Hindu Kush-Himalayan countries will use a global platform to share biodiversity data

15 Jun 2010


Some twenty-five representatives from the eight countries of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region are meeting in Kathmandu from 14 to 18 June to discuss ‘Open access to and publishing of mountain biodiversity data from the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region’. The representatives, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan have been brought together in a workshop jointly organised by ICIMOD in collaboration with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA).

The participants will use the opportunity provided by the GBIF/GMBA global platform to publish, harvest, and use biodiversity data from the region. Following the principles of free and open access to biodiversity data, and mutual benefits for scientific research, conservation, and sustainable development, the countries have initiated a partnership process to adopt globally standardised and harmonised biodiversity information. The workshop will introduce international data and metadata standards, geo-referencing of biodiversity data, and use of data in policy making.

Mr Berend de Groot, ICIMOD Director of Programme Operations, welcomed the participants and emphasised the importance of long-term partnerships among ICIMOD’s member countries and global partners to promote standardised and harmonised biodiversity data and information. This is urgently needed to fill the gaps in data revealed by the 4th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The ‘Transect Approach’ being promoted by ICIMOD for biodiversity assessment and long-term monitoring in the region should be linked to these activities.

Delivering the  Key Note Address, Dr Vishwas Chavan from GBIF emphasised the importance of information management as an integral part of the research agenda. He urged the regional countries and thematic global partners to use the opportunity to mainstream biodiversity informatics. Dr Eva Sphen from GMBA stressed how global biodiversity datasets can be used to address questions related to mountain biodiversity data and that there is an urgent need to broaden the data types to supplement biodiversity data. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Krishna Prasad Acharya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal welcomed the approaches and emphasised the importance of free access data for effective conservation and the importance of supporting such initiatives.    

For further information contact
Dr Nakul Chettri
Team Leader
Biodiversity Conservation and Management
email: nchettri@icimod.org

Ms Nira Gurung
Communications Officer
email: info@icimod.org, ngurung@icimod.org