Open Biodiversity Data: Serving Nature Conservation in Ukraine

12 Aug 2021 Luhansk Region, Ukraine, Europe Biodiversity | Fungi | Mammals | Plants

Oleksii Vasyliuk

Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group (UNCG) was first established in 2014 as a group of enthusiastic nature-conservationists from different regions of Ukraine. In 2018 we registered UNCG as the NGO. Our mission is to combine efforts, skills and expertise of researchers, conservationists and volunteers for conservation of threatened taxa and endangered habitats in Ukraine. Our goals are: - gathering biodiversity data; - establishment of protected areas; - development of the Emerald Network; - environmental education; - public control of environment impact assessment; - development of management plans for protected areas and protected species; - participating and coordination of on-ground species conservation. We work in different regions of Ukraine. UNCG has a good track record of establishment of protected areas.

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UNCG became an independent publisher of biodiversity data in Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) in late 2020. So far, we have mobilized almost 151.000 records from Ukraine and adjacent areas. Our datasets covered wide range of taxa - freshwater fish, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, plants. Our special interest is in gathering data for endangered species.

In this project, we will gather approximately 50,000 records of protected animals, plants and fungi. This will be a backbone for establishment of new protected areas and Emerald Network sites, as well as for development of management plans for already existing protected areas. As a result, we will prepare documents for all the important sites identified and provide them directly to the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Ukraine. Our gathered data on the occurrences of protected species will facilitate the establishment of new protected areas.

We will also develop and popularize methodology for biodiversity data collection and publishing on GBIF. We believe that open biodiversity data is one of the key factors in further development of nature conservation.

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