Benin became associate member of GBIF since December 2004. I was appointed Node manager in November 2009. Since then and, thanks to the signature of the SEP-CEPDEC’s contract by the Head of Delegation M. Oudé Pascal, we successfully undertook many activities:
1. Our first national meeting took place on 28 April 2010. At this occasion we presented GBIF to the potential partners of GBIF-Benin. They were representatives of various institutions dealing with some aspects of biodiversity. As a main result of this meeting, the representatives of the National Herbarium of Benin, Professor Akoègninou Akpovi and his Assistant Dr Yédomonhan Paul decided to publish data on GBIF-Portal. Actually, Benin effectively published data on GBIF portal, thanks to them.
2. A national survey was done in July 2011 on the biodiversity information users and holders. As main results we noted that:
- Data holders are mainly researchers (61%) and lecturers (35%). As for the nature of the data held, the IITA has at least 220 000 specimens of insects; the National herbarium of Benin has at least 50000 specimens of plants; the Botanical garden contains at least 600 plants species and other institutions contain at least 1000 specimens of plants and animals.
- Data users are mainly researchers (52%), lecturers (31%), producers (14%) and others. The Data used are plant species (33%), animal species (20%), plant and animal species (17%) and others (genes, ecosystems…) (30%).
- The uncovered data concerned Fauna, Micro fauna (birds, reptiles …) and Cryptogams.
- The mains constraints of biodiversity information development in Benin are mainly lack of informatics materials (hard and software) for biodiversity data management; lack of biodiversity portal; limited access to internet, lack of human resources in about 56% of the data holder institutions…
3. The second national meeting and related events took place in Benin on 25 and 26 August 2011. More than 100 people from various institutions attended the meeting. The meeting was opened by the Director of the cabinet of the Minister in charge of scientific research and Education at University levels. In parallel sessions, biodiversity data holders and users made useful exchange of ideas. As a result of this, the data holders decided to publish their data on GBIF portal. A parallel session of training also took place on the presentation of GBIF data, the usefulness of GBIF and GBIF-Benin data.