyond the GBIF community, such as the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Through the work of this group we are changing the way we work with biodiversity information on the African continent; we moving towards greater synergy and smoother implementation of biodiversity informatics related content, products and services."

SANBI CEO takes GBIF delegates on a Garden tourSuccessful workshop

Vishwas Chavan,GBIF Secretariat, comments on the workshop, "in this meeting Africa has come together and built on the investment that has already been made by the global community. It sounds to me that Africa is ready to embark on biodiversity informatics to solve their national and regional challenges."The South African Biodiversity Information Facility (SABIF) is funded by the national department of Science and Technology and implemented by SANBI.

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