Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Fourth Force:

Another Conservation International discovery of eden, this time underwater from the Bird's Head Seascape of Papua.

This seems to me to be a good example for the discussion about what supporters of the Conservation Commons ought to do. Is there an access point to sharing the underlying scientific and conservation data or information on CI's Web sites? I would say not at all.

I read in today’s Independent about this discovery and went to Conservation International’s Web site, and there it is featured on the home page.

It is a highly professional Website, nicely written and with all the necessary links to send free eCards, watch a video, links to older success stories, to see the spread of this report in the international news and requests for donations and to join CI, but there is nowhere a link to share data. In fact, getting access to data is impossible, such as to get a simple record of the species collected, the remote sensing data most likely analyzed to decide where to collect, not to speak of a way a machine could read it. Furthermore, the images are copyrighted and not under a Creative Commons license or under Conservation Commons principles.

I do not want to discuss the commercial appearance, but I question whether this can be made for a member of the conservation commons. This might be the moment, where the spirit of the Conservation Commons should show up. At the same time all the downloads and other PR material is being prepared, all the scientific and conservation data ought to be prepared as well and made accessible (together with all the reminder of CI’s conservation data), either on CI’s prime site, on CABS site, or any one ought to find. Without such a commitment, I wonder whether the Conservation Commons can seriously talk to anybody in the developing world to make their data accessible.

Conservation International or a report in the Independent


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