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BIODIVERSITY NATIONAL NETWORK OF ALBANIA

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Proper organization of biodiversity data and its accessibility is of great importance for the elaboration of policies and strategies, strategic assessments and identification of intervention priorities, both at global and national level. Electronic access to biodiversity information is a priority task worldwide, especially since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. This interest led to a strong progress in the field of Biodiversity Informatics, which produced important results, such as the creation of global federated networks of biodiversity data (the GBIF – http://www.gbif.org/  – and the BioCASE – http://www.biocase.org/ ), as well as several national initiatives.

While Albania hosts a considerable and important biodiversity heritage, the corresponding biodiversity data in the digital form is still limited mainly due to the lack of resources and an absence of the long-term vision and strategy. In the framework of the project  "Institutional Support to the management of Protected Areas in Albania"   financed by the Italian Development Cooperation   and implemented by  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) , the experience gained through global and local initiatives has been transferred to Albania to create an infrastructure for the standardization, integration and dissemination of national biodiversity information.

The national biodiversity data is now available through the website Biodiversity National Network of Albania (BioNNA) representing an important  “entry-point” for any initiative aiming to support decisions related to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. The BioNNA offers the information on the species occurrences through an open source Web-GIS system developed according to the standards defined by the EU INSPIRE Directive.