Weather data
A large number of automatic weather stations has been implemented in the frame of the BIOTA AFRICA project by the Namibian National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the Group "Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology" (BEE) of the University of Hamburg. The website offers hourly updates of data and graphs of a large number of weather parameters.


BMBF Logo

Visitors since 2007-09-26
(Relaunch website)
 





News


Datum The Namib Sand Sea has been adopted as Natural Heritage at the 37th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee
Press links

 
Photo: Imke Oncken


Datum Discovery of the origin of the fairy circles: sand termites in Africa create natural water reservoir for their ecosytem. Prof. Dr. Norbert Jürgens, Professor for Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology of Plants at the University of Hamburg published his research results in the Science magazin issue from 29th of March 2013.

The sand termite Psammotermes allocerus generates local ecosystems, so-called fairy circles, through removal of short-lived vegetation that appears after rain, leaving circular barren patches. Because of rapid percolation and lack of evapotranspiration, water is retained within the circles. This process results in the formation of rings of perennial vegetation that facilitate termite survival and locally increase biodiversity. This termite-generated ecosystem persists through prolonged droughts lasting many decades.
  • Science 29 March 2013, Vol. 339 no. 6127: The Biological Underpinnings of Namib Desert Fairy Circles   Weblink
  • University of Hamburg, Newsletter April 2013, Nr. 49: Verursacher der Feenkreise entdeckt: Sandtermiten schaffen in Afrika natürliche Wasserspeicher für ihr Ökosystem   Weblink
  • National Geographic 28 March 2013: Africa's Weird Fairy Circles are Termite-Built Water Traps   Weblink
  • Spiegel Online 28 March 2013: Sensationen der Savanne: Feenkreis-Rätsel lässt Forscher verzweifeln   Weblink
  • epoFILM: Mystery of the Fairy Circles - a movie by Barbara Fally-Puskás   Weblink

 
Photo: Norbert Jürgens


Datum Professor Norbert Jürgens at 28. November 2012 received the Dr. Elisabeth-Appuhn-Award endowed with € 10.000 for his lifework focused to the scientific exploration and conservation of Southern African biodiversity.
The award was handed over in the frame of a festive ceremony by Prof. Kristen on behalf of the award giving panel of the Deutsche Bank.

 
Photo: BIOTA


Datum New publication: Knowledge lives in the lake. Case studies in environmental and customary law from southern Africa, edited by Manfred O. Hinz; Oliver C. Ruppel and C. Mapaure (2012): Windhoek, Namibia Scientific Society.

Knowledge lives in the lake. Case studies in environmental and customary law from southern Africa is a recently launched book that follows Biodiversity and the ancestors. Challenges to customary and environmental law. Case studies from Namibia and published in 2008 (Windhoek: Scientific Society). Like its predecessor, Knowledge lives in the lake contains research by law students done within the framework of the BIOTA AFRICA sub-project administered by Manfred Hinz for the Faculty of Law of the University of Namibia and by the co-editors Hinz and Ruppel who also supervised the work assembled in the book. Some of the contributions contained in Knowledge lives in the lake reach beyond BIOTA AFRICA and bridge to the Future of the Kavango Project (TFO).

The contributions: Manfred Hinz wrote an introduction in which he applies the current discussion on the architecture of governance and law in the globalising world to the political vision of Agenda 21, as it was adopted in the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Knowledge lives in the lake offers studies by
  • P. Anyolo on Namibian conservancies in general and the Uukwaluudhi conservancy; by A. Takaendesa on the situation of black Rhino in Zimbabwe,
  • N. E. Namwoonde on the problem of the registration of communal land in the Kavango Region and the Jatropha biofuel production in the Kavango and Caprivi Regions,
  • C. Mapaure on the legal status of trees and two studies on water law,
  • A. Zender on possible prevention of land degradation; and a final contribution by
  • Oliver Ruppel and Sanita van Wyk, a post-graduate student of the University of Stellenbosch, on an important water case decided in Botswana.

The title: Knowledge lives in the lake refers to a statement by the famous South African traditional healer and writer Credo Mutwa, who refers to his grandfather guiding him into the world of African spirituality:

There is [the grandfather said] a huge unseen lake somewhere in the spirit world where all the knowledge of the universe - past, present and future - is to be found." Knowledge lives in the lake in the form of little silver fishes," my grandfather said.

The papers on water - water as a lifeline, water as a right, and the socio-political implication of water as a common good - are not only major contributions to this publication; the socio-economic framework responsible for the water of the Kavango River is also central to work that has taken up at least certain aspects of the BIOTA AFRICA Project and will occupy the consortium of researchers until 2015, namely The Future Okavango (TFO) Project.

The book is available in Namibia from the Namibia Scientific Society in Windhoek and all Namibian bookstores. In Germany, it can be obtained from the Namibiana Buchdepot in Delmenhorst.

ISBN 978-99916-855-8-8 (Namibia)
ISBN 978-3-941602-75-5 (Germany)

 


Datum New publication: The book "Rehoboth, Namibia - Past & Present" with contributions from several BIOTA-related authors is now available. For the first time there is a comprehensive account of 'Baster matters' set in very broad context: from their beginnings until today. Based on interdisciplinary research the book contains two parts: it focusses on the system of land tenure of Rehoboth, viewing it from political and usage perspectives.

Six authors from three countries worked on the book:
Germany:
Hartmut Lang, Christiane Naumann (Social & Cultural Anthropology), Dirk Wesuls (Ecology), Cornelia Limpricht (History)
USA: Sidney Harring (Law)
Namibia: Ibo Zimmermann (Agriculture).

The authors Cornelia Limpricht, Hartmut Lang, Christiane Naumann, Dirk Wesuls and Ibo Zimmermann were involved in the BIOTA-Africa programme - working in the Rehoboth area between 2004 and 2010.

Title of Book: Rehoboth, Namibia - Past & Present (2012)
Edited by: Cornelia Limpricht

Solitaire Press, Windhoek, Namibia
502 pages, ca. 450 figures (photos, maps, graphs)
Namibia: ISBN 978-99945-73-01-1 / Germany: ISBN 978-3-941602-68-7

The book is available in Namibia:
In Rehoboth the book will be distributed by the Rehoboth Community Trust, - in Windhoek and Swakopmund it is available in the usual bookshops like BookDen, BookCellar or Swakopmunder Buchhandlung.

In Germany the book is available at Namibiana Buchdepot  Weblink

Download table of contents (26kB)

 


Datum BIOTA East Africa press release: Small forest with big impact: Fragmented rainforests maintain their ecological functionality

The value of a rainforest is not only measured by its biological diversity but also by its ecological functionality. Scientists have now presented the results of a comprehensive study in Kenya carried out over the course of nine years within the framework of the BIOTA East Africa project. A team of authors lead by Matthias Schleuning (Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, BiK-F) writes in the open-access journal "PLoS One" that rainforests that are subject to use by the human population and are divided into forest fragments can maintain their ecological functionality.

Download Press release

Download Publication


Images:
Kakamega rainforest in Kenya: The once comprehensive forest has been divided into isolated forest parts with agriculture in between, which are subject to human disturbance. (Copyright: N. Farwig, BIOTA-E02)

Field work in the rainforest: Scientists monitored the species richness of six animal taxa (e.g. antbirds) and studied their ecosystem functions. (Copyright: M.K. Peters)

One of the six ecosystem functions that were studied to determine the functionality of the fragmented rainforest were raids by army-ants. (Copyright: G. Fischer)



Datum On the 27th of May 2011, two exhibitions in the pyramids of the Desert Garden in the Botanical Garden of the University of Hamburg have been launched. The exhibitions provide insight into the research activities of the working unit Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology of Plants at the Biocentre Klein Flottbek, University of Hamburg. The exhibition in the eastern pyramid informs about the ecological research that the working group conducted over many years on the quartz fields in the Succulent Karoo of southern Africa. In the western pyramid eight para-ecologists from Namibia and South Africa describe the work they did in support of the ecological research activities in southern Africa and explain what the work means to them.

 


Datum International workshop on para-ecologist initiatives within applied research projects More than 20 participants (researchers and para-ecologists) from 10 different countries will share their experiences and discuss the way forward. The workshop is generously funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.
14 - 17 June 2011 Biocentre Klein Flottbek and Botanical Garden, hosted by the Section Biodiversity of Plants

Please contact: uschmiedel@botanik.uni-hamburg.de

 

Datum Para-ecologists in southern Africa The exhibition gives insight into the work and experiences of the para-ecologists in southern Africa. Para-ecologists are members of land user communties that participate in and contribute to the biodiversity research and monitoring activities of the Biocentre Klein Flottbek in southern Africa.
28th of May until September 2011, Botanical Garden of the University of Hamburg, desert pyramids.

Please contact: uschmiedel@botanik.uni-hamburg.de

 

Datum Today, the Book series of BIOTA Southern Africa has been launched by The Honourable Minister of Environment and Tourism of Namibia, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah (centre), the Councellor for Development Cooperation of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Windhoek, Dr Romeo Bertolini (left), the Master of ceremony, Dr Julian Fennessy, the chair of BIOTA Southern Africa, Norbert Juergens (right) and numerous guests in the frame of a ceremony at the Goethe Centre in Windhoek, Namibia.

more

At the same time, also the Website "Photo Guide to Plants of Southern Africa"
http://www.southernafricanplants.net, has been launched officially. All plant people are invited to please contribute further photos to expand the number of species, covered by the website.

Please contact: photo@southernafricanplants.net    Download Poster of the photoguide

 
Photo: Steph Fennessy


Datum The BIOTA team cordially invites you to the launch of the set of books Biodiversity in Southern Africa at the Goethe Centre in Windhoek, Namibia, on 13 April 2011.

Download Invitation for BIOTA book launch in Windhoek, Namibia as PDF


Datum A first review of the BIOTA Books was recently published in the Bulletin of the British Ecological Society.

Source: Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 42(1): p. 73; 2011
Reviewer: Janet Sprent, Emeritus Professor of Plant Biology, University of Dundee

Download the Bulletin of the British Ecological Society as PDF


Datum BIOTA East Africa: One output of the BIOTA East Africa project is "The BIOTA East Africa Atlas. Rainforest Change over Time" which was launched in Kenya and Uganda at the end of August 2010. The atlas combines all spatially presentable research results. It addresses three user groups with its sections Education, Decision making, and Research. Overall the atlas provides an overview of the investigated rainforest areas, gives insight into research results and their causal relations, and enables conclusions for actions.

News: Kenya Wildlife Service
News: Kenya Forest Service
News: Makerere University, Uganda
More information on the atlas

 


Datum BIOTA Book Biodiversity in southern Africa, published by BIOTA Southern Africa recently, was launched on the 7th October 2010 at Gariep Dam, Free State Province, South Africa.

The BIOTA book Biodiversity in southern Africa was launched at the Arid Zone Ecology Forum (AZEF) at the de Stijl Hotel in Gariep Dam (Free State Province, South Africa) on the evening of the 7th of October 2010 by two of the book editors, Ute Schmiedel (University of Hamburg) and Timm Hoffman (University of Cape Town). The 50 participants of this year’s AZEF conference on the ecology of arid areas in southern Africa received the book with great interest and enthusiasm.

more

 


Datum With the three-volume book Biodiversity in southern Africa, the long-term research project BIOTA Southern Africa presents the results from nearly one decade of biodiversity research in southern Africa. Almost 200 researchers from Germany, Namibia, South Africa, and a few other countries contributed to the more than 1,400 richly illustrated pages. They describe their findings on ecology and biodiversity in the biomes of southern Africa under the influence of landuse and climate change.

BIOTA Books will be launched in South Africa during the Arid Zone Ecology Forum (AZEF) conference in Gariep Dam (Free State Province, South Africa) between 4th and 7th October 2010. In October and November 2010, the recently published opus will be launched with public events in Namibia and Germany.

more


Datum On 9 August 2010, the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD) was launched. This global metadatabase of vegetation databases is an important new tool for biodiversity informatics. Shortly after launch of the GIVD homepage, already more than 100 databases with more than 2.3 million relevés were registered, including the three databases of BIOTA AFRICA.

more
 

Datum BIOTA East Africa: A new contribution to BIOTA AFRICA’s biodiversity inventory is online: In the vegetation ecology section: Tree and seedlings ecological data for Budongo and Kakamega Forest. This contains data on the tree structure, diversity and diameter growth rates. Further tree seedling dynamics (density, recruitment and mortality) and diversity in the different BDO's of both forests are shown. Additionally values for litterfall for Kakamega are presented.

more


Datum BIOTA AFRICA: Projected global impacts of climate change on regional capacities for plant species richness
Current plant diversity patterns can be to a large extent explained by the climatic conditions and other environmental features of an area. Upon this relationship, we modelled possible consequences of different climate change projections on species numbers for the year 2100. The capacity for species richness increases in temperate and arctic regions, but declines severely in tropical and subtropical regions. Countries least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions are likely to incur disproportionately large future species losses, whereas industrialised countries are facing moderate increases.

Proceedings of the Royal Society B. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0120  Abstract   PDF

Official press release:  Weblink

Image: Climate change will have a clear impact on plant diversity worldwide. Today's cool and moist areas could in future offer habitats for additional species (green areas on the maps), in arid and hot regions the climatic prerequisites for a high species richness will deteriorate (orange-red areas on the maps). The illustration shows a comparison of the conservative 1.8°C scenario (IPCC B1) and a 4.0°C scenario (IPCC A1FI) which, if present climate policy is maintained, is clearly the more likely.

 


Datum Growing frog market in West Africa: So far, the trade of frogs as food has been detected in the West African countries Burkina Faso, Benin, and Nigeria. Whereas in some regions the frog harvest and trade takes place only on a local scale, in other areas like Nigeria the trade has reached regional dimensions. This potentially unsustainable harvest apparently has dramatically increased during the past decade. The current frog trade may be taken as an indication that other protein sources (e.g. fish, mammals) so far used have decreased as well.

More informationen

Photo: Frogs getting smoked for the Nigerian market.

 
Photo: Mareike Hirschfeld


Datum BIOTA Southern Africa: The weather data from weather stations at biodiversity observatories in Namibia and South Africa have been updated in April 2010. You can find information on the presently available stations, time periods, values and time resolutions at:

BIOTA Southern Africa Weather Data portal

Please note: There are data from four new weather stations available. Click on one of the links below to go directly to the weather station (observatory).

Kleinberg   Rooisand   Claratal   Sandveld


Datum On 24-26 February 2010, the 9th international Meeting on Vegetation Databases under the motto "Vegetation Databases and Climate Change" took place in Hamburg, Germany. The Meeting was co-organised by BIOTA AFRICA.

With nearly 150 participants and more than 30 nationalities present, this 9th meeting was by far the largest of this conference series and probably the biggest ecoinformatics conference that has taken place to date. Three keynote lectures, 25 talks, more than 60 posters and five practical workshops were all very well received by the international audience. BIOTA AFRICA was prominently presented by a keynote lecture (Dr. Michael C. Rutherford: Development of the South African National Vegetation Database: applications and links to climate change), three oral contributions from BIOTA Southern Africa (Dr. Ute Schmiedel), BIOTA West Africa (Dr. Marco Schmidt), and BIOTA Maroc (Dr. Manfred Finckh), and one workshop about the BIOTABase software. About one third of the presented posters were devoted to methods and results from BIOTA AFRICA.

Reports, as well as abstracts and PDF's of many contributions are available at Weblink.

Presently, three major publications from the conference are in preparation:
  • Special Feature "Ecoinformatics and global change" in Applied Vegetation Science (registration closed)
  • Special Volume "Vegetation databases for the 21st century" of Biodiversity & Ecology (submission until 30 June 2010)
  • World Index of Plot-Based Vegetation Databases. This will be a comprehensive metadatabase of available digitized relevé data. Already 54 databases with approx. 1.5 million relevés have registered. Deadline for submission: 30 June 2010; registration at Weblink.
Download Book of abstracts (PDF)

 
Photos: J.Dengler


Datum BIOTA West Africa K. E. Linsenmair, University of Würzburg, and Robert Foro, Ministry of Research and Higher Education in Burkina Faso, inaugurated the Information Centre on Biodiversity, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), at the campus of the University of Ouagadougou on 25 January 2010.

An Information Centre for West Africa on biodiversity - this highly ambitious task has been mastered with funds of the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) by the transdisciplinary research project BIOTA West Africa at the campus of the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Since 2001 BIOTA West Africa has been working on the current state of and the hazards to biodiversity in Burkina Faso, Benin und Côte d'Ivoire aiming at the development of more sustainable land use forms and methods for the restoration of degraded soils to halt further erosion of biodiversity in the region. An optimal transfer of the gathered knowledge to the different stakeholders (e.g. farmers, foresters, traditional healers, teachers and researchers) will be greatly facilitated by the Information Centre: all pertinent results are pooled there, comprehensive botanical and exemplary zoological reference collections are easily accessible and stakeholders can be trained and informed appropriate to their respective needs. Thus, the Information Centre facilitates the implementation of the worked out recommendations and ensures the attainment of BIOTA West's main goals: essentially contributing to a more sustainable use and the long term protection of West Africa's rich biodiversity to maintain the ecosystems' capacity to further provide their vital goods and services constituting an indispensable basis of the population's livelihood.

For more information please contact the coordination head office of BIOTA West Africa.

External press links: Sidwaya    Le Pays

Photo: Robert Foro, Ministry of Research and Higher Education in Burkina Faso, and K. Eduard Linsenmair, University of Würzburg, Germany, inaugurate the Information Centre in Ouagadougou.

 
Photos: M. Wegmann


Datum BIOTA East Africa: A preliminary checklist of Kakamega ants is online. More than 300 different species were identified. The presented species list is based on material collected in the Kakamega Forest between 1999 and 2009 and deposited in the collections of the Zoological Research Museum Koenig, Bonn, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, and the National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi.

Ants - Kakamega Forest

Photo: Platythyrea cribrinodis

 
Photo: BIOTA AFRICA
Georg Fischer


Datum BIOTA East Africa: A new contribution to BIOTA AFRICA’s biodiversity inventory is online: Butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Kakamega Forest. So far six illustrated species lists to the fauna of Kakamega Forest were accessible. These are amphibians, reptiles, birds, dragonflies, fruit flies and bees. Now, the next species list of butterflies and moths went online. It contains about 1000 species of Lepidoptera which were registered for Kakamega Forest and its close surroundings.

Butterflies - Kakamega Forest

Photo: Acraea leucographa

 
Photo: BIOTA AFRICA
Joachim Holstein


Datum On Wednesday, 16 December 2009, the documentary on the BIOTA para-ecologist programme "Bridging the Gap. Para-Ecologists in Action" will be launched at the University of Hamburg. The documentary has been conceived and filmed by the eight BIOTA para-ecologists during a training workshop in South Africa in April-May 2009. Everybody is welcome to watch the 20 min film and participate in the subsequent discussion with the German participants of the film project, Martin Gruber and Ute Schmiedel.

Date/Venue: 16 December 2009, 18:15h/West-Flügelbau des Hauptgebäudes der Universität Hamburg, Hamburg-Dammtor, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1 (ESA1), Raum 222.

If you cannot participate in the film launch but are interested in the documentary, please contact Dr Ute Schmiedel for a free DVD copy of the film.

Photo: Para-ecologist busy filming in May 2009.

 
Photo: BIOTA AFRICA


Datum The Proceedings of the 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum are online here:

Download presentations as PDF files

Photo: Participants of the 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum inspect a previously eroded valley treated with chopped thorn branches.
 

 
Photo: BIOTA AFRICA
Ibo Zimmermann


Datum BIOTA Southern Africa performs at the Arid Zone Ecology Forum (AZEF) 2009: AZEF took place in the historical Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa from 5-8 October 2009. The theme of the conference was “Biodiversity conservation in arid zones: people, species and landscapes”.

About 100 people, ranging from scientists, students, planners, land owners, NGO’s and educators working in arid areas, participated in this year’s forum. Plenary addresses included topics such as restoration and local farming perspectives. Delegates also had the opportunity to go on field trips led by local experts and landowners and learn about game farming, arid alien invasions, rehabilitation and riparian ecology. BIOTA Southern Africa was represented by students, para-ecologists and researchers from South Africa, Namibia and Germany and was very successful by being awarded numerous prizes for best presentations by young scientists.
The following BIOTA students have been awarded:
The joint second prize for the best paper presentation has been shared between the two para-ecologists Richard Isaacks and Sebedeus Swartbooi, and Justus Kauartjirue from Polytechnic of Namibia.
The first prize for the best poster speed presentation was awarded to the BIOTA student Clyde Lamberts from ARC / CapeNature. The 2nd prize for best poster speed presentation was awarded to Sarah Meyer from Universities of Karlsruhe and Hamburg.

The conferences closed with the launch of the 20 min documentary “Bridging the gap – para-ecologists in action” produced by the BIOTA para-ecologists in 2009. For more info please see:   AZEF
 

 
Field trip lead by Jan Vlok
Photo: BIOTA AFRICA
Tessa Oliver


Datum BIOTA South Sustaining our Savannas Open Day, Polytechnic of Namibia, on 6 November. A BIOTA south Sustaining our Savannas Open Day was held at the Polytechnic of Namibia, on 6 November, 2009. The aim was to showcase research products (posters and books), films and decision support tools and games to the general public and selected key stakeholders.
After an introduction, participants watched three DVDs (Wiza Wetu, Bridging the Gap and Biodiversity is our Life), had a chance to test and experiment with the Decision Support System (DSS) for Bush Encroachment, the Kalahari Biodiversity Simulator, and the Livestock Production Game. Robert Mukuya, a paraecologist from Rundu, introduced WIza Wetu (a DVD about illegal logging in the Kavango) and Bridging the Gap (a DVD about the paraecologist programme, produced by the paraecologists themselves).
The participants had very good comments regarding the Day, and the products presented. It is hoped that this Open Day will go some way to realizing BIOTA AFRICA's aim of maintaining biodiversity through the various ministries and NGOs in Namibia that are already working hard towards sustainable natural resource management.

Please contact one of the following people for further information:
Dave Joubert:  djoubert@polytechnic.edu.na
Bertchen Kohrs:  bertchenk@iway.na

Photo: A planned fire at Neudamm College, October 2009. Research, funded by BIOTA AFRICA, strongly suggests that fires, during the critical time of bush seedling establishment, might be crucial in preventing bush encroachment.

 


Datum The final workshop with farmers near the BIOTA AFRICA observatories at Narais and Duruchaus was held on 7 November. Certificates were issued to workers from five farms to recognise the role they had played by participating in the research. Each farm worker regularly fermented malt dust with Effective Microorganisms (EM) and fed 4 litres daily to 40 sheep in a research trial of biodiversity friendly control of helminth parasites, to avoid the need for toxic antihelminthic drugs that threaten dung beetles. The influence of different management strategies on parasite loads of sheep was discussed at the workshop. Also discussed were management implications of results from the experimental grazing plots at Narais and Duruchaus, which had shown the benefit of long rest following grazing.

Photo: Farm worker Frans Fliete receives his certificate from the Polytechnic of Namibia for participating in a research trial.

 


Datum The Namibian Rangeland Forum held its 13th annual meeting on 27-29 October 2009 at the Neudamm campus of the University of Namibia's Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, east of Windhoek. This year the forum was hosted by BIOTA AFRICA through the Polytechnic of Namibia, under the theme "The role of biodiversity in rangeland management and policy". It attracted 69 participants, including farmers, students, government officials and researchers. Presenters from Botswana and South Africa brought along new ideas that could be implemented in Namibia. Workshops proposed improvements to Namibia's draft National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy. Field visits took place to BIOTA AFRICA research sites previously mentioned in two of the presentations.

Download presentations

Programme & Abstracts (PDF)
NRMPS Cover (PDF)
NRMPS Contents (PDF)

Photo: Participants of the 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum view the effects of fire on seedlings and saplings of Acacia mellifera at a site burnt a week previously.

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA


Datum A metadata overview has been set up in the renewed data portal. The metadata overview provides information about available data. We invite BIOTA participants to insert metadata about data sets produced by their own workpackages. For that purpose an online form can be used.

BIOTA AFRICA Metadata


Datum A new data portal about available BIOTA AFRICA data is online. Starting from this portal, the access to various BIOTA AFRICA data like metadata, weather data, vegetation ecology data, animal diversity data and much more is available.

BIOTA AFRICA Data portal


Datum A fully functional mirror of the main BIOTA AFRICA website has been set up in Namibia.

The two web sites are identical. The mirror site may be accessed by visiting the NBRI (National Botanical Research Institute of Namibia) home page www.nbri.org.na and clicking on the 'BIOTA' link. Setting up of the mirror was conducted under the BIOTA AFRICA BioMonitoring Data Facility, and was motivated by the desire to ease local access to BIOTA data, as well as promote better local ownership of the BIOTA project. Users are encouraged to inform the website developers of their experiences.


Datum BIOTA East Africa: In July 2009 at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego (USA) the BIOTA working group (subproject E02) was awarded third place in the category "Best Multimedia Map" for its presentation: "Biodiversity Research in Eastern Africa. A Multimedia Presentation of the Project Framework BIOTA-East".

for more information see:

News ESRI USA
News ESRI Germany
News Hochschule Karlsruhe


Datum BIOTA East Africa: Checklist of Kakamega fruit flies is online. In total, 135 fruit fly species were recorded for Kakamega Forest and its surroundings. At least 18 % of the species were new to science.

Fruit flies - Kakamega Forest

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA
Robert Copeland


Datum BIOTA East Africa: Checklist of Kakamega bee species is online. The bee diversity of Kakamega Forest has been largely underestimated. Recent investigation revealed a ten-fold increase in species numbers. However, the taxonomic evaluation still continues.

Bees- Kakamega Forest

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA
Melanie Hagen


Datum Namakwa Environmental Expo 10-11 July 2009:
The "Namakwa Tomorrow" Environmental Expo was held at the Goegap Nature Reserve outside Springbok in the Northern Cape, South Africa.
The event was opened by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Hazel Jenkins. The Friday evening saw the launch of the Namakwa Municipal District Map of Critical Biodiversity Areas and the audience was treated to traditional dances and an authentic Namakwa culinary experience. Politicians, stakeholders, project representatives and researchers gathered at Goegap Nature reserve to showcase an array of environmentally focused programmes and initiatives. BIOTA was represented by the South African Liaison Officer, Tessa Oliver, and by two of the South African Para-ecologists, Mariana Lot from Paulshoek and Reginald Christiaan from Soebatsfontein.

Photo: The handing over of the Namakwa CBA map. From left to right: Ms Hazel Jenkins (Northen Cape Premier), Mr David Rooi (MEC for Dept Roads & Public Works), Ms Sylvia Lucas (MEC for Dept Environment & Conservation) and Mr Hendrik Viser (Namakwa District Executive Mayor).

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA
Tessa Oliver


Datum BIOTA East Africa: Continuation of Biodiversity inventory
Kakamega Forest is a hotspot of bird diversity in Eastern Africa and has been assigned an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. In Kakamega, almost 500 bird species have been recorded of which 10% are found nowhere else in Kenya. Many species are introduced with pictures.

Birds - Kakamega Forest

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA


Datum Bridging the Gap. Para-Ecologists in Action:
Para-Ecologists in Action. The eight BIOTA para-ecologists from South Africa and Namibia produced a documentary on their activities. The 30 min. long film which will be in English aims to give insight into the daily work of the para-ecologists. The film will come out in August 2009.

If you are interested in a free DVD copy, please contact Dr Ute Schmiedel.

Photo: Para-ecologist busy filming in May 2009.

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA/
Ute Schmiedel


Datum BIOTA Maroc: The exhibition "Man and Nature at the Northern Fringe of the Sahara" is opened in the "Desert Garden" in the Botanical Garden of the University of Hamburg in Hamburg Klein Flottbek.
The research project BIOTA Maroc investigates the ecosystems between the High Atlas mountains and the Sahara in Southern Morocco. The changes of the global climate and socioeconomical relationships strain the environment in this vulnerable arid ecosystem and reduce the land use potential for the local population. The exhibition shows, by means of selected habitats and crucial processes, the interactions between man and environment on the desert fringe.

Botanical Garden of the University of Hamburg in Klein Flottbek - Pyramids in the Desert Garden
10th of June to 13th of September 2009, daily 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Website: "Gesellschaft der Freunde des Botanischen Gartens Hamburg e.V."



Datum 4 Juni 2009 till 15 October 2009: Interactive Exhibition about the BIOTA Project. On display at the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town, South Africa

The exhibition Africa's Wealth - Exploration, Use and Conservation of Biodiversity was opened on the evening of 4 June 2009 with a function hosted by the Iziko South African Museum. The CEO of Iziko Museums of Cape Town, Professor H.C. (Jatti) Bredekamp, welcomed the guests, who braved a stormy Cape evening to attend the event. BIOTA researcher Professor Timm Hoffman of the Plant Conservation Unit, University of Cape Town, gave an informative presentation on the BIOTA AFRICA Project and highlighted the Southern African research projects. Afterwards the guests explored the exhibition while enjoying African music, delicious food and wine.

The exhibition will be at the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town till 15 October 2009, thereafter it will move to the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi.

 


Datum BIOTA East Africa: Biodiversity inventory goes online
One major task of BIOTA East Africa is to provide a biodiversity inventory of the organisms that live in Kakamega Forest and surrounding areas. This is essential for detecting changes in species composition and richness and for the management of sustainable use of Kenya's natural resources by the local population. In a first step, three checklists for amphibians, reptiles, and dragonflies of Kakamega Forest provide information about the diversity and ecology of these animal groups. The species accounts provide detailed information about voucher specimens, distribution, and other relevant data. Many species will be illustrated with pictures.

Amphibia - Kakamega Forest   Reptiles - Kakamega Forest   Dragonflies - Kakamega Forest

 


Datum 10-day BIOTA West Africa Atlas work meeting:
The local coordinators of BIOTA West Africa and the Atlas Team of Frankfurt/M. met for an intensive work meeting in Frankfurt/M. Main goals of this meeting were to determine the status of incoming contributions, to decide on a review system and review papers, and also to set up a final schedule for the remaining project time. A positive report on the progress of the Atlas could be given at the BIOTA West Africa project meeting in Würzburg.

 


Datum Major boost in BIOTA-East geodata catalogue:
A major update was carried out on the geodata service of the BIOTA East Africa GIS. The catalogue now includes twice as many entries: more than 200 updated or new geodatasets and associated metadata regarding physical-geographic, demographic and administrative related data, topographic maps and aerial as well as satellite imagery are available for download. (See the chart)
Most comprehensive updates took place for the hierarchical levels of 'Kakamega and the Nandi forests' as well as the forests of 'Budongo' and 'Mabira'. Furthermore, there has been a significant increase of geodatasets for the 'Biodiversity observatories' which cover the locations of research plots and transects of the participating subprojects within BIOTA-East.

more

 


Datum For more than 200 plants from the Observatories Mile 46/Mutompo in Namibia's Kavango region the scientific and vernacular names in Rukwangali and other languages together with information on their traditional utilization and other comments are published on the BIOTA website. The list of vernacular and scientific plant names is a prerequisite for communication with local stakeholders on their knowledge on plants (e.g. on traditional utilization of plants) or perception of threats of specific species.

more

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA
Michael Pröpper


Datum During an expert discussion on "scientific cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies" in Berlin on March 18th 2009, which was organized by the Parliamentary Group of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), the interdisciplinary and applied research project BIOTA AFRICA was highlighted as one of three best practice cases for this kind of cooperation.

At the beginning of the event, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Dr. Annette Schavan, highlighted the importance of "science as a key for development". Prof. Dr. Barbara Reinhold-Hurek and Prof. Dr. Michael Kirk, who are conducting research within the BIOTA project since 2000, explained at the meeting how the project puts this into practice. BIOTA AFRICA was envisaged as a best practice case that shows "How German Research and Technology Helps Support Coping with the Consequences of Climate Change".

The BIOTA AFRICA representative from Namibia, Ms Emilia Ndateelela Namwoonde from the University of Namibia (UNAM), contributed to the manifold discussions by giving a very clear insight into the benefits the BIOTA AFRICA initiative has had for African postgraduate students during the past almost 10 years of the project. She appreciated the opportunity of being an "information initiator" for the Namibian science community and for decision makers. Ms Namwoonde also underscored the importance of sharing the findings of research both with the people at the grassroots level, where the research was conducted, as well as with the government level to support policies for sustainable development.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Christian Ruck, Chairman of the Working Group on Economic Cooperation and Development of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group, underlined the importance of continuity and sustainability of international research projects.

 
Ms Emilia Ndateelela Namwoonde
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA
Hannah Scharlau


Datum 18 March 2009 - BIOTA in Parliament: The CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group organises a workshop on scientific cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies, involving BIOTA AFRICA.

Weblink
Weblink
Invitation and program (PDF)

(Deadline for registration: 11 March 2009)

 

Datum A small team of BIOTA AFRICA and the Brasilian BIOTA FAPESP project participated in an "Angolan Biodiversity Assessment Capacity Building Project", organised by SANBI, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, and ISCED, the "Instituto Superior de Ciencias de Educacao", at Lubango.

During January 2009, the project had an excellent start in the southwestern regions of Angola. Based on the very good cooperation during this first activity, there is also a good basis for future cooperation. The BIOTA team would certainly like to support forms of future collaboration in the frame of the developed team.

 


Datum The workshop "BIOTABase Management of biodiversity data" took place at the Biocentre Klein Flottbek, University of Hamburg, during February 2 - 3, 2009. It was moderated by Manfred Finckh (BIOTA Maroc) and Gerhard Muche (BioMonitoring Data Facility). The German and African participants collaborate in the projects BIOTA Maroc, BIOTA Southern Africa and in Burkina Faso.
On the occasion of the workshop a new release of the BIOTABase software package with several extended or enhanced features has been published on the BIOTA Website.

Download BIOTABase


Datum Several of the presentations which were presented at the BIOTA AFRICA Congress 2008 (29 September - 3 October) are downloadable now as PDF-files.

more
 

Datum The newly proclaimed "Sperrgebiet National Park", in addition to the Namib-Naukluft Park and the Ai-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier National Park forms the most recent element of one of the largest clusters of protected areas, globally.

more: Government Gazette 1 December 2008 (PDF - 1.4 MB)

 


Datum The second joint BIOTA and SUN workshop on West African Biodiversity databases took place in Ouagadougou, November 6 – 8, 2008. It was prepared and held by T. Janßen and M. Schmidt (Senckenberg Research Institute and Nature Museum Frankfurt). A. Ouédraogo, A. Thiombiano and S. Traoré organized the event on-site. A total of 20 participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Denmark, Ivory Coast, Niger, Senegal and Chad attended the workshop. Knowledge from the Frankfurt workshop in November 2008 was refreshed, the concept of the online vegetation database was presented and specific questions and problems of the persons responsible for the local data nodes were treated. Preliminary results of the workshop are a strong progress in data import as well as a broad acceptance of the upcoming Internet based vegetation data network.

 


Datum "Langsames Sterben am Kap - Klimawandel im südlichen Afrika",
a film by Richard Klug, ARD-Studio Johannesburg (in German).

The film shows the consequences of global change on biodiversity. BIOTA AFRICA provided important results of its research to the film-makers.

German TV Phoenix:
29 November 2008 11:00
30 November 2008 07:30
30 November 2008 18:00

The film was already shown in German TV SWR on 29 October 2008 22:30.
 

Datum Gemeinsam mit Afrika für den Erhalt der Artenvielfalt forschen - Staatssekretär Meyer-Krahmer setzt nach Kongress auf verstärkte Kooperation
BMBF - Pressemitteilung [172/2008], 6. Oktober 2008
BMBF - Pressemitteilung [172/2008], 6. Oktober 2008 (PDF)


more


Datum Successful start of the International Congress on Biodiversity of Africa at Spier, South Africa

Over 350 scientists from more than 15 African countries, Germany and Brazil, high-level representatives also from UNESCO, IUCN, DEAT, DST, GEOBON, OSS, WWF and representatives of the German and several African ministries and local stake holders opened the five days international congress on Biodiversity of Africa at Spier in South Africa. The discussions on the first reflect the urgent need to continue and further strengthen the well-established partnerships between African and German research institutions and scientists. All organisations underscore the necessity of further developing a pan-African network on biodiversity which will support the national initiatives to conserve biodiversity for the sake of sustaining human well-being. It was highlighted that this African network of observation sites should be well-linked to similar initiatives at the global level. The Brazil representative welcomed partnerships with the African network.

The Congress has been organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the BIOTA AFRICA Project and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

more

 


Datum The two paraecologists Donna Kotze and Reginald Christiaan accepting on behalf of the BIOTA AFRICA team the exhibitors award for the best stand which was given to the whole cluster of exhibitors of the German stand by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) at the INSITE (International Science, Innovation and Technology Exhibition 2008) in Johannesburg.

 


Datum The weather data for climate stations and observatories in Namibia and South Africa has been updated in september. Click on the link below and then select an observatory by using the Drop-Down-list or click on the map!

more


Datum Bee Biology and Pollination Ecology Course in Nairobi, 4 – 28 August 2008
The course, hosted by the National Museum of Kenya was open for 10 graduate students of different Kenyan universities and 3 counterparts of the National Museums and was the second course of its kind after the initial course in 2006. The students learned about taxonomy and biology of bees as well as theory and practice of the wide field of pollination ecology. The course was jointly conducted by Biota East Africa members, National Museums of Kenya and Dr. Laurence Packer from Canada.

 


Datum A Wiki portal (http://biota-africa.uni-bayreuth.de) has been created at the University of Bayreuth (Chair in Plant Systematic, Sect. Mycology), in order to manage and present online data on the BIOTA Southern Africa "Lichen monitoring" project WP B2 (former S04). Information is given on the biodiversity observatories investigated by this work package (including the exact location of hectare plots with GoogleMap), on research methods and on the monitoring of soil lichens with digital photography. It also shows links to identification and analysis tools, IT-products developed by the project and brochures. Collection data and results on image classification and processing as well as analyses are only accessible via login, and will be public by the end of the project.

more

 


Datum At the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity 2008 in Bonn, Germany (CBD COP9), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) invited farmers, forest guides, park directors, tree nursery workers and scientists from Africa, who cooperate with the BMBF-funded BIOTA AFRICA project, to present their view on biodiversity conservation and sustainable land use in Africa. The brochure “Biodiversity in Africa: The other perspective”, which is now available as download, summarises these fruitful discussions between land users, scientists and decisions makers and underlines the fundamental role that research plays in protecting biodiversity and promoting sustainable land use in Africa.
The brochure gives an outlook on the consolidation and “survival” of initiatives which have been developed or are being supported by the BIOTA AFRICA Project when the project comes to an end in 2010. The brochure will be available as printout at the international BIOTA AFRICA Congress 2008, titled, Biodiversity of Africa - Observation and Sustainable Management for our Future in Spier, South Africa (29 September - 3 October 2008).

Download(2.4 MB)

 


Datum GIS training for BIOTA-East counterparts in Nairobi, 6 – 13 August 2008
Having trained BIOTA-East scholars during the 2nd phase of BIOTA in 2005, this time a GIS training was offered to the main counterpart institutions in Nairobi. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), and Nature Kenya all sent two ‘students’ while National Museums of Kenya (NMK) hosting the venue filled the remaining six seats. Background and GIS knowledge of the participants were rather different and thus the course set-up was a challenge. In the end subproject E02 decided to treat all as beginners, to teach the GIS theory without focusing on particular areas of applications, but to include even complex analysis tasks to be performed by the participants. We aimed to demonstrate that GIS is far more then just the making of maps. While the mornings were packed with lectures on theory and methods of GIS, in the afternoons people were happy to gain practical experience with GIS. Thanks to ESRI Germany the exercises could be performed with ArcGIS, the software in use at the counterpart institutions, although only on selected computers. Subproject E02 took the chance of testing its BiotaEastGIS Tool, a customised GIS developed based on BIOTA experiences allowing for GIS analysis even by GIS-inexperienced users. A presentation on use of GIS and remote sensing within the BIOTA East Africa project open to anyone interested (the room was packed) showed the potential of such analyses in biodiversity research and management. For us teaching the course, it was fun and a pleasure to communicate with people we hardly knew before. For the participants we hope that we have stimulated their interest to find out more about the many things for which a GIS can be used. At least they complained that they would have liked a longer training. Thanks to all who contributed to the success of the course!

 


Datum In a new paper in the journal Science RJ Scholes and colleagues from DIVERSITAS, NASA and GEO present the plans "Toward a Global Biodiversity Observing System" (Vol 321, 1044-45). Full list of authors: R. J. Scholes, G. M. Mace, W. Turner, G. N. Geller, N. Jürgens, A. Larigauderie, D. Muchoney, B. A. Walther, H. A. Mooney.

more
 

Datum The West African Plants Database is now online! Botanists from the Research Institute Senckenberg and the Universities of Frankfurt, Ouagadougou, Rostock and Mainz have contributed more than 3500 plant photos belonging to more than 700 species. But there is about more than just photos – 18 morphological characters of the depicted species have been encoded to assist in plant identification by searching for combinations of character states alone or in combination with taxonomy. Please have a look at www.westafricanplants.senckenberg.de and give it a try!

 


Datum Sign up for BIOTA AFRICA pre- and post-congress excursions.

more


Datum BIOTA East Africa, subproject E02, will conduct a GIS course in Nairobi at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) from August 6th to 13th, 2008. The course will be attended by 12 to 14 participants from four Kenyan counterparts, NMK, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Nature Kenya. Software support is provided by ESRI.  

Datum At the CBD COP-9 Plenary under the chairpersonship of German Minister Gabriel the document titled "Monitoring, Assessment and Indicators" (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/L.19) was adopted.

The Conference of the Parties takes note of the IMoSEB and MA follow-up process and welcomes the agreement of the Executive Director of UNEP to convene an ad hoc open-ended intergovernmental meeting to establish an international science-policy interface on biodiversity, ecosystem and human well-being. The Conference of the Parties invites Parties to ensure that the appropriate experts can attend the meeting. The Conference of the Parties also notes the initiation of GEO BON and invites all stakeholders to support this initiative. The Executive Secretary is requested to continue collaborating with the GEO BON.

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA/
Ute Schmiedel


Datum On 29 May the interim report on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)" was presented at the CBD COP-9 in Bonn.

Global Information on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)"

Interim report on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)"(5.5 MB)

 


Datum BIOTA AFRICA at COP-9 side event (28 May 2008, 13:15 – 14:45, Saal Bonn, Maritim)

BMBF projects: The other perspective: Visions of African stakeholders on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development Stakeholders (land users and decision makers) from four African countries will present and discuss their experiences on joint research and implementation of sustainable use and conservation practices of biodiversity within the African-German BIOTA AFRICA Project. This research project focuses on the effects of land use and climate change on biodiversity in different African biomes. The land users and the decisions makers from Africa will highlight, how global changes affect their livelihoods and what alternatives the joint BIOTA AFRICA has developed in order to sustainably utilise biodiversity and simultaneously generate income in the future. (6 Stakeholders from Africa plus Facilitator) BIOdiversity Monitoring Transect Analysis in Africa (BIOTA-Africa) is a joint German-African research program which investigates the effects of land use and climate change on biodiversity in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d´Ivoire, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda. BIOTA AFRICA - scientifically supports sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity in Africa; - has initiated the development and establishment of a continental biodiversity observation network in Africa which will contribute to the aims and implementation of GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems); - has established a network for observing land degradation and for developing measures to combat and to prevent desertification in Africa; - has developed a network for capacity development and sustainable rural development in Africa.

more

 
Foto: BIOTA AFRICA/
Tene Kwetche


Datum The documentary “Biodiversity is our Life” which BIOTA AFRICA presents on the COP-9 is available on our website.
"Biodiversity is our Life" was edited out of material shot by BIOTA members as part of their research.

more


Datum BIOTA West Africa GIS training workshop in Cotonou (Benin) from 24 to 28 February, successfully completed:

The BIOTA West Remote Sensing Group facilitates a one week GIS training workshop in Benin during February 2008 for 25 BIOTA West PhD students from Benin, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast

more

 


Datum Pressemitteilung: 
Group on Earth Observation – Biodiversity Observation Network (GEOBON)
Neues Netzwerk zur weltumspannenden Beobachtung von Ökosystemen gegründet.


Berlin/Potsdam, 10. April 2008 – Führende Wissenschaftler aus über 35 Staaten haben die Errichtung eines globalen Netzwerks zur Beobachtung der biologischen Vielfalt beschlossen. Das ist das zentrale Ergebnis einer Tagung, die vom 8. bis 10. April in Potsdam stattgefunden hat. Durch die bessere Vernetzung von Geo-Informationsdaten wollen die Wissenschaftler künftig Aussagen darüber treffen können, wo Ökosysteme am stärksten gefährdet sind und mit welchen Maßnahmen sich diese am besten schützen lassen. An dem heute gegründeten GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) sind insgesamt 70 Nationen und 50 Organisationen beteiligt.

more


Datum Floods in Namibia: DLR has posted a new satellite image crisis map related to floods in Namibia (based on TerraSAR-X data) at its website. The map shows the flood situation in the northern Omusati province on March 16, 2008.The water mask was generated from analysis of TerraSAR-X radar satellite imagery. The backdrop is a Landsat ETM satellite image. The map was created at DLR as support to the Charter Call 197.

 - DLR Satellite Image Map: Namibia Omusati Province
 - Flood Extent March 16, 2008 , 1:100,000

more


Graphic: DLR


Datum The BIOTA East Africa geodata catalogue is online. Various GIS datasets and Ready-to-use maps mainly about the research areas in East Africa can be explored.

more

 


Datum The theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2008 (22 May) is "Biodiversity and Agriculture".

more

 


Datum Dr Annette Schavan, German Federal Minister of Education and Research, paid a visit to BIOTA AFRICA in South Africa and Namibia in February 2008.

more

 
Foto: BIOTA


Datum From February 4 to 10, Dr Annette Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research, shall pay a visit to the Republic of South Africa and to the Republic of Namibia. Dr. Schavans´s accompanying delegation includes representatives of different departments of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as representatives of important scientific and economic institutions.

During the visit bilateral research projects play an important role. Among others, in the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) the Minister and the delegation will be informed about the present state of the BIOTA AFRICA project, funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DS&T) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

In Windhoek, Dr. Schavan will meet with several Ministers of the Namibian Government. Various Namibian institutions will present their research profile, activities and projects to the Minister´s delegation. Dr Schavan and her delegation will also visit the BIOTA AFRICA project combined with a field excursion to the BIOTA Biodiversity Observatories Narais and Duruchaus southwest of Windhoek.


more


Foto: BMBF


Datum To enhance the acquisition and pooling of biodiversity data in West Africa, 25 biologists from Benin, Burkina Faso, Germany, Ivory Coast, Niger and Senegal met from December 10 to 13, 2007 in the Research Institute Senckenberg for a joint workshop of BIOTA and SUN.

The digitization of primary biodiversity data in the partner countries was supported by a two-week course from November 24 to December 7, 2007 treating taxonomical and geographical basics, database solutions to observation and collection data, an introduction to MS Access and the inclusion of the acquired data in geographical information systems and spatial modelling.

During the workshop strategies were developped for the pooling and sharing of data as well as its safe storage. The existing database solutions were examined critically and the users proposed further improvements. A follow-up to the workshop for a recapitulation of acquired knowledge and exchange of experiences will take place in Ouagadougou this year.

 


Datum BIOTA Research Facility now operational in the heart of the Gariep Centres of Endemisms and in the centre of the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier National Park.

more

 


Datum 22 November 2007 until 8 June 2008: Interactive Exhibition about the BIOTA Project. On display at the Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany

The itinerant exhibition Africa’s Wealth – Exploration, Use and Conservation of Biodiversity shows results of the project BIOTA AFRICA for the first time to a large public. It will be opened on November 21 and still be visible at the Museum Koenig during the conference of the parties (COP9) until 8 June 2008. On the occasion of the BIOTA Network Congress in autumn 2008 the exhibition will be on display in South Africa. Other places in Africa and Germany will follow.

more

 


Datum The Wiki Decision Support System (DSS) for Bush Encroachment in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia is launched on the Chameleon Website.

This DSS is the result of a joint research programme within the Polytechnic of Namibia, with the Departments Nature Conservation and Agriculture developing the knowledge base and rules and the Department of Software Engineering developing the software. The DSS is a proposed tool to assist in Rangeland Management in semi-arid rangelands.

more
 

Datum On October 6, 2007, Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to the Cape of Good Hope to inform herself of the current status and perspectives of the BIOTA AFRICA project.

more