Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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“Bioinformatics-led Solutions For sustainable Natural Resources management in Rwanda (BS4NR)”
Prosper Karame

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rum 10
Date: 2014-10-28 12:00 PM – 12:15 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-04


There is growing global consensus that the rate of environmental change due to human-induced threats and climate change has already exceeded the capacity of some species and ecosystems to adapt naturally, and is close to exceeding that of many more. In response, as time goes by, policies and management strategies in place target the preservation of the integrity of ecosystems, safeguarding species, preserving their habitats and ensuring the sustainable production and use of ecosystem services.

The success of such a great mission strongly relies on the accessibility of the best available information on biodiversity. The processes of collecting, aggregating, synthesizing and publishing data constitute an important step. This way, current and future research priorities target the availability of the most reliable and affordable tools for information management and data administration. However, several challenges are still undermining the application in Africa, particularly in Rwanda. In fact, the lack of information on biodiversity, adequate technology facilities and expertise as well as gaps and inaccuracies in existing information still constitute serious obstacles. Missing links between scientific knowledge and the planning of the country’s development strategies is a regrettable weakness as well (Karame et al. 2013).  Decisively, in the quest to sustainably use biodiversity resources, it is still a priority to integrate biodiversity information systems and networks to mobilise and manage credible, high quality data for research and to provide instruction and decision support (Morris et al. 2013).

Fortunately, Rwanda is dedicated to overcoming highlighted challenges by prioritizing cutting-edge research and technology. Through the Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA), the bioinformatics journey towards biodiversity information availability and use in Rwanda is no longer a dream.  Engaging the Ministry of Natural Resources has been an important asset for the journey. Current programmes target establishing bioinformatics-supported management systems for rational decision making towards sustainable use of biodiversity resources.

This presentation will highlight the efforts of MINIRENA in the centre of action supporting collaborative research platforms building a national science decision-making system for sustainable management of resources. Practical case studies summarise the nationwide registration, digitalization and mapping of lands, issuance of land titles, national forest resources data management system (Systeme d’ Information et Evaluation Permanente, SIEP) to be operational in the near future, and ongoing efforts to establish a national biodiversity data administration portal. Future directions will focus on adopting and adapting recommended best practices to update the journey and propel Rwanda to its destination.