Biodiversity Information : Training and Collaborations across borders
Theeten , F.
Computer and information sciences
Biological collection and data management
MetadataShow full item record
Due to its historical past, Belgium has and is still indeed very active in collaborative and capacity building activities with Africa and particularly Central Africa. The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), build in 1910, has always been one of the key actors here. For several decades teams of the RMCA have offered different types of Biodiversity Information training. The presentation will show several examples of success stories like the Central African Biodiversity Network (CABIN) initiative supported by the Belgian Cooperation, the African Fishbase hub and its associated training courses, the Congo Biodiversity Monitoring Center in Kisangani and activities in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere reserves. RMCA is also very active in Capacity building and collaborative projects in the geological and mining sector. Best practices in Collection and Archives Management, digitalization and access to literature and library contents are yet other endeavors of our institution. It is clear that RMCA could not achieve all this on its own and solid collaborations within Belgium and worldwide are the key for success here. In Belgium joint projects and trainings are organized together with the Belgian Science Policy Office, the Belgian GBIF node, the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences the National Botanic Garden Meise and many other Belgian Research Centers and Universities, all of which conduct collaborations with Africa. A good example here is the jointly organized Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference organized in May 2015 in Brussels by a large consortium of Belgian actors in Biodiversity Information (http://www.biodiversity.be/conference2015). This conference is now followed by several workshops and trainings on Biodiversity Information taking place in the different Belgian Institutions (http://www.biodiversity.be/conference2015/workshops/) Worldwide, the RMCA has collaborations with GBIF, TDWG, JRS Biodiversity, BHL, EOL, COL, BOL, etc. which have also proven essential. Most of these worldwide initiatives now have African hubs with which RMCA actively collaborates hand-in-hand with our African partners. The usage of TDWG standards and tools have been in most cases key to the success of these joint adventures by stimulating European Union (EU) funded projects such as EU BON (Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network) or SYNTEHSYS (Synthesis of Systematic Resources). The ultimate measure of success of these efforts in our eyes would be when specific capacity building activities and incentives are no longer needed and Biodiversity Information is supported, taught, applied and developed across borders for exciting joint projects without any distinction of the country of origin of the actors involved anymore.
CitationMergen, P.; Smirnova, L.; Theeten , F. (2015). Biodiversity Information : Training and Collaborations across borders. , TDWG 2015 ANNUAL CONFERENCE: Applications, Standards and Capacity Building for Sustaining Global Biodiversity, TDWG,