In October 2017, a partnership of Mozambican scientific institutions received funding from the Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme, promoted by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the international infrastructure aimed at providing open access to data about all types of life on Earth.
Funded by BID, the project “Mobilizing primary biodiversity data for Mozambican species of conservation concern” started in January 2018, and involved 5 different data providers:
- Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM)
- National Institute of Fisheries Research (IIP)
- Natural History Museum of Maputo (MHN)
- Plant health department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Safety (MASA)
- Herbarium of Eduardo Mondlane University (LMU)
The project is co-funded by SECOSUD II in the framework of BioNoMo initiative, and in partnership with other international institutions:
- South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
- Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
- South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB)
- Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
SECOSUD II is also providing technical assistance to the data digitization activities, as well as to the establishment and maintenance of the GBIF node in Mozambique, hosted by the IIAM. Recovery and maintenance of some of the biological collections at the MHN are being carried out in parallel with the digitization process, and are accompanied by a training on the job provided by SECOSUD II staff.
At present, the following datasets have been published (publishing institution is in bold, click on the dataset name to access it on GBIF):
- IIP – Diversity and occurrence of fish in Inhambane province (95,116 occurrences)
- IIAM – Mozambique endemic and near-endemic Red Listed plant species (1,164 occurrences)
- MHN – Entomology collection (4,375 occurrences)
- IIP – Diversity and occurrence of fish in Lake Niassa (28,435 occurrences)
- MASA – Lepidoptera from plant health dept. collection (1,493 occurrences)
- LMU – Herbarium collection (347 occurrences)
The published data will soon be used to update the assessment of the conservation status of priority species following the IUCN Red List standards. Training activities on the use of IUCN categories and criteria have already started, involving SECOSUD research assistants, BID project data digitizers, and resident staff from the partner institutions.