CABIN: Implementing a Biodiversity Information Network in Central Africa
Biological collection and data management
Open Journal System Proceedings of TDWG
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In 2008, the Royal Museum for Central Africa started the CABIN project (Central African Biodiversity Information Network) in the framework of the wider initiative SABIN (Sub-Saharan Biodiversity Information Network). CABIN is supported by the Belgian General Direction of Development Cooperation for a period of 5 years. Its purpose is to involve scientists from Central Africa in the Information Technology protocols that are currently in force within the scientific community of biodiversity researchers. It contains a capacity building aspect with the installation of databases and web portals that are able to exchange data with the network. The activities encompassed by this project are: 1: The assessment of needs in Central Africa, in terms of access to information about taxonomy and biodiversity on Internet. This task will run during the first two years of the project. 2: The identification of specimen collections that may be digitized and later published on the Internet. This task will be done by the means of a call for projects, which will be issued after the second year of the project. A jury will evaluate submitted projects and will decide which are eligible for implementation. 3: Capacity Building: The installation of databases and web portals which are able to exchange data with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) network. There is also the need for training staff for the maintenance of this technical infrastructure. We plan to publish data from partner institutions on our own website and on the GBIF data portal. GBIF already allows access to the biodiversity data from several international institutions. For the transmission of data between the institution providing the data and this thematic portal, we will use software and protocols promoted by TDWG and GBIF. The project will require the installation of one or two local mirrors of the GBIF portal in Central Africa. The regional indexing of data providers will be undertaken in line with the decentralized architecture of GBIF for contribution to the GBIF network. CABIN/SABIN will cooperate with the CEDESURK (a documentation centre based at the University of Kinshasa and co-funded by the Walloon and Flemish offices for inter-university co-operation) and Eb@lé (a telecom project promoting education and research in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)) which seek to connect several universities from the Western and Eastern part of the DRC into a common Internet network by using relay-stations for cell-phones as carriers. More information may be found at: http://www.africamuseum.be/sitemap/research/zoology/vertebrates/SABIN-CABIN/index_html
CitationKahindo, C.; Theeten, F.; Mergen, P.; Meganck, B.; Jacobsen , K.; Louette, M. (2008). CABIN: Implementing a Biodiversity Information Network in Central Africa. , Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) Annual Conference 2008, Vol. 2008, Open Journal System Proceedings of TDWG, DOI: http://www.tdwg.org/proceedings/article/view/353.