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BIODIVERSITY NETWORKS IN AFRICA: FROM KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT TO TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL IMPLEMENTATION

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BIODIVERSITY NETWORKS IN AFRICA: FROM KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT TO TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL IMPLEMENTATION.

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BIODIVERSITY NETWORKS IN AFRICA: FROM KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT TO TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL IMPLEMENTATION

Charles Kahindo 1, Franck Theeten 2, Patricia Mergen 2, Garin Cael2, Olivier Bakasanda 3, Motonobu Kasajima 3, Patricia Kelbert 4, Jörg Holetscheck 4,Elizabeth Arnaud 5, Dheda Djailo6

1Université Officielle de Bukavu (UOB), Bukavu, DR Congo

2Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), Tervuren, Belgium

3Centre de Documentation de l’Enseignement Supérieur Universitaire et de la Recherche de Kinshasa (CEDESURK), Kinshasa, RD Congo

4Botanischer Garten und Botanische Museum (BGBM),

Berlin, Germany

5System-wide Information Network for Genetic Resources(SINGER), Rome, Italy

6Kisangani University, Democratic Republic of Congo

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DIVERSITY IN AFRICA
  • Physical
  • Biological
  • Cultural
  • Economical
  • Political
  • Social
  • Linguistic
  • Historical
slide4
AFRICA SOURCE OF AGRICULTURAL KNOWLEDGE AND BIODIVERSITY
  • African farming, a wealth of innovation: Canada’s main export wheat is derived from a Kenyan variety called “Kenyan farmer”; the US and Canada grow barley bred from Ethiopian farmers’ varieties; and the Zera Zera sorghum grown in Texas originated in Ethiopia and the Sudan.
  • This rich basis of biodiversity still exists in Africa today, thanks to the 80% of farmers in Africa that continue to save seed in a range of diverse eco-systems across the continent.
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AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA, VALUE ADDED OUT OF GDP
  • Agriculture is the backbone remains one of most economies.
  • Major source of income for 80%.
  • Up to 50-60% of the total economy in some countries (Guinea-Bissau, Central Africa, Ethiopia) and 20-40% in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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FEATURES OF AFRICAN AGRICULTURE

-Lack of a dominant farming system on which food security largely depends;

-Predominance of rainfed agriculture as opposed to irrigated agriculture;

-Heterogeneity and diversity of farming systems and the importance of livestock;

-Key roles of women in agriculture and in ensuring household food security;

-Lack of functioning competitive markets;

-Under-investment in agricultural R&D and infrastructure;

-Dominance of weathered soils of poor inherent fertility;

-Lack of conducive economic and political enabling environments;

-Large and growing impact of human health on agriculture;

-Low and stagnant labour productivity and minimal mechanization;

-Predominance of customary land tenure.

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SELECTED CHALLENGES
  • Natural Hazards
  • Climate Change
  • Insecurity
  • Population Growth
  • Limited Expertise
  • Poverty
  • Funding Limitations
  • Poor Governance
slide12
RESULTS
  • Research revitalized
  • Resources and information sharing
  • Peace and local development
  • Capacities enhanced
  • Awareness raising
  • Sustainable nature conservation
slide13
CABIN INITIATIVE
  • Central Africa Biodiversity Information Network
  • Initiated in 2008
  • Aim: to ease access of researchers from central Africa to biodiversity data published on the internet, as well as the publication of data from local datasets to on-line networks such as GBIF.
  • Assessed needs
  • Ongoing capacity building activities with in collaboration with CEPDEC (GBIF)‏
slide14
Workflow of Data Publication

Or BioCASE provider

GBIF portal

Regional servers publishing data on the web

Web

Local computer

3

2

4

1

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Workflow of Data Publication

Data provider

Local computer

Regional servers publishing data on the web

Data consumer

Web

Infrastructure: requires a certain degree of permanence (which can be relatively achieved by cooperation at institutional level)‏

User needs: more difficult to formalize

-difficulty to reach scientists and base communities potentially interested in on-line information biodiversity and agriculture

-dynamical evolution

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Workflow of Data Publication

Infrastructure: requires a certain degree of permanence (which can be relatively formalized by cooperation at institutional level)‏

User needs: more difficult to formalize

-difficulty to reach scientists and base communities potentially interested in on-line information biodiversity and agriculture

-dynamical evolution in time and space

=> Tasks related to data quality checking provide a platform to gather staff involved in the technical infrastructure, data providers and data consumers.

Aim is to progressively “decentralize” these tasks in Central Africa=>need of specific training scheme on data cleaning (e.g: GBIF manuals)‏

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Technical Support for and in Central African Countries

Challenges

  • Lack of a common technical culture shared by biologists and IT scientists (no IT part in many academic training scheme in biology)‏
  • Weakness of infrastructure (slow bandwidth) => but situation may improve rapidly
  • Academic training scheme may sometimes be « overspecialized »

=> knowledge impediment may occur according to the area of work of scientists

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Technical Support for and in Central African Countries

Strengths

  • Good scientific and technical knowledge available
  • Technical infrastructure is improving
      • Performant satellite connections between Universites in Congo DR ([email protected]é)‏
      • New Internet cable connection between Europe and East Africa: Eassy, etc…
  • Institutions of reference are already ‘open-source’ driven (factor lowering technical ‘insulation’ and obsolescence of technical know how)‏
  • Awareness of the need for local and regional synergies at institutional level and self-assess the needs in infrastructure
slide19
PLANNED ACTIVITIES
  • FOCUS ON AGRICUTURAL BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
  • FOSTER COLLABORATION WITH MAIN AGRICULTURE RESEARCH STATIONS
  • PILOT PROJECT IN DRC TO INVOLVE 4 UNIVERSITIES AND 4 RESEARCH STATIONS.
  • PROVIDE A FRAMEWORK SETTING FOR A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM OF SCIENTISTS,POLICY MAKERS
  • DISSEMINATE KNOWLEDGE AND TOOLS TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES
slide20
EXPECTED OUTPUTS
  • Enhanced Research Capacities in agriculture
  • Functional Network
  • Data digitized and made accessible
  • Tools available for lobbying, advocacy
  • Reduction of poverty and biodiversity loss
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