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Developing Integrated Biodiversity Database in Taiwan

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To share biodiversity information by building an integrated platform to facilitate conservation efforts and raise environmental awareness, Taiwan formed an alliance comprising six government agencies. According to the Forestry Bureau, one of the alliance’s founding members, initial work has already started on the integrated database which is expected to be completed by 2023. It will allow members of the public to search more than 10 million species occurrence records in Taiwan.

We will streamline the data kept by its members so policymakers have a clearer view of the country’s conservation efforts and how different environmental factors impact one another. The database will help the public learn more about ecosystems and pay more attention to the natural environment

– The Taiwan Biodiversity Information Alliance

With each agency collecting different biodiversity information and having different levels of transparency, the agencies felt that a common standard should be established. The six government agencies formed an alliance and preparatory work, resulting in the publication of an action book detailing their plans for information sharing between 2021-2025.

The database is now under development, the public can expect integrated information such as uniform names for species that could previously have had several vernacular names, as well as when and where they were observed.

There will also be consistent rules regarding the release of sensitive biodiversity data to protect endangered species. In the future, the database could be expanded to include more information, such as species DNA and supportive multimedia materials, the TBIA said, adding that it will also work to include civic groups devoted to biodiversity data-keeping.

The TBIA said the database could also boost Taiwan’s contribution to global conservation efforts as it will be possible to upload data to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, an international organisation that focuses on making scientific data on biodiversity available on the Internet.

A database on biodiversity in Taiwan has compiled records of almost 10 million wildlife sightings, making it the second-largest wildlife index in Asia, with the vast majority of data coming from volunteers. The Taiwan Biodiversity Network has recorded 9.87 million animal and plant sightings.

The database can help conservationists track changes in the population of various species and contribute to public safety. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control bases the nationwide distribution of antivenom on the database’s records of poisonous snake sightings. In addition to recording wildlife sightings, the institute also promotes civilian science initiatives and education on topics such as roadkill prevention and wildlife conservation on farmland.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Taiwan has been focusing on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for many applications, including healthcare. ith the advent of the 5G era and the growing popularity of Big Data and AI applications, the Joint Commission of Taiwan (JCT) held a forum with a focus on two key themes: healthcare information technology and AI for medical image analysis.

Taiwan is known as a treasure island of technology, and its achievements in epidemic prevention highlight the abundant healthcare capacity. The main topics are healthcare big data, data science, and AI medical image analysis. Experts from the healthcare and IT sector explained common problems in Taiwan’s healthcare industry and proposed different solutions.

In recent years, the Taiwanese government has advocated working together to improve the health of the nation. The government has also been promoting mobile healthcare services, hospital management, and the application of smart healthcare. These efforts demonstrate the importance of applying intelligent solutions to meet challenges in the healthcare field.

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