National Biodiversity Data Bank Stakeholders hold Consultative Meeting.
The meeting held on April 09th, 2015 at Protea Hotel Kampala, jointly sponsored by USAID together with the government of Uganda was aimed at reviewing the challenges facing the National Bio-Data Bank (NBDB), proposing strategies for revitalising it's operation.
It attracted various key players in the biodiversity and nature conservation sector, with a spectrum of members coming from various organisations such as; Makerere University, Wildlife conservation society (WCS), National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), Total E&P, Nature Uganda, National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO). USAID TETRA-TECH project, among others.
The principal – CAES, Prof. Bernard Bashasha in his welcome remarks briefed the members about the current state and structural formation of the NBDB under the new Makerere University collegiate system. He also underscored the importance of the meeting as a timely act to review and strengthen the centre’s position and usefulness in the wake of global climatic challenge and biodiversity loss.
Prof. Bernard Bashasha giving meeting opening remarks
The principal underpinned the need to revamp the operations of the bio-data bank after a pause in its operations for over a year due to funding and management issues, and called upon renewed support and corporation from partner organisations even as the university moves resolve the issues that led to halting of its operations.
Mr. Francis Ogwal from NEMA, briefed members about the plans by NEMA to assist the NBDB in developing a comprehensive biodiversity data bank with support from IGAD, and pledged to work with the National Bio-diversity Data bank to ensure that the quality of data is upheld, and that the centre lives up to its potential of meeting national biodiversity data storage and accessibility needs.
Mr. Francis Ogwal making his presentation during the meeting
Prof. D. Pomeroy, a long time active member of the National Bio-data bank in his speech noted that among the major challenge to the previous operations of the NBDB was the inconsistent funding, whereby funding was majorly from projects which often ended and left the centre with no reliable source of funding.
Prof. D. Pomeroy making his presentation at the meeting
He underscored the need for standards to check for accuracy and regulate the quality of data gathered for biodiversity data bank use as the centre resumes its activities. He also advised that as the bio-data bank moves forward, it is important to recruit skilled and qualified staff to ensure that the quality of data gathered and stored for the bank use is up to international standard use.
Members from several organisations pledged their organisations’ continued support to the bio-data bank even as Makerere University looks to restructure and revamp it’s the operations.
The meeting resolved to form a board and a committee with the role of overseeing and advising on the operations of the bio-data bank to ensure its sustainability and growth.
cross-section of members who attended the meeting.
Prof. James Okot-Okumu, the Head, Department of Environmental Management and organiser of the meeting thanked USAID TETRA-TECH for funding the meeting and members for heeding to the call for the meeting. He pledged the department’s commitment to towards hosting the centre.