PROGRESS REPORT Consultancy:“Definition of the products and providersfor the consultancy to develop theplatform for the monitoring andevaluation system of the biodiversity ofCentral America: software and acquisitionof hardware to operate the BiodiversityThematic Node.”Presented as a product of the consultancy for the PROMEBIO-BID-CCAD-Zamorano Project.MSc. Suyapa Triminio Meyer, PROMEBIO-BID Project Coordinator, email@example.comResponsible for the report: MSc. Boris Ramírez August 31st, 2010
LIST OF ACRONYMSBID Inter American Development BankCCAD Central American Commission for the Environment and DevelopmentCOP/CBD Conference of the Parties – Convention on Biological DiversityDwC Darwin Core Standard. http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/DarwinCore/DarwinCoreDraftStandardGBIF: Global Biodiversity Information Facility. www.gbif.org (administrative). www.gbif.net (data).IABIN: Inter American Biodiversity Information Network. www.iabin.netINBio National Biodiversity Institute of Costa RicaIRBIO Regional Biodiversity InstituteNGOs Non-Government OrganizationsPARCA Environmental Plan of the Central American RegionPROMEBIO Biodiversity Monitoring and Evaluation ProgramREMIB Global Biodiversity Information NetworkSIAM Meso-American Environmental Information SystemSICA Central American Integration SystemSINIA National Environmental Information SystemTAPIR TDWG Access Protocol for Information RetrievalTDWG: Biodiversity Information Standards (initiative). www.tdwg.orgUSGS U.S. Geological Survey
1. Background:The CCAD has received a donation from the Inter American Development Bank (BID) inthe framework of the Regional Public Goods Initiative, to develop the regional platform forthe monitoring and evaluation of biodiversity in Central America. The main objective of thisplatform is to make operational the Biodiversity Monitoring and Evaluation Program(PROMEBIO), articulated with the Biodiversity Thematic Node, eliminating asymmetriesregarding the generation and availability of biodiversity information of Central America.The project’s Central Implementing Unit is the Regional Biodiversity Institute (IRBIO) whichis located in the Pan-American Agriculture School. This strategic program (PROMEBIO)complements other projects with a hemispheric and global scope. Among them we canhighlight the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN), the GlobalBiodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and the Global Biodiversity Information Network(REMIB), as a computerized system of “biological information, whose databases ofcuratorial, taxonomic, ecological, cartographic, bibliographic, ethno-graphic, of use andnatural resources catalogues and other themes, that articulates the collections andmuseums of diverse organizations.”IRBIO will make operational the biodiversity thematic node of the SIAM. IRBIO and SIAMare tools of the CCAD. IRBIO will partner with GBIF, and will establish cooperation linkswith other programs such as INBio of Costa Rica and others that aare necessary to workin synergy with this information system.12. Activities Developed in the first month of the consultancy:This is a two-month consultancy. This document is the first progress report of theconsultancy, prepared at the end of one month after initiating it. Meeting with the project’s directors: From August 1 -21, the consultant held several meetings with the project’s directors. These meetings had as their objective to better understand the project and the proposed objectives in order to determine the scope of the consultancy as well as the products expected from the other consultancies, to be able to determine how these products could be integrated in the estimated time.1 Terms of Reference for the consultancy “Definition of products and providers for the consultancy todevelop the platform for the Central American biodiversity monitoring and evaluation system: software andacquisition of the hardware for the operation of the Biodiversity Thematic Node”, Page 1
During this period the consultant was able to evaluate the technical capacities and needs of the Zamorano Institute to ascertain whether it would be able to house and maintain the System. Meeting with the Biodiversity Technical Committees and SIAM: On August 5-6, 2010, the consultant participated in the work meeting of the Biodiversity Technical Committees and SIAM, in Belize City, sponsored by the project PROMEBIO-BID. The objectives of this meeting were the following: o To present the progress of PROMEBIO: presentation and discussion of the protocols for the monitoring and evaluation of the biodiversity in the Region and the Design of the Platform for the regional node of biodiversity information. o Future of the modeling of biodiversity GLOBIO3 o Discuss issues related to future global and regional meetings COP10/CBD such as the one on climate change. o Present the progress of the public-private alliance Meso-American Biodiversity Partnership and its intersection in the regional environmental processes. The conceptual model proposed for the Biodiversity Node was presented at this meeting. Meeting with CCAD: On August5 12-13, 2010 the consultant met with the CCAD in San Salvador. The objective of this meeting was to identify how the implementation of the Biodiversity Node will be incorporated into the new PARCA 2010-2014 proposed by the SICA. Contacts with other networks: During the first month contacts with the following networks and/or organizations were established with the aim of determining the way PROMEBIO may be able to cooperate with them. E-mail and/or Skype communications were carried out with the following organizations: o IABIN, Ms. Gladys Cotter, IABIN’s Chairperson and her assistant, Mr. Ben Wheeler, USGS, USA o IABIN Species and Specimens Thematic Network. Mr. Erick Mata, INBio, Costa Rica
o GBIF, Mr. Juan Bello, Denmark GLOBIO training: On August 26-27, the consultant participated in the training of GLOBIO3 which took place in Panamá, at the offices of the National Environmental Authority–ANAM. This training was carried out by Miss Dennis McLean, a consultant of PROMEBIO for this activity.3. CONCEPTUAL MODELThe objective of the conceptual model is to develop a preliminary design for all the aspectsof the system, including sub-systems, databases to be integrated and how to carry out theexchange of information with other networks.PROMEBIO is planned as a system whose main objective would be to “Generate andprovide harmonized and systematized information, of regional interest, about the state ofthe biodiversity, that would allow to evaluate the changes in its prioritized components andthat would contribute to decision making ”2In order to reach this objective, the information system of PROMEBIO must be a union ofseveral sub-systems, which would be integrated into a central system. As a goal of thedevelopment and implementation phase of PROMEBIO it is proposed to generate in anautomatic manner the nine (9) regional biodiversity indicators for the Central Americanregion, into a system that would have the following characteristics: It utilizes the web platform and the internet as its main elements. It uses as much as possible open-source technology that can be implemented at the regional level with a minimal implementation cost. It allows the storage of new biodiversity data and allows the integration of these into existing databases as well as their retrieval. It is based on open, broadly-supported, non-proprietary standards. It integrates with existing networks at the national and regional level such as IABIN, GBIF and CBD-CHM2 Operational Plan, Regional Platform for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Biodiversity in Central America –PROMEBIO, Page 2
It allows the strengthening of national biodiversity information networks (Biodiversity Nodes). It provides access to biodiversity information useful to decision makers. It strengthens the existing systems of the CCAD and integrates with them in a transparent manner.3.1. Basis of the Biodiversity Thematic NodeThe Biodiversity thematic node is based on the concept of distributed informationnetworks. A distributed network is one in which the information is not stored exclusively injust one place, but it is stored in a distributed manner in several places at the same time.In this way the total of the information in the network is the sum of each of its parts..In order to understand the reason why the Biodiversity thematic node must be a distributednetwork, we first have to identify where the basic elements of this network are: the userand the data.In the biodiversity information networks we have two kinds of users which are clearlydefined: a) the decision making user, and b) the general public. The first group of usersrequires highly dependable and updated information, and in general they are users whowork for government institutions like the national environmental ministries and whoseresponsibility is the management of the country’s natural resources. In the case ofPROMEBIO, these will be the main users of the system. The general public will be userswho access the system occasionally. For these users the quality of the information andhow updated it is will depend largely on what they will use it for.The second element of these networks is the data. In the particular case of biodiversity,this information is captured, analyzed and managed by different data providers. In mostcases, the large biodiversity databases are located in environmental NGOs, museums andherbaria, and in very few cases in government institutions.This gap between the place where the main users of the system and the data are makes itdifficult to make timely and dependable decisions, since the main users of the informationare not the same who possess the information.
Illustration 1: Basic concept of networkThe function of the Biodiversity Thematic Node is to close this gap and ensure that thebiodiversity databases can be accessed by the decision makers, in real time, and that theinformation provided by the data owners is of high quality and dependability.In order to achieve this, the system proposed by PROMEBIO must guarantee thefollowing: Identification of the existing data providers That the data be in digitized form and can be interpreted in a common language, called standard, and that they can be accessed. Knowing the exact location of each data, as well as its quality and dependability. Protecting the intellectual property of the owner of the information.The final result of this will be a network as shown in the following graphics, in whichseveral data providers share their information for a common use.
Illustration 2: Parts of the NetworkThe Biodiversity Node of PROMEBIO will be a network that will have the following parts: A digitizing tool that will allow the digitization of the data which are not in a standardized digital form.. Providers of Databases: These are organizations that are willing to share their data in the Internet with PROMEBIO. The data providers have ownership of their data and have the intellectual property rights over them. The data providers must have the freedom to decide which data they share with the network and to what level, as well as to make a commitment about the quality and dependability of the data they provide. Web Services: Web services are protocols for the exchange of information that allow the connection of the data provider with the network. These web services allow: o To listen to and interpret the search requests made by the users and send them to PROMEBIO through the portal. o To Search for the requested information in the provider’s database.
o To Provide the requested information in the standard established by the network. In the case of web services for biodiversity networks it is recommended to follow the same standards and protocols established by GBIF and IABIN. Both networks use TAPIR (TDWG Access Protocol for Information Retrival), http://www.tdwg.org/activities/tapir. This protocol is maintained by the Biodiversity Information Standards group (formerly known as TDWG Taxonomic Database Working Group). TAPIR is a protocol to access data that evolved from the project known as DiGIR. DIGIR was designed to allow for the sharing of biological data under the Darwin Core standard for Specimens. Data structure standard: To ensure that the data stored by all the data providers can be integrated, it is necessary to establish a standard for the exchange of information. The function of this standard is to interpret the information stored in the data provider’s database and translate it into a format that can be understood by PROMEBIO. In the case of the standards for specimens, it is recommended to follow the standards established by GBIF and IABIN. These two networks are using the Darwin Core and ABDC standards, http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/DarwinCore/WebHome, as the standards for exchanging Biodiversity information. Internet: This is the element through which the data travel in the network. Search Portal: The search portal is the portal in charge of looking for, finding and indexing the information supplied by the data providers in a system that allows the users to consult this information regardless of where it is located. It is important to stress that the search portal is the heart of the Biodiversity Node of PROMEBIO and, at the same time, it is the element on which all the pressure of the system falls. Users. The people or systems that use the data provided by the network.
3.2. Proposed Model for the implementation of the Biodiversity Thematic NodeSince the Biodiversity Thematic Node is a distributed data network, it must guarantee thatthe different elements can be integrated at the lowest possible cost and facilitate theoperation of the National Biodiversity Nodes.The point where all the information will be articulated and that will be the heart of theBiodiversity Thematic Node is the Search Portal. The organization that will implement theSearch Portal will have the following responsibilities: o Provide support to the data providers, indexed through the portal. o Index the information supplied by the data providers. o Receive and respond to the queries made by the users. o Integrate the information of the Biodiversity Node with other external information such as maps, socio-economic information, etc. o Work jointly with the data providers to guarantee the quality and dependability of the information. o Coordinate with the other networks, IABIN and GBIF, the exchange of information and the synchronization of the indexes with the aim of avoiding duplication of data. o Ensure the implementation of the standards and protocols. o Ensure that the intellectual property rights will be respected and guarantee them. o Incorporate new data providers to the network.The Search Portal needs to have qualified staff to carry out the work described above,since this site will guarantee the growth and usefulness of the networkAt present it is possible to identify two potential ways to implement the Biodiversity Node ofPROMEBIO. The main difference between these two models lies in the location of thesearch system, since this will be the responsible to index the data supplied by the dataproviders in the first place, and will have the greatest operational load. The two modelsare:
1 – Search System managed and installed in the countries. 2 – Search System managed and installed in PROMEBIO.1- Search System managed and installed in the countries. In this model each country is responsible for the implementation and management of the Search System, as is shown in the following graphic: Illustration 3: System installed in the countries Under this scheme the function of PROMEBIO will be limited to coordinating at the regional level among the different countries and coordinating the activities with other networks at the regional and global level. o Advantages: - It facilitates the creation of the National Biodiversity Systems and can be integrated with the SINIAs. - Each country is the custodian of its own information. - It facilitates collaboration among the different data providers at the national level.
- It facilitates the creation of national policies on the use and generation of biodiversity data. - The regional cost of the regional implementation of the network is taken on by each country. - Support to users is carried out with local resources. o Disadvantages: - It is foreseen that the Search System will be installed and managed by the organization with responsibility for protecting the conservation of biodiversity at the national level, which means the organization will have to appoint human and technical resources to carry out this work and take on their cost.2- Search System managed and installed in PROMEBIO: In this model PROMEBIO is the responsible for installing and managing the System, as is shown in the following graphic: Illustration 4: System installed in PROMEBIO
Under this scheme the existence of PROMEBIO is vital for the sustainability and operation of the network. o Advantages: - Since the work of managing the network is centralized, it is possible to have a team of technicians that would provide support to the network at the regional level. - It facilitates the coordination with regional and global networks such as IABIN and GBIF o Disadvantages: - The operational load and costs of the whole region are taken on in their totality by PROMEBIO. - The work of connecting new data providers to the network is taken on by PROMEBIO. This means a greater coordination with the countries is needed. - It does not facilitate the creation of the National Biodiversity System and consequently it does not support the creation and implementation of the SINIAs. - At the country level, the control over the data is lost. - The management of the Search System will require PROMEBIO to have the capacity to obtain its own human and economic resources, or that the System is managed by an organization with that capacity.As can be seen, both models have advantages and disadvantages. However, the mainrecommendation of the consultant is that each country installs and manages its ownSearch System since this will guarantee a greater sustainability in the long term and willgive each country total control over its data, thus strengthening the National BiodiversityInformation Systems.However, in order to implement this first phase of PROMEBIO, it is recommended tochoose an intermediate solution. This solution must guarantee that the countries that have
the necessary human and technical resources to operate the Search System can do it.The solution proposed is shown in the following graphic: Illustration 5: Intermediate Solution Proposed for PROMEBIOIn this proposed intermediate solution PROMEBIO is responsible for the initialimplementation of the Biodiversity Node at the Regional Level, by implementing theSearch System and little by little delegating the responsibilities of the Search System tothe National Nodes that have the capacity and desire to implement it. Under this scenariothe Regional Biodiversity Node would become a facilitator and coordinator.3.3. Implementation of the Model Proposed by this ConsultancyIn order to carry out the implementation of the Model proposed it is necessary to identifythe place and the organization that will be responsible for the installation and managementof the Biodiversity Thematic Node of PROMEBIO. For this analysis, additionalconsiderations were taken such as the integration with other systems at the regional levellike the SIAM and the economic and human resources capacity to continue managing theNode once the PROMEBIO-BID project ends.
It is important to stress that the needs for Software and Hardware are not relevant at thispoint since the PROMEBIO-BID Project has resources to finance them. For this reasonthis section will focus on analyzing which organization will be suitable to house the node.The following parameters have been taken into consideration: The need to integrate with other systems at the regional level. Technical capacity and support without needing to hire additional staff that will mean an additional cost. However it is foreseen that it will be necessary that the technical staff for PROMEBIO will have to specialize in the theme. Capacity of the Systems Department to manage an implementation of this kind without having to incur cost overruns in its present operation. Capacity to provide the stable broadband that will support the operation as well as having the capacity to grow. Economic capacity to continue with the operation once the PROMEBIO-BID Project ends in May 2011.For the implementation of the Biodiversity Node of PROMEBIO two possible organizationshave been considered as potential HOST of the systems. These are the ZamoranoInstitute and the SICS offices in the CCAD. See Annex 2: Report on Meeting with theCCAD.According to the PARCA 2010-2014, it is expected that the Biodiversity Node ofPROMEBIO becomes part of the proposed Environmental Observatory and thus that it willbe implemented as the Biodiversity Node of the Meso American Environmental InformationSystem –SIAM and be integrated to it.Installation in the Zamorano Institute: o Advantages: - Institute responsible for IRBIO - It has the necessary human resources to guarantee the minimum management. - If necessary it can increase the broadband.
- It has the physical space to install the new servers. o Disadvantages: - The budget for the operation of the Biodiversity Node would have to be covered by the Zamorano Institute. Up to now the Zamorano Institute has expressed that it has no intention of housing the Node in the long term, thus the continuity of the Node’s operation cannot be guaranteed. - The connection to Internet and the operation of the broadband are neither stable nor constant. - The Systems Department only operates servers under the Windows technology. The technical staff have no experience managing Linux servers or in installing and managing Map Servers. - The integration of the Node’s data with the information of SIAM would depend to a great extent on the capacity of the broadband of Internet and the response of the servers. - The costs to hire staff for the Biodiversity Node and hiring consultants are high, due to the physical location of the Zamorano Institute.Installation in the CCAD - Advantages: - The CCAD is responsible for the Environmental Observatory. - The CCAD could take on the costs of operating the Biodiversity Node in the long term. - It would facilitate the integration of the Node’s data with the Environmental Observatory. - All the systems of the CCAD that are vital for the success of the environmental observatory would work under the same technology. - The support staff for the other systems of the CCAD could provide support to the Biodiversity Node.
- It has experience managing map servers. - Disadvantages: - No schedule for the implementation of the Environmental Observatory has been developed up to now. - It is foreseen that the hiring of the technical staff and the purchase of the hardware and software for the environmental observatory will be done in the second semester of 2011. The PROMEBIO-BID Project ends in May 2011 which means a lag of over 6 months between the end of the project and the implementation of the environmental observatory.PROPOSED SOLUTION:After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of the potential HOST organizations forthe installation and management of the Biodiversity Node, the consultant recommends thatthe CCAD becomes the HOST. This recommendation is made taking into considerationtwo important aspects that will guarantee the future of the network: 1- The possibility offinancing the operation once the PROMEBIO-BID project has ended. 2 – The need forintegration with the other systems of the CCAD and particularly with the SIAM.Since there is a lag of over 6 months between the ending of the PROMEBIO-BID Projectand the implementation of the Environmental Observatory of the CCAD, it isrecommended to proceed in the following manner: a. Implement initially the system at the Zamorano Institute in order to meet the implementation schedule of the PROMEBIO-BID Project. b. The PROMEBIO-BID Project covers the operation of the Biodiversity Node for a minimum period of one (1) year, starting in March 2011 in order to guarantee the time needed for the implementation of the Environmental Observatory of the CCAD. c. Once the Environmental Observatory is implemented, the Biodiversity Node of PROMEBIO is moved to the CCAD and integrated to SIAM.
ANNEX 1: General Comments about the Consultancy “Generation ofProtocols” and the Indicator Methodological Sheets.WARNING: These comments are general comments and do not take into considerationthe time and budget limitations.The consulting “Generation of harmonized protocols and scientific advice in thedevelopment of the model for the evaluation and monitoring of the biodiversity in CentralAmerica” has the following objectives: - Develop a monitoring procedures and protocols manual - Carry out a general analysis of the nine (9) indicators of PROMEBIOAmong the products to be presented we have the following: - Manual of the protocols and procedures of the indicators of PROMEBIO - Technical report about the biodiversity monitoring and evaluation systems in Central America and the analysis of the nine (9) indicators of PROMEBIO. - Definition of monitoring sites among the countries (watersheds) - Report about the training workshop on the protocols of the indicatorsGeneral Comments: 1- The baseline for the nine (9) indicators is not among the products to be produced by the consultancy. According to the project proposal, several consultants will be hired to carry out the monitoring in six (6) border watersheds in the region. These consultancies will serve to create a common baseline for two (2) indicators related to species: Presence of indicator species and Presence of Invasive Species. The indicator Species in Danger of Extinction, according to the indicator methodological sheet, will not be calculated with these monitoring consultancies. The indicators related to Ecosystems and Eco-regions are not indicators of geographical analyses supported by table data. The project does not indicate how the baseline for the indicators will be developed or how the monitoring of the indicators will continue after the baseline. In e-mails exchanged among the consultants of the protocols consultancy, it is mentioned that they will develop
some baselines, but it is important to know whether it will be possible to download these baselines and maps at the country level or if they will only be at the regional level. The following table can be used to identify what the indicator methodological sheets requests and what will be provided by the consultants of the Generation of Protocols consultancy. Indicator Outcome Consultant will What is provide lacking Surface covered in the region Tables Statistical table by ecosystem type Maps Map Surface of established Tables Statistical table government and private Maps Map coastal-marine and terrestrial (Under legal protection) Forested Area of the Territory Tables Statistical table Maps Map Distance among patches of the Tables Statistical table Graphics target ecosystem Graphics Map* Size of the patches of the target Table Statistical table Map* ecosystem Map Shape of the patches (length of Table Statistical table Map* the edge) of the target Map ecosystem * It is important to clarify whether the ecosystems map generated by the indicator “Surface covered in the region by ecosystem type” will serve as map of the indicators related to fragmentation, since according to the methodology, the source of the statistical tables is this map.2- One of the objectives of the protocols consultancy is to develop a general analysis of the nine (9) indicators of PROMEBIO. I am concerned that up to now the consultants have not presented improvements or adjustments to the indicators proposed in 2005, and about how these indicators can be measured, particularly the indicators related to Species. It is important to present these adjustments as soon as possible in order to validate these changes with CT-BIO, CT-SIAM in order to be able to define the possible sources of data and the designs of the databases that will guarantee as much as possible the automatization of the collection of these indicators. This product is the BASIS of the implementation of PROMEBIO, thus we cannot wait until the end to see the final methodological sheets for the indicators. The consultant has found the following deficiencies in the indicators:
a. The indicators do not include who will be the real responsible people or organization that will measure the indicator at the national and regional levels. Some indicators mention the responsibility of certain institutions to measure the indicator. It is important to start working on developing agreements with these institutions responsible of the indicators in order to involve them in the development of the baseline and to be able to work with them in generating these indicators in an ongoing basis once the implementation is finished.b. The regional indicators should be the product of the sum or average of the national indicators. It is important to ensure that the indicators can be disaggregated at the national level.c. The way the indicator is presented does not make it clear what type of graphics will better represent the indicator.d. The scale of the maps is not specified. This is very important in order to know whether the map developed at the regional level can be used at the national level. Maps of very high scale cannot be used by the small countries, such as El Salvador and Belize, or they cannot be used to carry out regional analysis within the countries. It is recommended that as much as possible the maps generated be at minimum at a scale of 1:250,000 (the ideal would be 1:100,000 or smaller). It has to be stressed that in the development of any map it is necessary to have the participation of the technical staff and the use of information tools that would allow the manipulation of satellite images. Thus it is important to identify as soon as possible the staff who needs to be trained in each country and who will continue generating and managing these maps. As a reference it can be mentioned the forest cover map presented at the Belize meeting with a resolution of 30m (Sensor Landsat), 1:100,000, which is a reasonable scale for a small country like Belize. The consultants of protocols propose to use the Sensor Modis which has a resolution of 250m, which is 8 times smaller than the resolution of Landsat. It is recommended
that they make the necessary arrangements with CATHALAC in order to be able to work with Landsat images. Aster (15m x 15m) Landsat (30m x 30m) Modis (250mx 250m) e. Indicator “Species in Danger of Extinction”: The source of this indicator is the “Red Book of the Flora and Fauna of Central America and Mexico (UICN)”. This indicator must also include the red lists of each country and whose species are not included in the IUCN regional book. The formula for this indicator at the regional level should be the sum or the average of the species in each country. Example: In the project structure it has not been established who will develop the baseline for this indicator. As mentioned above, it will not be possible to measure this indicator through the monitoring consultancies. This indicator could be measured in an automatic way if PROMEBIO creates a database that contains the “Red Book of the Flora and Fauna of Central America and Mexico (UICN)” plus the National Red Lists. This database could be kept updated by the countries on an annual basis. f. Indicator “Presence of indicator species”: The Concept of the Continuous Riverside will be used for this indicator. However the indicator is limited to determining the presence/absence of indicator species. By measuring ONLY the presence or absence of indicator species we really do not get significant information for the evaluation of the state of an ecosystem. This simplification puts at the same level the fact that we may find one (1) specimen of the same species with the fact that we find one hundred (100)
specimens of the same species. This indicator should be complemented with information about: Number of indicator species in the ecosystem Population of the indicator species in the ecosystem With information related to number of species and population of each species the loss or gain in biodiversity in the ecosystem really can be determined through time. This indicator could be calculated automatically taking as the source the data in the existing Monitoring databases in the region, or from the databases created from the 6 proposed consultancies in the bordering watersheds.g. Indicator “Presence of Invasive Species”: Similarly to the previous indicator, this indicator does not have a formula to measure it. The indicator states that the unit is the number of introduced species and their distribution. This indicator in reality does not measure the increase or decrease in the population of invasive species. Measuring the increase or decrease of invasive species would allow for the evaluation of whether the measures taken by the governments to control these species are being effective or not. In addition, this information could be associated to the economic cost of controlling these species and compare it to the economic cost of the loss of native species due to invasive species. The way the indicator is presented is limited to a list as the means of representation but it does not include the map of distribution of the invasive species. This map is important in order to determine what ecosystems are being threatened by the advancing of invasive species. It is suggested that due to the high costs of developing species distribution maps, the five (5) more significant invasive species in the region be selected and that maps of the regional distribution of them be generated and about those that have control programs.
This indicator could be calculated automatically taking as source the data in the existing databases of invasive species or data in the monitoring database, as long as these contain information indicating whether the species is invasive in the ecosystem where it was collected or observed.h. Indicator “Surface of established government and private coastal-marine and terrestrial protected areas (Under legal regime): This indicator has as source of information the SICAP (Central American System of Protected Areas). The data part (tables) of this indicator could be calculated automatically when the CCDA implements the SICAP. For the case of PROMEBIO a temporary database could be created which would be updated annually with information sent by each country. Another source of data for this indicator could be the WDPA (Word Database on Protected Areas), http://www.wdpa.org/. The WDPA has web services that facilitate the reading of these data. The regional map of this indicator could be created from the national maps of protected areas. This is an advantage since all the countries member of SICA have this updated map. The CCAD has a map for 2010 created by CATHALAC that includes marine and terrestrial protected areas.i. Indicator “Surface covered in the region by ecosystem type”: The regional map for this indicator could be produced automatically if all the countries in the region adopt the same standard for ecosystems classification in each country. This standardization in the ecosystems maps is critical in order to facilitate the generation of the indicators associated to ecosystem fragmentation since these indicators are calculated from the Ecosystems and Forest Cover Map.j. Indicator “Distance between patches of target ecosystems.” This indicator does not have data about its expected outcome nor observations or documentation related to the indicator.k. All the indicators that have maps associated or whose information would be the result of geo-spatial analyses (ecosystems and eco-regions indicators)
CANNOT be produced automatically from satellite images. For this reason itis important to identify and train the staff that will produce these indicators inan ongoing basis in each country or at the regional level.
ANNEX 2: Report on the CCAD Meeting, San Salvador, El Salvador BIODIVERSITY MONITORING AND EVALUATION PROGRAM Trip report to San Salvador, El SalvadorMeeting location: SG-SIC BuildingParticipants: Margarita Salazar, CCAD -SICA Luis Córdova, PREVDA - SICA Boris Ramirez, Consultant for PROMEBIO-CCAD-BIDObjective of the Meeting: Getting acquainted with the implementation of the proposal forPROMEBIO and identifying ways to integrate this implementation in the EnvironmentalObservatory as response to PARCA 2010-2014 AGENDA Meeting initiated on Thursday August 12th at 2:30 PM -- end at 4:30PM Proposed System to initiate operations of PROMEBIO and the Biodiversity Node of PROMEBIO o Data to be managed o Technologies o Standards Regional Environmental Observatory o Data to be managed o Technologies o Standards Integration of PROMEBIO with the Regional Environmental Observatory: o Data that can be integrated and shared: all the data o Possibility of making data and maps compatible Start of meeting on Friday August 13th at 8:30 AM – end at 12:00PM (Continuation of Agenda) Sustainability of PROMEBIO o Definition of the site where the PROMEBIO System will be installed o Technological conditions of the site
o Definition of the minimum needs to keep the Biodiversity Node and the PROMEBIO site operational. o How to continue with the monitoring Support to the National Biodiversity Nodes (PROMEBIO-Observatory and PREVDA) o Possibility of creating the national nodes o Possibility of supporting the national nodes MEETINGS’ NOTESAfter the presentations and discussions on each proposed agenda item the followingconclusions were reached: PROMEBIO is a program with set funds until March 2011. Up to now no new funding has been identified that would guarantee the continuity of the program All the products developed by PROMEBIO will be integrated as follows: o The Biodiversity Node will be part of the Biodiversity Node of the SIAM o The Monitoring System and Tools such as GLOBIO will be part of the Environmental Observatory. The training component of PROMEBIO is based on the GLOBIO trainings and a final training on the system. It is possible to carry out trainings using Dutch funds for the SIAM, under the biodiversity node, but this option has to be explored in order to ascertain its feasibility. Under PARCA 2010 – 2014 it is planned to host SIAM at the SICA premises in El Salvador. At this time the CCAD is negotiating with DSI (Direction of Information Systems of the SICA) in order to determine the procedure to move all the systems developed by the CCAD to the SICA premises. It is foreseen that the SICA needs to invest in the purchase of equipment to this end and needs to have a team of technicians to provide support to these systems. It is very likely that PROMEBIO will have to purchase its own equipment to be installed at the SICA premises. Under PARCA 2010-2014 the Environmental Subsystem of the SICA is planned to be made up of o CEPREDENAC (Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters) o CRRH (Hydrological Resources Regional Commission)
o CCAD (Central American Commission for Environment and Development) This Environmental Subsystem will have two new financial tools: The Financial and the Observatory. The Financial will be responsible for raising funds for projects and the Observatory will seek to generate information to support decision making in the Environmental Ministries of the region. At the meeting it was not possible to establish what would be the technical characteristics of the possible team for PROMEBIO. The reason was that the CCAD it just defining the final implementation of the Environmental Observatory and the SIAM. Once these implementations are defined, they have to be approved by the General Secretariat of the SICA and coordinated by the Direction of Systems and Informatics (DSI). It should be stressed that with the present restrictions imposed by the DSI it is impossible for the System Proposed for PROMEBIO to be implemented, since the DSI does not support the use of Open source tools in its network. Presently the SICA uses the Microsoft technology in its servers, but it is not clear whether they will use the same technology for the new servers. It is suggested that in order to finalize the implementation of PROMEBIO in March 2011, a server be leased that would allow the necessary configurations, or that negotiations with the Zamorano Institute be carried out for the permanence of a server for a minimum period of one (1) year, so that the CCAD may define the final site and technology to be used to implement the SIAM and the Observatory. In case a server is leased, this server would be located in a location other than SICA or Zamorano. The CCAD foresees that the Monitoring System will continue functioning through agreements in the area of influence of the following projects: Corazon Project, Mangrove Corridor and Trifinio Project. Other projects are in the process of being identified that would be able to continue monitoring the other three (3) sites proposed. The CCAD foresees that one of the nodes of SIAM will be related to CITES. Luis Córdova will travel to Panama the week of August 16-20, 2010 in order to meet with CATHALAC and redefine the SIAM that is presently installed in CATHALAC. Similarly the way in which SERVIR will continue collaborating with the CCAD.
At present CATHALAC has contracted a consultancy with Dutch funding to carry out a diagnostic of the SIAM. This consultancy is being carried out by Carolina Coronado from Nicaragua. Luis Córdova was informed that PROMEBIO carried out a similar consultancy this year for which INBio was hired. Luis Cordova received a copy of the final report of the consultancy “Diagnostic of the capacity, gaps and mechanisms to operate PROMEBIO” Luis Cordova was asked to negotiate with CATHALAC the development of a forest cover map for all the countries in the region, using the methodology used for Belize. This map would be part of the environmental indicator number “Forest cover of the Territory” of PROMEBIO. Margarita Salazar points out that this year CATHALAC made a map of the Protected Areas (Terrestrial and Marine). This digital map could be part of the environmental indicator number 5 “Surface of declared government and private coastal-marine and terrestrial protected areas” of PROMEBIO PREVDA: Regional Program for the Reduction of Vulnerability and Environmental Degradation. http://www.sica.int/prevda, Luis Córdova. CCAD: Central American Commission for Environment and Development. http://www.sica.int/ccad PARCA 2010-2014: Environmental Plan for the Central American Region 2010- 2014
ANNEX 1: Technical Specifications for the ToRs for theconsultancy “Development of information for the monitoring andevaluation of biodiversity in Central America, PROMEBIO: Designof applications that would facilitate the interoperability among thesystems IABIN, GBIF and PROMEBIO and Development of on linedatabase applications and web tools to operationalizePROMEBIO. Linking with other sources of information.The System of Monitoring and Evaluation of the Biodiversity in Central America will bemade up of the following subsystems:Search System for Biodiversity Information subsystem: The system must have asearch system that allows the discovery of data and the creation of indexes of the datacontained in the databases of the PROMEBIO data providers. These databases would beaccessed in a distributed manner through web services and must be compatible with thestandards used by GBIF and IABIN for specimen and species data. The system must havea mechanism that allows the harmonization of the information contained in GBIF andIABIN and the database of the biodiversity node of PROMEBIO.Among the data providers are the databases generated by the System of Monitoring ofIndicators of PROMEBIO.The search system must be capable of searching for specimens for several variables suchas name of the species, country, provider, common name, geographic location, etc. Inaddition it must allow carrying out sub searches (refined searches).It should be possible to visualize the results of the searches in several formats such astables, maps and graphics. In addition it should be possible to integrate these with theinformation contained in the Map Library of the Biodiversity Node or with external MapServices like Google or SERVIR. Similarly it should be possible to print the information andexport the results of the searches.
Indicators Subsystem: The indicator subsystem will allow the storing and automaticestimation of the nine (9) regional indicators related to Central American biodiversity.These indicators should be deployed at the national or regional levels. The sources toestimate the nine (9) indicators will be the following:Indicator Source for estimating itSpecies in danger of The system should store the list of species in danger ofextinction. extinction of the “Red Book of the Flora and Fauna of Central America and Mexico IUCN”, plus the Red List of each country. The system must be capable of recognizing whether the species listed belongs to the IUCN list or to the list of a country, and state the species country. The indicator will be calculated automatically from this list.Presence of Indicator This indicator will be calculated from the information collectedSpecies through the databases of the monitoring program of PRMEBIO (7 pilots), and from the indexed information from the Data Providers of Central AmericaPresence of Invasive This indicator will be calculated from information collectedSpecies through the databases of the monitoring program of PPRMEBIO (7 pilots), and from the information indexed from the Data Providers of Central AmericaSurface covered in the This indicator will be deployed from the ecosystems mapregion by ecosystem stored in the Map Library of PROMEBIO.typeSurface of declared This information should be obtained and stored locally, in anterrestrial and coastal- automatic manner, from the information available in the WDPAmarine protected areas –World Database on Protected Areas- using their web(including private areas) services. The system must have a mechanism to update this information.Forest cover of the This indicator should be deployed from the forest cover mapTerritory stored in the Map Library of PROMEBIODistance between This indicator should be deployed in the form of a table of thepatches of the target information stored in the databaseecosystemShape of the patches of This indicator should be deployed in the form of a table of thethe target ecosystem information stored in the database.Size of the patches of This indicator should be deployed in the form of a table of thethe target ecosystem information stored in the database.
Map Library Subsystem: The map library subsystem would allow to store and visualizethe maps generated by PROMEBIO in real time and through the web. The map librarymust consider all the basic operations contained in a standard map visualizer, such aszoom, measuring, addition of layers (polygons, points, lines), etc.The map library must allow the uploading of new maps through interfaces of easy use, andwith access through a password.Operations Specific to the System:The system must have the following operations as a minimum: A web site for PROMEBIO, such as the portal to access the information of monitoring of the biodiversity. A portal for indicators that allows the automatic calculation of the nine indicators of biodiversity. The information for the calculation of the indicators related to species will be taken from the databases of monitoring and the information for the calculation of the indicators of ecosystems, eco-regions and fragmentation will be taken from the maps stored in the map library of the biodiversity node. The portal must facilitate the comparison of indicators in periods of time or by geographical area.
A search system that facilitates the interoperability among the systems of IABIN, GBIF and PROMEBIO, that can be integrated to the map library. An indexing system that will generate indexes from the data made available through the data providers registered in PROMEBIO. A map library with a visualizer integrated to the search system. A system for the security of the information. Establishing protocols for information entry that should be accompanied by security levels. Production of on demand reports with graphics, maps, statistics that support the reports needed by the countries to comply with the responsibilities acquired with the regional and global conventions. Platform of the system. This platform must have the following characteristics: It should contemplate that the users of this service manage different protocols and platforms in their own systems, seeking their interoperability and harmonization As much as possible, it should use open source programs of easy access to the users, in order to foster the use and access to the system of more users. In case open source programs cannot be used, the licenses of the programs utilized must be transferred to the CCAD without any cost, and for the exclusive use of the CCAD and its partners. The solution proposed must be capable of being implemented independently of the Operating System: Windows Server or Linux Servers. The System for the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Biodiversity of Central America will be installed in the servers of the Zamorano Institute. The Source Code of the System implemented must be provided and/or the licenses used if applicable. A printed and digital manual about the system in which all the helps of the system should appear, identifying platforms, programs, protocols, procedures and any other information necessary for the implementation and use of the system. A printed and digital manual about the installation of the system, so that other countries can install it.