9 September 2012

Rwanda: Lack of Information Sharing Threatens Environment Conservation

Lack of a clear coordination mechanism to enable environmental watchdogs share information is posing a threat to efforts being made in conserving environment in the region, observes ARCOS, a regional organisation dedicated to conserve the Albertine Rift biodiversity.

Dr Sam Kanyamibwa, the Executive Secretary of ACROS, says it was difficult for organisations working in line with government's environment programmes to work towards a common goal as accessing information from each other is a big challenge.

Kanyamibwa said that their organisation came up with an initiative to partner with various organisations in the region, as well as a new strategy to enable information sharing.

"For sometime now, we have been working on how to develop a regional biodiversity data portal, a hub for information sharing in the region through a database driven website," said Kanyamibwa.

The initiative is called the Albertine Rift Biodiversity Monitoring and Information Systems (ARBMIS).

He observed that the current challenge in making the initiative effective is the capacity for each organisation to be able to disseminate information.

To overcome this, ACROS with support from JRS Biodiversity Foundation, is carrying out capacity building training workshops with representatives from the identified organizations.

On Friday, participants from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo completed the second workshop training on information sharing.

The first was conducted last year. The previous training focused on steps through which each organisation will upload and publish the required data on the website with emphasis on security measures.

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