Digital Tools and Biodiversity

01 Aug, 2022

Developing digital tools for biodiversity conservation and management

Compiled by Neha Owaisy, Communications Advisor, GIZ

Digitalisation brings many challenges to international cooperation, including inadequate infrastructure, a skills shortage and problems with IT security, but also many opportunities. It can be a game changer: it can change the framework conditions, provide networking opportunities beyond borders and open up new avenues for action. This has proven especially relevant during the coronavirus pandemic and will remain so after it.

The last few years have seen an increased need, interest and launch of many digital tools in India for outreach and governance. Some tools were developed under the ambit of the Indo-German partnership jointly with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department (HPFD) in the thematic areas of sustainable use of biodiversity, forest ecosystem services, wetland management and human-wildlife conflict mitigation. While most tools were developed to help policymakers in effective decision-making by providing relevant and up-to-date information from the field, the others also created a space for discussion, exchange and citizen science.

Access and Benefit-Sharing Monitoring System

Recognising the need to access information related to people and institutions accessing biological resources from India for research and commercial use, a tool was developed with the aim to unify this information into one standard format with a software to browse this big volume data efficiently. The Access and Benefit-Sharing Monitoring System (ABS-MS) is a cloud-based system that integrates real-time information from globally available data sources and tracks information on the use of bioresources and associated traditional knowledge of Indian origin, conveying it to the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) of India. It also indicates if prior permission for access was obtained by the User. The tool has been established at the NBA and was launched on 22 May 2019 by the Hon’ble Vice- President of India. More about ABS-MS

Long-Term Ecological Monitoring

Most long-term forest monitoring systems only focus on the growth of timber species, very few are designed on ecosystem dynamics (Tewari et al. 2014) and none for monitoring ecosystem services. The lack of long-term data on forests, ecosystem dynamics and the supply of ecosystem services deters quantifying services from forests. The Long-Term Ecological Monitoring (LTEM) System is an online decision support system installed in the server of the state forest department of Himachal Pradesh (HPFD) that supports decision-makers to understand the dynamics of forest ecosystem for developing appropriate management strategies to ensure sustained flow of ecosystem services for the society. To sustain LTEM, the HPFD has institutionalised the system with the working plan division. More about LTEM

Wetlands of India Portal

The ‘Wetlands of India Portal’ is a one-stop destination for all wetland-related information that may be useful for wetland authorities and site managers, administrators, decision-makers, students, and citizens. It is a dynamic knowledge repository for wetlands in India, making information available as provided by various users via a management information system (MIS) dashboard. The users include wetland authorities of states and union territories (SWAs), MoEF&CC, wetland site managers, knowledge partners and even citizens. The SWAs play a key role in populating further information of wetlands in their administration and features like the Health Card dashboard enable wetland monitoring over time. The portal also hosts an interactive map with wetlands profiles, resources like educational films, resource material for students, success stories of wetland champions and provides citizens the opportunity to register themselves as a wetland mitra (friend) and contribute towards wetland management. It was launched by the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 2 Oct 2021 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. More about the portal

Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Database and Platform

Together with our partners a national database is also being developed to facilitate information management on the human-wildlife conflict (HWC) situation in India and strengthen the understanding of its drivers and effectiveness of mitigation measures. In addition, a communication platform for key stakeholders to discuss HWC issues, mitigation options and good practices will allow full engagement of all the relevant stakeholders in line with the holistic approach of the project.

Digital transformation impacts all areas of life and affects aspects of society as a whole. For this reason, GIZ uses a variety of tried and tested cross-sectoral approaches, and instruments to design suitable digital solutions in the best possible way. In this way, partners are supported in making their governmental, economic and social activities more sustainable, inclusive and fit for the future.





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