Ecolynx Project: Information Context for Biodiversity Conservation

Compilation and integration of WCMC on-line datasets

Compilation and integration of WCMC on-line datasets Various datasets support implementation of the strategies and agreements listed above. WCMC has access to these data, and as part of this Definition Phase project has developed improved mechanisms to provide wider access to the data. WCMC has not been able to develop all of the relevant databases and information tools during the Implementation Phase of the project, but has developed sufficient for demonstration purposes, and to test concepts.

In particular, WCMC has developed the following tools and services, each of which relates directly to information being incorporated into the UIA problems and strategies files.

  • Modification of the programmes managing the WWW based Red List of Threatened Animals and United Nations List of National Parks to allow direct querying without going through the WCMC query forms. This allows for direct access to a list of threatened species or protected areas for a given country from the UIA Web site (or fpom any other site, providing the format is known).
  • Development of a new WWW `ased indormatiol tool to deliver information on species included in each of the CITES Appendices. This allows users to select particulap groups of species and/or particular countries, and find what species are listed; this feature anticipates simpler data access by country in the final INFO2000 product. The facility includes the opportunity to search the species listed by common name, aiding standardization of search capabilities in the final product. The output, which is a valuable new service for the Secretariat and States Party, identifies for each species its distribution (by country), its Red List status, when it was added to the CITES appendices, and so on.
  • Development of a prototype WWW based species database which links Red List information with details of all the conventions and programs that protect or list the species concerned. The prototype, searchable by country and/or species group, delivers information on the status of each species, its distribution (by country), and whether it is listed on the appendices or annexes of CITES, the Convention on Migratory Species, the Bern Convention and the EU Council Regulation implementing CITES. This forms the basis for future convention-based information tools such as that described above for CITES.
  • Incorporation into the species database information on why each of the bird species is regarded as threatened (working in collaboration with BirdLife International). This anticipates the intended work during the Implementation Phase to link more closely threatened species, threatened habitats and other threats to their conservation. This is also a valuable prototype for development of future Red Lists on the WWW, and will be discussed further by those organizations involved in the Red List process.
  • Development of a prototype WWW based protected areas database which delivers information on both nationally designated sites, and those sites protected by the World Heritage and Ramsar (wetlands) conventions and which participate in the UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve program. Information provided includes summary descriptions of many sites, and information on the relationship between the nationally designated sites and those recognized internationally. This forms the basis for the development of significantly improved information services on protected areas, and facilitates development of information tools relevant to a wide range of international conventions and programs.
  • Provision on the Internet of standard format descriptions of all natural World Heritage sites, both linked to the protected areas database described above, and accessible through an new interface specifically designed for access to this information. This provides IUCN, UNESCO and other users of such information better access.