Review of Policies for Biodiversity Informatics in Central Africa: Case Studies of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Gabon

Pamela Ann Abbott, Aime Tsinda, Roger Mugisha

Research output: Working paper


Biodiversity informatics is an emerging discipline which deals with the collection, collation, analysis, prediction, and dissemination of data and information related to the earth’s biotic resources. This article is a review of the policy and legislation instruments relevant to biodiversity informatics, grouped in four categories, (i) mobilizing biodiversity data, (ii) standards, protocols, and tools, (iii) informatics infrastructure-building initiatives, and (iv) capacity-building, outreach and open access initiatives. A meta-analysis of 705 documents on policies, legislations and papers about biodiversity data management in Central Africa (Case studies of DRC and Gabon) was conducted. A number of search engines were used to find policies, legislation and articles relevant to this review. Results showed that although significant efforts have been invested in developing policies, the enactment of biodiversity-related legislation and establishing institutions is still weak. Successful implementation and enforcement of policies is greatly impeded by several factors which, in turn, constitute challenges to biodiversity data management. Weaknesses in institutional frameworks are characterized, among other factors, by poor coordination, inadequate funding of biodiversity protection, corruption and jurisdictional conflicts. Findings from this review suggest that the governments of DRC and Gabon need to take urgent action to reform flawed biodiversity-related policy and legal instruments, ensure their effective enforcement and strengthen the institutions in charge of biodiversity conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

This article draws on a research carried out as part of a project that aims to review policies that promote biodiversity informatics in Sub-Saharan Africa. This project is being funded by JRS Biodiversity Foundation and is being carried out by the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR-Rwanda). Therefore, the authors would like to thank Dr Don S. Doering, the Executive Director of JRS Biodiversity Foundation and his team for their invaluable support.


  • biodiversity
  • informatics
  • policy
  • DRC
  • Gabon


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