Message from the President

 

don rodrigo

It is a really wonderful coincidence to be inaugurating INBio’s new information page on the Web. The Tech Museum of Innovation of California once named us: “innovators who protect the environment today for future generations” by using information and communications technologies in an innovative way.

Indeed, the launch of this information page is a new effort to present more and better information on what INBio is doing for Costa Rica’s biodiversity, and it honors the very reason for which we created this Institution.

But let us reflect a little on these two points that are, in fact, connected. When we embarked upon the utopian project to create INBio 22 years ago, we were very clear about the need to make a huge effort to ensure that the information we generated did not remain stored away in personal or institutional files, a situation that was all too common in the past.

Instead, our task was to reach people of all sectors of society by very diverse means. For this reason we felt that, with respect to information –but in reality in all our activities—we needed to use modern and efficient technologies from the outset, since we knew that the major task that lay ahead would involve processing and sharing that information.

We started off with modest but innovative initiatives, such as the use of bar codes to link the information on a specimen to a database - “supermarket technology”, as we often joked. And so we went on. Twenty two years later, we have one of the largest biodiversity collections in the world. Clearly, we did something right.

But, what was it that INBio did to be successful on this subject? First of all, it was a team effort, led by our biodiversity informatics colleagues, but with the participation of many other people. We have tried to strive for excellence in our activities, but also to be innovative, ensuring that we share a goal, a mission and a vision. We have invested much time, effort and resources in the task to become better and to operate like a real team.

Moreover, what is the most important to us is that Costa Ricans of all ages should know, love and value the natural wealth of our country. And in this regard, we still have a great deal to do.

Dr. Rodrigo Gámez Lobo