IABIN Invasive Species Information Network – Jamaica (I3N – JA)
I3N – JA is the Jamaican node of an Inter-American effort to locate, systematically document and provide electronic access to sources of information on invasive species issues. The Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) project on invasive species seeks to identify information needs and gaps on invasive species in 19 countries (Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the United States).
During the pilot phase of the IABIN project, in 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with support from the Environmental Diplomacy Fund of the U.S. State Department, provided $12,000 grants for setting up initial inventories and databases on: 1) Invasive species 2) Individuals and organizations actively involved in invasive species research and management 3) Invasive species projects (in research and/or management) and 4) available datasets. I3N – JA is coordinated by the Jamaica Clearing-House Mechanism (JA CHM) and the JA CHM led the pilot project for Jamaica resulting in online catalogues of plant and animal species, and resource persons for Jamaica.
The first National Workshop on Alien Invasive Species hosted by the Institute of Jamaica was held on September 12, 2002 at Medallion Hall Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica. Representatives from government and non-government organizations as well as resource persons participated. This workshop was a key component of the collaborative I3N – JA to develop an invasive species information network for Jamaica. Benefits of the workshop were 1) the identification of new information sources for I3N – JA, both literature as well as resource persons 2) identification of deficiencies in information sharing, ecological information and legislation and 3) the opportunity to promote information networking between providers, users and distributors of information at the government and non-government levels (See Technical Report).
The information sharing and networking tools were further developed in 2006 with a Content Building Grant of US$10,000 funded through IABIN-I3N. The catalogues, developed in differing formats across the participating countries, was replaced by a standardized database template designed by consultants to IABIN-I3N. A major advance for the project in Jamaica was the content management feature of the database and government and NGO stakeholders in invasive species management were introduced to this feature at a 3-day workshop. Under this aspect of the project, new entries of species invasive to Jamaica, resource persons and project were made to the database. Two new educational brochures were also developed (see http://jamaicachm.org.jm/ioj_wp/?page_id=253).
More recently, an open source version of the I3N database has been developed and it is expected that the new database for Jamaica will be available online before the end of 2012.
Updated September 25, 2012.