An online repository of maps has been launched to make information on freshwater biodiversity available on a common platform for use by scientists, policymakers, conservationists and NGOs.
The Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas will help developing countries identify biodiversity-rich areas for conservation.
It was launched last month (29 January), as part of an EU-funded project called BioFresh, with the aim of putting together published maps and sharing them under a creative commons licence.
Experts say it could help developing nations better manage their biodiversity and meet targets, for example by identifying the areas where conservation can be most effective.
Vanessa Bremerich, the technical editor of the atlas who is based at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, in Germany, says that in contrast to maps published in scientific papers — which are scattered across different journals and are often hard to access — the atlas will be an “an open platform that presents all the research results and data in one place”.
Photo credit: Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas