Welcome to the homepage of the “Digital Technologies for
Marine Biodiversity Data Handling in East Africa – Data Linking People (NeDiT)
” project, a collaborative effort of the Institute for Marine Sciences on Zanzibar, Tanzania and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Bremen, Germany. It aims to support the use of new and innovative digital technologies for policy-making in marine resource management in Eastern Africa. The overall objective is to contribute to improved handling of biodiversity data in East Africa, which includes providing and assessing data as well as communicating data. A focus of the project is on integrating data and raising the awareness and capacities for the exchange of data building on the existing experiences. The NeDiT project is part of the MeerWissen initiative, which was launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This initiative seeks to give policy-makers the information they need to take knowledge-based decisions for the effective management and conservation of Africa’s ocean and coasts. Find out more at www.meerwissen.org!

Rationale of the programme:

Nowadays, marine biodiversity databases are well-established tools to record species occurrence and distribution. And they are also becoming increasingly important resources for conservation managers and political decision makers. In the past decades a range of online marine biodiversity databases have been developed, ranging from national to global spatial scopes. They also differ widely in terms of the focus on specific taxa (e.g. whales, sharks and rays or algae) towards those which encompass several larger taxonomic groups.

And while especially the larger databases are supported by global supranational institutions the smaller ones were often initiated through individual efforts or short-term projects. Therefore, due to the large differences in scope, funding, data policies and standards the overall accessibility and options to deposit or retrieve data vary considerably among the surveyed databases.