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Title Biodiversity data resources for West Africa – Accessibility and possible solutions to property rights issues

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Short title Biodiversity data resources for West Africa

Author(s) Janssen, T.(1); Dressler, S.(1); Hahn-Hadjali, K.(2); Hien, M.(3); Mahamane, A.(4); Sambou, B.(5); Schmidt, M.(1,2); Sinsin, B.(6); Thiombiano, A.(7); Zizka, G.(1,2)

Presenting author Janssen, T.

Institution(s) (1) Research Institute Senckenberg, Dept. of Botany, Frankfurt/M., Germany; (2) University of Frankfurt/M., Dept. for Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Frankfurt, Germany; (3) Polytechnical University of Bobo-Dioulasso, Dept. of Water and Forest, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; (4) University Abdou Moumouni of Niamey, Laboratory Garba Mounkaila of Biology, Niamey, Niger; (5) University Cheikh Anta Diop, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Dakar, Senegal; (6) University of Abomey-Calavi, Laboratory of Applied Ecology, Cotonou, Benin; (7) University of Ouagadougou, Laboratory of Plant Biology and Ecology, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Keywords biodiversity data network, data sharing, intellectual property rights, online database, vegetation data

Abstract Research on conservation and sustainable management of natural resources depends heavily on the availability of high quality biodiversity data with good spatio-temporal coverage, preferably at a regional scale. Acquisition of such data from the field or existing collections is time- and cost-intensive and can usually not be achieved by a single researcher. Global access to an overview of existing data and ongoing projects is a prerequisite to concerted, resource-efficient research, helps to avoid redundant data collection, promotes the closure of data gaps and fosters national and international cooperation. Although a plethora of online database solutions exist, these are often too intransparent with respect to data ownership and exploitation for acceptance with individual data contributors. Hence, pooling of data from individual researchers may prove difficult even in the framework of a joint project, especially in regions where biodiversity research centres are very rare or even still lacking. We here present a web-based approach to the resolution of data accessibility and data property rights issues, which is currently developed for vegetation data and susceptible to promote targeted cooperative research on the conservation and sustainable management of natural vegetation resources.

Congress Topic Capacity development

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