Brazil to create 'botanical Wikipedia' to catalogue Amazon's biodiversity
Brasilia, June 21 (ANI): Brazil is planning to create a 'botanical Wikipedia' in order to catalogue thousands of plant species in the Amazon for future generations.
The website, which will be called Wikiflora.org, would allow high-school students and other internet users to get involved in mapping the country's vast biodiversity, the Telegraph reports.
They will be able to compare plants that they come across with the existing database and submit potential new entries for inclusion to an expert committee that will be asked to validate them.
The website will offer descriptions of plants, geographical mapping of distribution and social networking tools.
Brazil's Ministry of Science and Technology has reached an agreement with IBM to develop the website through the use of 'citizen science'.
Aloizio Mercadente, minister of science and technology, said that the idea came from a visit he made to the Adolpho Ducke forestry reserve in the Amazon and the realization that better systems of classification were needed.
"If we do not create a new methodology, then in a hundred years it will not be possible to know all of the Amazon," he said.
Mercadente said the website would help promote sustainability by showing the importance of biodiversity in the development of drugs and in food supply. (ANI)
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