South Sudan is home to a wealth of biological resources of considerable economic, social and intrinsic value. Biological diversity constitutes a foundation of South Sudan’s socio-economic development, as a large proportion of the population depends entirely on these resources for goods and services.
The National Biodiversity Database System (NBDS) project will contribute to the development, maintenance and update of a biodiversity facility, mobilizing data and information for different users to aid reporting and decision-making related to sustainable biodiversity conservation and management in South Sudan and beyond.
During the project, the team will undertake a nationwide assessment of biodiversity data, data holders and users to develop a mobilization strategy to ensure the continued sustainability of facility. The project will also ensure relevant training to biodiversity stakeholders on tailored dissemination of information for greater impact.
The project will contribute to the Environmental Information Management system (EIMS) and the Biodiversity, Biosafety and Access and Benefit sharing (ABS) Clearing House Mechanisms (CHMs), the IGAD Regional Biodiversity Database System and GBIF.org thus increasing the biodiversity visibility and knowledge nationally, regionally and globally.
Since the project kicked-off with agreements made between the National Ministry of the Environment and Forestry and GBIF, this project has now moved towards establishing the foundation for the National Biodiversity Database System. The project team formed the steering committee and the database management team. Setting up an integrated Biodiversity data and information network/system has been negotiated with the IT Manager of the National Museums of Kenya.
Three members of the project team attended training for the use of BRAHMS, data capture techniques and digitization at the National Museum of Kenya. This will assist biodiversity data managers to help upload data into the different portals and make greater amounts of data available. Highlighting the work of the project to date, a presentation was given by the project co-ordinator at an event for Capacity building for biodiversity information in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) led by GBIF.
A Biodiversity Data Mobilization Awareness workshop was held from 17th to 18th May 2018 at the Juba Landmark Hotel. The workshop was organized to create awareness to Biodiversity data holders about the importance of data mobilization and sharing with decision makers, academia and the wider public. The project team used the two-day workshop to hear experiences about data mobilization, data sharing protocol and data publishing from other countries in the region. The workshop also included practical sessions to stimulate discussions about the next steps for the project and establishment of the NBDS which is summarized in the workshop report.