Regional biodiversity information portal launched

Suriname flowers. Image: Joost Beljon

The Caribbean Biodiversity Information Portal was officially launched August 9, 2018 in Barbados. The Barbados Advocate reports:

Speaking at the official launching ceremony … Assistant Curator of the Natural History Department at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Kerron Hamblin, revealed that the project was a year long regional project among the Museum, the University of the West Indies Zoological Museum at the St. Augustine Campus and the National Zoological Collection of Suriname.

“This project aims to improve access to biodiversity data in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, and through this information portal it is expected that sharing information about where and when species have been recorded, whether they are museum specimens or geotagged cellphone photos from citizen scientists, can assist in addressing regional priorities such as the impacts of climate change, the spread of invasive species, the need for conservation and protected areas, food security and public health,” he said.

“Currently the portal is just populated with information from the three partner institutions, but naturally, because the natural history collection at the Barbados museum is quite small, there are some gaps in the specimen record for Barbados. Therefore, we need the help of stakeholders, such as yourselves, in closing the knowledge gaps and creating a more accurate picture of Barbados’ biodiversity.”

Paul Ouboter, Head of the National Zoological Collection at the Anton de Kom University in Suriname, echoed Hamblin’s sentiments, noting that the lack of data was a problem, and expressed that it was important for persons to understand the importance of the portal so that they could add information to share with other regional and international entities.

Read more in the Advocate’s coverage of the launch. Green Antilles has reached out to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society for more information about the Biodiversity Information Portal, and this post will be updated when that information is received. 

[Image: Joost Beljon]

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