[Taxacom] Who uses biodiversity data and why?
taxacom2 at achapman.org
taxacom2 at achapman.org
Thu Nov 23 23:07:18 CST 2006
One issue I think you are neglecting, Bob, is the enormous amount of data repatriation that is beginning to happen from the 1st world to the 3rd world as well as between developing and developing countries (for example the countries of South America).
I know of several instances where these data, combined with in-country data have improved conservation decision making. There are published examples, especially in Mexico, and I know of several projects in Brazil and Papua New Guinea that will do likewise.
Also, I have heard of some interesting cases of data in Canadian museums that are now available partly due to GBIF and that are now available for use in the US. Some important insect collections were made by Canadians visiting the US during the Canadian winter - and in some groups, the best collections for the USA of some insect groups are housed in Canada museums, and until recently this would not have been known by US scientists. This data is now being used to aid conservation decisions.
Little of this could have happened pre GBIF as you suggest, because these data were not freely available, so could not have been used - at least not without expensive travel and/or postage costs.
Arthur D. Chapman
>From Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au> on 23 Nov 2006:
> "Perhaps what organizations like GBIF require is a reporting system for
> users of occurrence data as self-validating compendia - the kind of
> politicians love to see."
> I have no doubt that will happen. But the use of _local_ occurrence data
> making _local_ decisions cannot "validate" GBIF, if the same thing had
> happening before GBIF, and if the same thing happens independently of
> Please understand that I am not questioning the taxonomic or other
> bioscientific usefulness of universal access to all biodiversity data. I
> questioning the argument, which I first heard after the Rio summit in
> that having this will improve the knowlege base for land managers and
> conservation planners working at all spatial scales. It _sounds_
> until you remember how these people work. Tom Ball's statement (as
> quoted on
> TAXACOM by Wolfgang Lorenz) is just the same argument in other words,
> and to
> me it still sounds very, very weak.
> We have had discussions earlier on TAXACOM about sensitive data and
> taxonomically ill-defined data. Here again there is a substantial
> local/global divide. For example, when approached for conservation
> advice at
> a local scale, I'm happy to share with planners all my relevant data in
> confidence: undescribed species, sensitive locations, the lot. I would
> consider it extremely unwise to share that same data with everyone on
> planet for unspecified "global" or other broadscale purposes. (Yes, all
> data goes into publications and a museum database when the new species
> described, and in principle is then universally available. I'm talking
> "pre-public" data. For lesser-known animal groups, that's a substantial
> proportion of what we know.)
> Dr Robert Mesibov
> Honorary Research Associate, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
> and School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
> Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
> (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
> Tasmanian Multipedes
> Spatial data basics for Tasmania
> Taxacom mailing list
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
More information about the Taxacom