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What we do

The Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) Global Strategy for Plant Conservation of which the East African governments ratified provides a framework necessary to halt the current and continuing loss of plant diversity. In order to Implement the GSPC effectively in this region, it is vital to collect and synthesize the baseline data available and build infrastructure for biodiversity informatics and make the information more widely available to end-users

The project has established a working platform with existing regional initiatives, such as the Botanical and Zoological Network for Eastern Africa (BOZONET) and the East African Regional Initiative on Medicinal Plants (EARIMP) and focuses on providing more information on Taxonomy, Biodiversity Status and Sustainable use.

Ultimately, this information will provide the baseline data for monitoring, assessing and setting priorities for conservation and sustainable use.

The East African JRS Biodiversity Informatics Project aspires to build the capacity and infrastructure of these primary initiatives in order to ease implementation of GSPC
and address the shortage of expertise through facilitating the use of existing and new information for national and sectoral planning by public and private desicion makers. It also aims at raising awareness of the importance of sound primary data for conservation and strengthening linkages between conservation and sustainable utilisation thereby helping to create an enabling environment for on-going activities.

Major Achievements (2007-2008)

  • Regional Project Preparatory meeting held to agree project scope, priorities and project management structures
  • Undertook a regional needs assessment for botanical databases and IT in the East African Regional Herbaria and project partner institutions
  • Procured and delivered ICT equipment in response to the needs assesment following review by the project steering committee
  • Held Regional Training Workshop on RAPID LIST testing a new tool for red listing with support from IUCN SSC
  • Organised the Regional training Workshop on Biodiversity Informatics Policy and Technical Workshops with InBIO, Costa Rica, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and BioNET International.
  • Organised the East African Regional Workshop on Medicinal plant databases with the Foundation for the Revitilisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT,India)
  • Organised three steering committee meetings and Two Task Force Meeting
  • Consolidated datasets on endemic species at National herbaria in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
  • Planned Activities (2009)

  • Regional Training Workshop on Red Listing (With IUCN Red List and IUCN Survival commission; and South African Botanical Institute).
  • Production of a Pleminary Assessment of the Endemic Species of East Africa.
  • Conservation Assesment and Management planning of Medicial Plants.
  • Development of proposals for addressing gaps and opportunites identifies by the project.