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AfriBes. Cross-cutting intelligence on biodiversity and ecosystems services in Africa : towards a social network of scientific and technical information for Africa

Thibon M., Babin D., Ezzine de Blas D., Helmer T.. 2010. In : IAALD ; Agropolis In. Scientific and technical information and rural development = Information scientifique et technique et développement rural : éclairages sur des pratiques innovantes : IAALD XIIIth World Congress, Montpellier, France, 26-29 april 2010. Montpellier : s.n., 5 p.. IAALD World Congress. 13, 2010-04-26/2010-04-29, Montpellier (France).

In 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was the first global assessment tasked with measuring ecosystem services for human well-being worldwide. In 2006, an international consultation was launched to assess the need, scope and options for an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB). The African regional consultation provided a set of needs and recommendations for how knowledge could be better harnessed to meet the needs of African Biodiversity stakeholders, namely: to foster a spirit of information sharing; to develop a wiki type system; creating a synergy between possessors of traditional knowledge and scientists; to promote South-South cooperation. After completion of IMoSEB consultations and the MA Follow-up, UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) took the lead to set-up an Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). An African social network could be seen as one of the means to create and strengthen social ties among African communities, researchers, and policymakers, and contribute to science-policy interface with individual inputs. Such a social and non-institutional network could also bring real added-value to existing information and expertise, while fostering their dissemination and use in decision-making processes for sustainable development. This network on biodiversity and ecosystem, based on Web 2.0 technologies, and characterized by user participation, openness, interconnectivity and interactivity of web-delivered content will allow envisaging a Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development IAALD XIIIth World Congress, Montpellier, 26-29 April 2010 2 number of objectives: building up an African collective and distributed intelligence; using peer-to peer networking;-fostering dialogue; creating a forum between information suppliers and producers; and establishing an E-learning capacity building centre. The development of AfriBes in 2010 will go through its representation as a case study of the EC-FP SPIRAL (Science-Policy Interface for Biodiversity).

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