Biodiversiteitsdata nou geredelik beskikbaar

31 July 2021 | Environment

Windhoek - [email protected]


Namibië het vandeesmaand die 21ste land in Afrika geword wat as lid by die GBIF-netwerk aangesluit het – 'n internasionale organisasie wat een van die grootste databasisse oor die biodiversiteit van plante, diere, fungi en bakterie huisves.

Mnr. Francois Becker, die hoofkurator: Natuurwetenskap van die Nasionale Museum van Namibië, het verduidelik hierdie is 'n belangrike stap om toeganklikheid tot inligting te verseker. Hy is as hoof van die projek aangestel.

Namibië het die 61ste land in die wêreld geword om as lid by dié organisasie aan te sluit toe die ministerie van die omgewing, bosbou en toerisme se uitvoerende direkteur, mnr. Teofilus Nghitila, 'n ooreenkoms vir wedersydse samewerking onderteken het.

Belangrik vir wetgewing

“Dié ooreenkoms is nodig vir wanneer dit kom by byvoorbeeld die beskerming van Namibiese plant- en dierspesies, die beplanning en ontwikkeling van myne asook nasionale parke en vir die uitvoer van omgewingsimpakstudies,” het hy aan Republikein verduidelik.

“Dit word ook gebruik wanneer die regering beleide moet maak oor in watter gebiede daar nie ontwikkeling mag plaasvind of myne oopgemaak moet word nie.”

Becker sê die GBIF-netwerk beskik hoofsaaklik oor spesierekords wat aandui deur wie sekere spesies waar en wanneer ontdek is. Die data kom van onder meer museums, uit navorsingsprojekte en wetenskaplike databasisse wat deur die burgerlike samelewing bygehou word.

Becker sê hierdie stap sal help om biodiversiteitsdata, wat tans in talle instellings soos universiteite, museums en ander plekke in boeke en dokumente of digitaal opgesluit is, toeganklik te maak.

“Toegang tot die data is belangrik as dit kom by beplanning en navorsing vir bewaring, of wanneer 'n assessering gedoen moet word oor bedreigde diere op die rooilys. Dit kan nie gedoen word sonder die nodige data oor dié diere se verspreiding en getalle nie. Vir sulke assesserings word hoofsaaklik data vanaf die GBIF getrek – maar ook enkele ander databasisse.”

Becker sê Namibië het klomp instellings wat hierdie tipe data insamel en 'n bydrae tot die GBIF-netwerk sal kan maak.

“Die museum het byvoorbeeld data van soogdiere, insekte, paddas, reptiele en voëls. Die Nasionale Botaniese Navorsingsinstituut (NBRI) van plantspesies en talle universiteite het navorsingsrekords. Dit sal help dat die data nie meer net by die onderskeie instellings bly nie, maar gedeel kan word,” het hy gesê.

Proses

Becker sê hy verwag dat die eerste datastelle teen vroeg volgende jaar gepubliseer sal word.

“Die data wat reeds op die netwerk oor Namibië gepubliseer is, is deur buitelandse instellings wat plaaslik navorsing gedoen het.”

Hy sê uitdagings van die proses sluit in dat baie data voorts gedigitaliseer moet word.

“Baie daarvan is in boeke opgeskryf. Sommige is reeds gedigitaliseer, maar moet nog nagegaan word vir foute en akkuraatheid. Dan moet dit ook in 'n spesifieke formaat voorberei en ingelees word. Ons gaan voorts die proses fasiliteer deur met verskillende instellings te konsulteer en slypskole te hou, sodat elkeen sy eie data kan instuur,” sê hy.

“Biodiversiteitsdata is die dryfkrag agter bewaring en navorsing,” sê Becker.

“Dis nodig vir wetgewing, rooi­lyste en omgewingsimpakstudies. Die GBIF dien dus nou as sentrale punt waar almal gratis toegang tot die data kan kry.”

Becker sê die Europese Unie (EU) is tans die dryfkrag agter vele Afrika­lande om lede van dié organisasie te word.

“Derdewêreldlande moet as lede aansluit – ons beskik dikwels oor die ­grootste biodiversiteit, wat met die nodige data beter bestuur kan word,” sê hy.

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