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The Conservation Knowledge Commons: Putting Biodiversity Data and Information to Work for Conservation

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Hammond, T.; Moritz, Thomas; Agosti, D.
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/2132
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region:
Subject(s): biodiversity
conservation
open access
knowledge
commons
IASC
Abstract: "Timely access to the best available data, information, and knowledge on biodiversity is an essential prerequisite for successful conservation. We consider empirically responsible conservation-- or 'evidence-based conservation' to be essential for this success. We also consider the conservation community or conservation 'domain' to be those organizations which are specifically dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity, through policy development, hands-on effort, or research. "Accessing the best available biodiversity data or ensuring wide dissemination of conservation knowledge are not simple tasks. Much of the data, information and knowledge on biodiversity that conservation practitioners and scientists require is fragmented, difficult to find, or simply inaccessible. Weak integration of conservation knowledge assets is considerably magnified in developing countries or countries in transition, where the consequences of limited access to data and barriers posed by the technological 'digital divide' present enormous challenges to successful conservation efforts on the ground. "Unimpeded access to biodiversity data and information assets is also critical for effective policy formulation and decision making. The lack of comprehensive time series data on the status of biodiversity or of current, comprehensive data on land uses may result in weak understanding of the impact of climate change on biodiversity. Importantly, incomplete access to biodiversity data may also result in the undervaluation of biodiversity in development impact assessment. "This paper focuses on current issues of access to biodiversity data in the conservation community, and discusses ongoing efforts to address these challenges. While some barriers are technical in nature, most find their origins in institutional or organizational culture or approach. The work of the Conservation Commons will also be presented, along with lessons learned to date from this effort in developing a knowledge commons in the biodiversity conservation domain."

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