Digitally gathering data on various ecosystems – flora and fauna – in Nigeria formed the basis of discussion at a 3-day capacity workshop organised by the Project team on Implementation of Biodiversity Information and Data System for Coastal Ecosystems in Nigeria.
The blended workshop held between Monday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 15, 2021, with the theme: Digitization of ecosystems in Nigeria had participants, both online and onsite, from all over the country and Africa.
In her presentation titled, “Introduction to GBIF: Data Mobilization and Publishing – The GBIF’s Concept”, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Nigeria (NgBIF) Node Manager, Prof. Omokafe A. Ugbogu gave a brief introduction on Global Biodiversity Information Facility which is an open-data research infrastructure funded by different countries depending on their Gross Domestic Products, its vision and mission; its strategic plan for 2017-2021, the Nigerian Biodiversity Information Facility (NgBIF), its achievements, the different classes of Datasets for publication under GBIF, the challenges and services to mention a few.
Node & Data Manager, Africa Oceanographic Biodiversity Information System (AfrOBIS), Dr. Tshikana Rasehlomi, in his presentation titled: “AfrOBIS – The gateway to sub-Saharan Africa’s ocean biodiversity data”, discussed the background, objectives, guiding principles, organisational structure, stakeholders, regional stakeholders and data providers of AfrOBIS and how AfrOBIS is implemented.
A Project Team Member, Dr. Temitope O. Onuminya, gave an insightful presentation on “Implementation of the Biodiversity Information and Data System for Coastal Ecosystems in Nigeria”. During her presentation, she gave a brief introduction to the project, the Nigerian coastal ecosystem and mentioned some of the challenges with the Nigerian coastline to include: high levels of endemism; threats by human activities, invasive species, etcetera; survey data on the region are sparsely accessible.
She noted that the project is under a national biodiversity data mobilization grant, which is funded by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) and the European Union. She mentioned that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe is the Principal Investigator.
Dr. Onuminya further revealed that the project is aimed at establishing the National Information System for coastal biodiversity which will help coordinate activities in data capture, mobilization and release of information for scientific and policy use in the exploitation and preservation of the marine environment in Nigeria (Nigerian blue economy).
NgBIF Resource Person from Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwuma spoke on “The Darwin Core Format – standards for biodiversity data collection”. He spoke on “OpenRefine as a tool for biodiversity data cleaning”. He revealed that OpenRefine, formerly called Google Refine, is a tool for working with messy/disorganised/ muddled data and displayed how to use it.
The BID Regional Support, Africa, Dr. Laban Musinguzi in his presentation, demonstrated how to publish data on GBIF.
The workshop was rounded off with question-and-answer sessions, exercises and assessments as well as the presentation of certificates to the virtual and physical participants.