Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Documenting Biodiversity in Underrepresented Languages using Crowdsourcing
expand article infoMohammed Kamal-Deen Dnshitobu Fuseini, Agnes Ajuma Abah§, Andra Waagmeester|
‡ Wiki Mentor Africa, Tamale, Ghana
§ Wiki Mentor Africa, Abuja, Nigeria
| Wiki Mentor Africa, Ekeren, Belgium
Open Access


Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth, and it is essential for our planet's health and well-being. Language is also a powerful medium for documenting and preserving cultural heritage, including knowledge about biodiversity. However, many indigenous and underrepresented languages are at risk of disappearing, taking with them valuable information about local ecosystems. Also, many species are at risk of extinction, and much of our knowledge about biodiversity is in underrepresented languages. (Cardoso et al. 2019). This can make it challenging to document and protect biodiversity, as well as to share this knowledge with others.

Crowdsourcing is a way to collect information from a large number of people, and it can be a valuable tool for documenting biodiversity in underrepresented languages. By crowdsourcing, leveraging the iNaturalist platform, and volunteer contributors in the open movement including the Dagbani*1 and Igbo*2 Wikimedian communities, we can reach people who have knowledge about local biodiversity, but who may not have been able to share this knowledge before. For instance, the Dagbani and Igbo Wikimedia contributors did not have enough content on biodiversity data until they received education about the need. This can help us to fill in the gaps in our knowledge about biodiversity, and to protect species that are at risk of extinction.

In this presentation, we will discuss the use of crowdsourcing to document biodiversity in underrepresented languages, the challenges and opportunities of using crowdsourcing for this purpose, and some examples of successful projects. We will also discuss the importance of sharing knowledge about biodiversity with others and share some ideas on how to do this.

We believe that crowdsourcing has the potential to be a powerful tool for documenting biodiversity in underrepresented languages. By working together, we can help protect our planet's biodiversity and ensure that this knowledge is available to future generations.


local knowledge, cultural heritage, information loss, extinction, knowledge sharing, open knowledge

Presenting author

Mohammed Kamal-Deen Fuseini Dnshitobu, Agnes Abah

Presented at

TDWG 2023


We wish to acknowledge Mr. Andra Waagmester for becoming our mentor and always supporting us in doing our best. We also want to take this opportunity to thank Wiki Mentor Africa for bringing the platform to connect with one another and learn different skills. 

Funding program

Wiki Mentor Africa Wikidata:Wiki Mentor Africa - Wikidata

Hosting institution

Wiki Mentor Africa

Conflicts of interest

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


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