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Map-based India Biodiversity Portal launched

Bangalore: The India Biodiversity Portal (indiabiodiversity.org), a citizen’s initiative for conservation of biodiversity information, was launched here on Monday by the chairman of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC), Sam Pitroda. It is a portal for research, education, sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. It attempts to aggregate information on biodiversity and facilitate participation by the public.

This has been created by a team of institutions led by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). This Portal has been endorsed by NKC, an ATREE statement said. This map-based portal,which aims at providing information on all aspects of biodiversity in India, has been built using open sources software. It is hosted on an interactive platform using a Wiki model.

“The portal aims to reach out to and involve a wide variety of people, such as students, researchers, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), practitioners, educators, amateur wildlife enthusiasts, media professionals, as well as tourists, as both audience and participants,” the statement said.

The portal has a consortium of partners. It aims to be institution-neutral and opinion-neutral, reporting factual information. Pitroda said such virtual initiatives can be useful in bringing diverse types of people together not just at the virtual level but also in conferences, and felt it was important that such portals become economically sustainable. He commented on the multidisciplinary nature of the portal and said there is a need for many more such portals.