Brazil coordinates an international event on biodiversity data in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean

- 06/07/2021


With the purpose of protecting biodiversity, platforms capable of integrating and providing scientific information, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and its Brazilian node, the Information System about Brazilian Biodiversity (SiBBr), are fundamental to shed light on what needs to be preserved, promote knowledge about fauna and flora, and share information. For this reason, more than just a large volume of data, their quality matters. The provision of such organized, updated, and standardized information facilitates the dissemination and democratizes scientific knowledge.

To encourage the implementation of guidelines for the quality, publication, and use of biodiversity data in partner countries and organizations that contribute to and benefit from the global platform for biodiversity data - the GBIF -, this intergovernmental organization supports initiatives through calls such as the Capacity Enhancement Support Programme (CESP). Every year, representatives from countries that are part of the international network are invited to submit proposals for activities that provide tools for those involved, with collaboration between the participants at the regional and global levels.

In 2020, GBIF selected a proposal coordinated by SiBBr, in Brazil, in partnership with other national information systems on biodiversity from countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The subject approved was "National Portals Workshop: taxonomic databases, species data information, and visualization". The partners of Brazil in this initiative are Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. The National Education and Research Network (RNP), representing the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI), is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the project and preparing an in-person workshop, which will take place at the University of São Paulo (USP), in 2022, with the participation of international database about vertebrates Vernet and the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), a solution adopted by 27 countries, among them Brazil.

In addition to the live event, this year, there will be a series of webinars and virtual meetings with presentations from countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and other guests, with topics such as taxonomy databases, catalogs of species, and visualization of the data. The first meeting took place in May, and the next ones will happen throughout the year. "In these events, the intention is to exchange experiences, implement improvements and best practices, and consolidate the publication and viewing of biodiversity data in the region. Although countries have distinct realities, based on the presentations and discussions, it was possible to understand the difficulties faced and similarities in the organization of biodiversity data. Saved their particularities, there is an alignment on the proposal for a data sharing and mutual cooperation, in addition to the building of a taxonomic list for the species of Latin America and the Caribbean," explains the biologist Clara Baringo Fonseca, a business analyst in RNP and responsible for data management on the SiBBr platform