Project title BON in a Box Africa: Toolkits for Biodiversity Observations
Implementing Institutions Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, (Leipzig, Germany)
Country(ies) Ghana, Uganda and Mozambique
Abstract This project will produce a BON (Biodiversity Observation Network) in a Box toolkit for sub-Saharan Africa. Acting as a technology transfer mechanism, it is a customizable, on-line and smart toolkit for facilitating the start-up or enhancement of national and regional observation systems. The toolkit is being developed currently for Latin America and will be expanded and customized for sub-Saharan Africa using Ghana, Uganda and Mozambique as pilot countries. This directly supports IPBES capacity building agenda. 
Project Description This project will produce a biodiversity observation toolkit for Africa (BON in a Box). As a technology transfer system, it is a customizable, on-line toolkit for facilitating the start-up/enhancement of national/regional observation systems. It is being developed for Latin America and will be customized for Africa using Ghana, Uganda & Mozambique as pilot countries.

Globally, biodiversity data is spatially & temporally limited, poorly integrated due to widely varying methodologies & standards, and most existing observation systems are poorly funded and not well connected to policy. This limits our ability to support informed & timely conservation, management & assessments, particularly in tropical regions. Concurrently, advances in biodiversity observation methodologies, models & tools (e.g. remote sensing, e-DNA) continue. However, no system exists to facilitate rapid discovery/access of these tools.

The project will direct serve IPBES capacity building (2.7, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.6). It will directly link to a UNEP WCMC project to mainstream biodiversity information into policy-making. Using the Latin American pilot enhances South-South cooperation where both regions can structure monitoring programs of joint interest and facilitate capacity building. Development will be directed by the needs of national agencies in the context of the Aichi Targets and the IPBES global and regional assessments. The online system will be maintained by GEO BON and builds upon existing institutional partners and support who maintain a number of biodiversity observation tools.

Project Objectives and expected Achievables Objectives and Achievables:

1. Functioning and sustained online toolkits in use in Uganda, Ghana and Mozambique

2. Direct replication and accessibility of online systems for use in all sub-Saharan countries

3. Greater quantity and quality (e.g. interoperable and accessible) biodiversity data available to support IPBES assessments and CBD National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans

4. Lowered costs and more efficient and integrated biodiversity observation systems within Africa and between tropical regions

Success Measures:

1. Online systems functioning and in use by government departments in all three countries

2. Online systems and tools continually managed and updated by GEO BON and its partners

3. BON in a Box online systems in use in at least five other African countries

4. Direct and clear access to current biodiversity data for IPBES regional and global assessments as well as CBD National Reports and NBSAPs

5. Comparable data standards and methodologies in place amongst and between African and Latin American countries. 

6. At least 5 new national biodiversity observation systems in place by 2020.


Timeframe 3 years
Geographic Scale Multinational
Seeking Resources for: Project implementation
Type of Resources/Support needed: Financial, Technical
Project relevance: 
Projects and activities of interest to IPBES and partners