Information and communication
technologies are fostering collaborative ways to protect and monitor
biodiversity in the region.
One of such tools is the International
Platform on Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF, for its acronym
in English), a web-based system that allows free access to
information on global biodiversity and involving nearly 60 countries,
including Argentina, Chile , Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico,
Nicaragua, Peru and Uruguay. Brazil joined last October 30.
According to the World Bank, the region
is leading the conservation with 20 percent of its territory
protected, while the average for developing countries is 13 percent.
Ecosystems Specialists agree that
progress in this area may depend on the successful use of ICT.
"A major challenge is to
understand our biodiversity. And the use of ICT helps us to know how
it is and, above all, to spread this knowledge among scientists,
decision makers and the general public "then translate into
strategies for protection and prevention, said Maria Isabel Cruz,
National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity
(CONABIO) in Mexico.
An example is the Early Warning of hot
spots, from Conabio, which records and analyzes the surface
temperature via satellite images. The system identifies anomalies,
published on the web and sends the information to decision makers who
evaluate the site and can prevent fires and impacts on ecosystems.
The system is operating in Mexico, Central America, Brazil and