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The ARBIMS Portal is logically comprised of 3 components namely: biodiversity data, media libraries and webmapping.

Biodiversity data

Biodiversity data is managed through the GBIF's IPT and therefore only occurrence data, checklists, or just metadata can be uploaded onto the ARBMIS portal. Once a new dataset (resource) is successfully published it is assigned and persistent URL and is registered in GBIF's registry. After a new dataset is published through IPT, it needs to be snychronized to be available onto the ARBIMS portal. If the data publisher fails to do so, the system performs regular checks and performs automatic synchronization once day. Once the data is synchronized, it can be querried, viewed on maps, and downloaded (the 'download' option is available for registered users only).

Media Libraries

Media libraries are collections of materials including documents, photos, videos, or others which are relevant to biodiversity and conservation in the different regions of interest to ARCOS. The libraries have been separated following their region of focus and themes.

Table showing the thematic and gegraphic focus of the ARBIMS libraries


Thematic Focus

Geographic Focus

African Mountains and Global Change

The theme for this library is: Sustainable Mountain Development. Materials under this library are those that present general information, awareness materials such as posters, brochures, etc as well as policy documents such as laws, regulations, declarations and strategies all in the context of SMD

As its name implies, the focus of of this library is the 'African Mountains'.

Albertine Rift Biodiversity and People

The theme for this library is about landscapes and conservation efforts of the various stakeholders in the Albertine rift rift region. Materials under this library encompass various topics including conservation and development projects reports, research papers on various ecosytems in the region, awareness materials, etc.

The geographic focus of this library is the Albertine Rift

Albertine Rift Development and EIA

The theme for this library is "Environmental Assessment". Materials under this library are relevant in one way or another to the environmental assessment processes such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The geographic scope of the materials under this library is the Albertine rift but given the nature of the library's theme, many general documents will constantly be added under the library as well.

Great Lakes Freshwater Ecosystems

The theme for this library is "Integrated Freshwater Ecosystems Management". Materials in this library pertain to topics such as IWRM, Freshwater biodiversity, climate change and community development... all in the angle of freshwater ecosystems management.

The geographic focus of this library is the African Great Lakes region, a region elncompassing 5 major basins including the Upper nile basins, Lake Victoria basin, Lake tanganyika basin, Lake Malawi basin and Lake turkana basin.


By leveraging open-source tools such as PostGIS, GeoServer and OpenLayers; the ARBIMS portal features poweful webmapping capabilities through a set of pages where users can visualize biodiversity data as well as library materials against a series of  various map layers. The webmapping pages are divided according to the three regions: the Albertine Rift, the African Great lakes region and the African Mountains.

Each webmap features a set of different layers and users who wish to contribute additional layers are encouraged to contact the ARCOS GeoServer manager here.

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