Co-designing a data platform to impact nature policy and management: experiences from the Dutch Caribbean
Verweij, P.; Cormont, A.; Hoetjes, P.; Meyer, K. de; Bussel, T. van; Roosenschoon, O.; Henkens, R.; Schmidt, A.; Janssen, S.
To secure the sustainable use of nature, governments track nature's health and develop regulations and policies. Although there is a seeming abundance in observation-recordings, decision- and policy-makers are constrained by the lack of data and indicators, mostly as a result of barriers preventing existing data from being found, accessed, made suitable for (automated) processing and reused, but also due to missing visualisations targeted at answering questions asked by policy makers. This paper explores the process and principles for developing a biodiversity web-platform that informs policy and management on the state and trends of nature, based on experiences with the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database (DCBD). The DCBD supports the assessment of the state of nature and guarantees long-term data availability in an environment that experiences a high turnover in project funds and personnel. Three principles made DCBD's uptake and growth possible: The platform is funded, promoted and used by national and regional policy makers, it simplifies tasks of local management and rapporteurs, and it is continuously being adapted to changing needs and insights. Stronger dissemination of DCBD's narratives in social arenas (e.g. newspapers, social media) may make Caribbean nature and biodiversity more politically and societally relevant.