News (As at the end of 2009)
BIOTA Southern Africa performs at the Arid Zone Ecology Forum (AZEF) 2009: AZEF took place in the historical Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa from 5-8 October 2009. The theme of the conference was “Biodiversity conservation in arid zones: people, species and landscapes”
The Namibian Rangeland Forum held its 13th annual meeting on 27-29 October 2009 at the Neudamm campus of the University of Namibia's Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, east of Windhoek.
A metadata overview has been set up in the renewed data portal. The metadata overview provides information about available data.
A new data portal about available BIOTA AFRICA data is online.
BIOTA East Africa: Third Place Award for "Best Multimedia Map" at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego (USA).
BIOTA East Africa: Checklist of Kakamega fruit flies is online.
BIOTA East Africa: Checklist of Kakamega bee species is online. The bee diversity of Kakamega Forest has been largely underestimated. Recent investigation revealed a ten-fold increase in species numbers. However, the taxonomic evaluation still continues.
Namakwa Environmental Expo 10-11 July 2009:
The "Namakwa Tomorrow" Environmental Expo was held at the Goegap Nature Reserve outside Springbok in the Northern Cape, South Africa.
BIOTA East Africa: Continuation of Biodiversity inventory
Kakamega Forest is a hotspot of bird diversity in Eastern Africa and has been assigned an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
Bridging the Gap. Para-Ecologists in Action:
The eight BIOTA para-ecologists from South Africa and Namibia produced a documentary on their activities.
BIOTA Maroc: The exhibition "Man and Nature at the Northern Fringe of the Sahara" is opened in the "Desert Garden" in the Botanical Garden of the University of Hamburg in Hamburg Klein Flottbek. The exhibition shows, by means of selected habitats and crucial processes, the interactions between man and environment on the desert fringe.
4 Juni 2009 till 15 October 2009: Interactive Exhibition Africa's Wealth - Exploration, Use and Conservation of Biodiversity about the BIOTA Project. On display at the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town, South Africa
BIOTA East Africa: Biodiversity inventory goes online
In a first step, three checklists for amphibians, reptiles, and dragonflies of Kakamega Forest provide information about the diversity and ecology of these animal groups. The species accounts provide detailed information about voucher specimens, distribution, and other relevant data.
10-day BIOTA West Africa Atlas work meeting:
The local coordinators of BIOTA West Africa and the Atlas Team of Frankfurt/M. met for an intensive work meeting in Frankfurt/M.
Major boost in BIOTA-East geodata catalogue:
A major update was carried out on the geodata service of the BIOTA East Africa GIS. The catalogue now includes twice as many entries: more than 200 updated or new geodatasets and associated metadata regarding physical-geographic, demographic and administrative related data, topographic maps and aerial as well as satellite imagery are available for download.
For the Observatory Mile 46/Mutompo in Namibia's Kavango region a list translating scientific botanical species names into vernacular names in Rukwangali - a prerequisite for communication with local stakeholders - is available.
BIOTA project represents a "Best Practice case":
BIOTA AFRICA was highlighted as one of three best practice cases for international research cooperation during an expert discussion on the topic "Scientific cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies" in Berlin, Germany, on March 18th 2009. The high-level expert discussion was organized by the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group. The Federal Minister of Education and Research, Dr. Annette Schavan, highlighted the importance of "science as a key for development".
18 March 2009 - BIOTA in Parliament: The CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group organises a workshop on scientific cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies, involving BIOTA AFRICA.
A small team of BIOTA AFRICA and the Brasilian BIOTA FAPESP project participated in an "Angolan Biodiversity Assessment Capacity Building Project", organised by SANBI, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, and ISCED, the "Instituto Superior de Ciencias de Educacao", at Lubango.
A German film with the collaboration of BIOTA AFRICA: "Langsames Sterben am Kap - Klimawandel im südlichen Afrika", Richard Klug, ARD-Studio Johannesburg (in German).
German TV Phoenix, 29 November 2008 11:00
Successful start of the International Congress on Biodiversity of Africa at Spier, South Africa
BIOTA AFRICA paraecologists accepting on behalf of the BIOTA AFRICA team the exhibitors award for the best stand which was given to the whole cluster of exhibitors of the German stand by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) at the INSITE 2008 in Johannesburg.
Bee Biology and Pollination Ecology Course in Nairobi, 4 – 28 August 2008
A Wiki portal has been created at the University of Bayreuth, in order to manage and present online data on the BIOTA Southern Africa "Lichen monitoring" project.
GIS training for BIOTA-East counterparts in Nairobi, 6 – 13 August 2008
In a new paper in the journal Science RJ Scholes and colleagues from DIVERSITAS, NASA and GEO present the plans "Toward a Global Biodiversity Observing System" (Vol 321, 1044-45).
Dr Annette Schavan, German Federal Minister of Education and Research, paid a visit to BIOTA AFRICA in South Africa and Namibia in February 2008.