WCMC Handbooks on Biodiversity Information Management

2310-2306 (online)
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This series supports those making decisions on the conservation and sustainable use of living resources. The handbooks are training materials designed to build information-management capacity, improve decision-making and assist countries in meeting their obligations under Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Although written to address the specific need for improved management of biodiversity-related information at the national level, the underlying principles apply to environmental information in general, and to decision-making at all levels. The issues and concepts presented may also be applied in the context of specific sectors, such as forestry, agriculture and wildlife management.

Information Management Capacity, Volume 6

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Commonwealth Secretariat
01 Jan 1998
9781848596412 (PDF)
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  • Introduction

    The phrase ‘information management capacity’ means different things to different people. To some, it applies only to the hardware and software necessary to build databases and information systems. To others, it encompasses the political commitment, constructive policies and public support necessary to apply information to the resolution of environmental concerns.

  • Institutional Survey

    When large numbers of organisations are involved in a survey, it may become very demanding in both cost and time. Taken from the design of the questionnaire to the analysis of the final results, a survey conducted at the national level, for example, covering upwards of 50 organisations, could take up to six months to complete. For this reason, it is essential to engage the full support and resources of the network's partners, by making it clear to them why the survey is being conducted and how it will be used to benefit them.

  • Analysing the Results

    The results of the survey can be analysed in a number of ways depending on the circumstances in which it was conducted and the requirements placed on it by the lead organisation. In general, the analysis profiles the organisations concerned in such a way that capacity-building activities can be planned in a consistent and transparent manner. This is especially true if the analysis is to be used to allocate or redistribute resources, for instance financial resources.

  • Strategic Planning

    Having assessed the distribution and quality of existing capacity, the next step is to create plans for the development of new capacities to achieve organisational and the network's goals. The survey prepares the ground for this endeavour, ensuring that these plans reflect the true needs of participating organisations for investment and cooperation.

  • Case Study: Biodiversity Data Management (BDM) Project, Ghana

    Several policies and programmes exist in Ghana for sustainable development of natural resources and the environment. Ghana's Vision 2020, for example, sets the framework for Ghana to become a middle income country by the year 2020, recognising that success will depend on the integration of science and technology in the various development programmes to ensure the integrity of the environment.

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