Presenter: M. Kgatla – SANBI

Pretoria – Proper planning for biodiversity conservation requires the support of quality and reliable primary data. The FBIP has been funding research in South Africa specifically for generating primary data, including observation and specimen data.

Accurate identification of specimens is a critical aspect of data and so DNA barcoding and taxonomic research are also supported. All data generated through the FBIP-funded projects have to be provided to the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the data sets must be made openly accessible.

To date the FBIP has funded five large projects: the SeaKeys project, which generated more than 145 589 records; the BioGaps project, which is involved in surveys of the Karoo as well as mobilisation of data from specimens in collections; a survey of animals in the forests of the Eastern Cape, Snapshot Safari, which will generate large numbers of mammal camera trap records; and the most recent funded project is on microbiomes of two major crops in South Africa.

FBIP has also funded approximately 120 small projects. The total number of occurrence records generated to date is more than 319 199 and more records of data is anticipated as projects provide their data sets.

This data can help improve spatial planning for biodiversity conservation.