Gov’t Allocates $1.4m to Advance Biodiversity Activities

Story Highlights

  • The Government has allocated $1.4 million for a project to advance Jamaican biodiversity data products and information services.
  • The engagement, which is being implemented by the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) with funding from the European Union (EU), aims to strengthen the capacity of the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ) and its local project partners as national biodiversity information facilities.
  • Project targets for the 2018/19 period will see curatorial staff of the NHMJ being trained in the digitisation of biological specimens and publications to produce approximately 20,000 images of plant and animal specimen.

The Government has allocated $1.4 million for a project to advance Jamaican biodiversity data products and information services.

The engagement, which is being implemented by the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) with funding from the European Union (EU), aims to strengthen the capacity of the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ) and its local project partners as national biodiversity information facilities.

It also seeks to increase the availability of biodiversity data and application in response to national priorities.

Details of the project are outlined in the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure now before the House of Representatives.

To date, an online image database of photos of plants, animals and ecosystems has been developed under the programme.

Project targets for the 2018/19 period will see curatorial staff of the NHMJ being trained in the digitisation of biological specimens and publications to produce approximately 20,000 images of plant and animal specimen.

Additionally, an online image database for 50 plants, 40 animals and 10 ecosystems from across Jamaica will be launched and will include taxonomic and geographic information.

The project will also see the content of the Jamaica Invasive Species Database being increased via 25 new records and updating of 10 existing records for invasive alien species (IAS); and five national databases on biodiversity and publications being updated.

A total of three maps and one checklist based on wildlife research permit data for 2010-2015 showing biodiversity research in protected areas islandwide, in the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and for Miconia species, and a checklist for birds located in Font Hill, St. Elizabeth, are also to be created.

Additionally, metadata for four to five datasets or databases are to be created over the project’s duration.

The IOJ will also host the Jamaica Biodiversity Information for National Development workshop as part of the activities.

Project data and information are to be made accessible to the public through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility website: www.GBIF.org.

The project is slated for completion in February 2019.

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