Home > Arabuko-Sokoke Forest > Data Digitisation

img_5451Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) project which is under Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is a project funded by the European Union (EU) and has been ongoing for about one year now by A Rocha Kenya (ARK).

This project brings together ARK, the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Guides Association (ASFGA) and Animal Demography Unit (ADU) in South Africa to access, assess, digitize, engage and improve biodiversity data from Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (ASF). ARK has been hugely involved in conducting many intensive research projects over the years in ASF as the ecosystem is locally, nationally and internationally recognised for its threatened forest landscape and unique biodiversity. ASF is also a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization biosphere reserve, considered by Birdlife as the second most important forest for threatened bird species conservation on mainland Africa and listed among the coastal forests of Eastern Africa hotspot; because of many globally threatened and endemic species.

The data once digitized is published on GBIF website, an open source website through which researchers and the general public can be able to acquire biodiversity data from all over the world for free. Recently ARK became a publisher with GBIF and so far two data sets have been published, that is, the Checklist of birds of ASF https://www.gbif.org/dataset/a2c09692-fe1d-405e-a7b4-62e6a2240e86 and Checklist of Mammals of ASF https://www.gbif.org/dataset/3ced8421-f421-4e43-a757-75b8fb850960 . There is still more datasets to be published within and beyond the grant period. The project runs until March 2019 and currently there is a lot going on in terms of data publishing, producing outputs such as distribution maps and report writing.

The ultimate goal of the project however, is not only to publish biodiversity data but more importantly is that the biodiversity data will be applied in response to national priorities. That is, the data will be used by research scientists, management team of ASF and policy makers such as government officials for conservation planning of ASF in order to protect this important forest for the future generations.

 

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