Implementing the development of national and international biodiversity information networks to enhance the collection, sharing, analysis and distribution of data and information required for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends updating, analysing and interpreting data derived from identification, sampling and evaluation activities.
The World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge (UK), maintains databases on threatened and endangered plant and animal species, critical sites and habitats of conservation concern, protected areas of the world and utilization and trade in wildlife species and products. It periodically produces reports on their status and trends and also produces a wide variety of specialist outputs and reports based on analysis of its data. It provides an information service to the conservation and development communities, governments and the UN agencies, scientific institutions, the business and commercial sector and the media.
The aim of the All Species Inventory is, within the span of our own generation, to record and genetically sample every living species of life on Earth. It intends to enlist people from all over the world to complete this project in one generation, meaning 25 years.
A substantial amount of data and information that is necessary for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources exists. This is held by many governmental and non- governmental agencies in herbaria or museum collections, on electronic databases, and in libraries or other resource centres. However, much of this information is in a form which cannot be easily used by managers, researchers, decision-makers or the general public. The situation is aggravated by the fact that many of the initiatives to collect data and information on biodiversity are uncoordinated.