This project is funded by the European Union
The project for GBIF BID (Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Biodiversity Information for Developent) aims to address the gap in freshwater biodiversity knowledge for the Indian Ocean Islands.
Freshwater biodiversity remains relatively understudied in Sub-Saharan Africa and especially the Indian Ocean Islands. The islands are characterised by unique biodiversity which exhibit high levels of endemism and are vulnerable to threats from invasive alien species, anthropogenic impacts and global climate change. The project will address the need to manage the collation, digitisation, amendment and uploading of existing data for EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera) taxa and diatoms from the Indian Ocean Islands to GBIF.
Furthermore, focused sampling efforts will be coordinated on the islands. Citizen science tools (specifically miniSASS) will also be used to create awareness and obtain new distribution records where possible. The collated data can be used to assist conservation efforts and monitor threatened or alien invasive taxa.
By focusing on both capacity development and the delivery of integrated data to end-users, this project, aligned with platforms such as GBIF and FIP (Freshwater Information Platform), will create the means to improve knowledge of Indian Ocean Islands freshwater biodiversity and assist freshwater conservationists and policy makers.
A Knowledge Dissemination Session will be held at GroundTruth's offices in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on 05 February 2018 (as per the Capacity Building Workshop requirements). Further sessions will be held throughout the remainder of the year as well as at a specialist workshop - AFRESH.IO (African Freshwater Entomology Workshop, Indian Ocean) in Madagascar.