Funded By CEPF, Naturemena.com is a public website and a database for biodiversity of the East Afromontane region in Yemen. The aim of this website is to provide information concerning wildlife of this critical ecosystem in Yemen including: species lists and distribution records, habitat data, important biodiversity areas and hotspots, protected areas and photographs ...
Naturemena.com is a public website and a database for biodiversity of the East Afromontane region in Yemen. The aim of this website is to provide information concerning wildlife of this critical ecosystem in Yemen including: species lists and distribution records, habitat data, important biodiversity areas and hotspots, protected areas and photographs. It provides the basic information that can benefit academic, conservation, environmental awareness, and for community based conservation and socio-economic development projects in the region.
The database of this website is a compilation of more than 50 years of research by scholars, surveyors, and scientific research. The website also largely relies on scientific data from global conservation organizations such as Birdlife International, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The website also includes specialized tools for local experts to report and share their observations about biodiversity (species, habitat and threats) with all users of the database thus to document up-to date trust-worthy biodiversity observation to those who need it (create knowledge), enhance the culture of sharing biodiversity information (share knowledge), and stimulating wider community engagement in the study and conservation of biodiversity within EAM region in Yemen in particular.
The website is not for profit and is offered for free to the public. It is developed and being managed by ENVIROMATICS, and it is supported by a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) which ends by the end of May 2018.
As a developing country with such magnificent biodiversity, complex socio-political situation, rapidly growing population and with such a momentum of changes in economic development orientations and patterns, Yemen remains short of information management systems capable of supporting informed decision making at national and local levels. Most importantly with regard to biodiversity, information available from scientific research, conservation projects and from civil societies are scattered and very difficult (in terms of time and effort needed) to be gathered and analyzed in due time for decision making, in particular when an economic development programme or project is being developed.
Yemen National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP , 2005) noted the constraints related to availability of information identified the "lack of precise information" of biodiversity as a key issue for the NBSAP. The consequences of this situation resulted in weak and less satisfactory research, underdeveloped outreach and awareness programmes, weak coordination and communication between related authorities, weak local community engagement, weak enforcement of environmental laws and biodiversity safeguarding tools, and in overall lack of informed decision making and having below expectation conservation action. In this context the following also needs to be noted from NBSAP:
NBSAP explained that " Over the past 20 years, it has been found that industry, transport and construction works have had increasing direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity resulting from the use of antiquated and polluting technologies, the lack of enforcement of EIA procedures and the absence of air quality and waste management standards. The gross industrial product of the nation has resulted in the overuse of natural resources and serious ecological problems. In particular, pollution from the mineral industry, heavy industry, household waste, air emissions and noise has had a significant impact on biodiversity". Therefore, NBSAP set out strategic goal (Strategic Goal 3) which is aims to achieve "Integration of Biodiversity in Sectoral Development Plans".
NBSAP discussed a number of gaps which require particular attention, one of which concerns "Research, community awareness and technical coordination and cooperation", were limited research and weak scientific cooperation and exchange of information are considered serious limitations and constraint the implementation of effective conservation of biodiversity in Yemen.
The efficiency of CSOs engagement in conserving biodiversity in KBAs in Yemen is directly affected by the limitation of information about biodiversity in their respective action regions. Such a situation is not always related to shortage of research, but it is obviously has more to do with the lack of information management and sharing mechanisms, and CSOs weak accessibility to information sources.
Accordingly, the absence of biodiversity information management system is a major limitation for Yemen efforts to integrate biodiversity in sectoral development plans, to the effectiveness and efficiency of developing and implementing nature conservation plans, and equally important to effective enforcement of biodiversity caring environmental safeguard tools like EIA and SEA.