Message from the President

It is a really wonderful coincidence to be inaugurating INBio’s new information page on the Web, after having celebrated the Intel Environmental Award conferred upon us last year by the Tech Museum of Innovation of California. We are, in their words: “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 were awarded the prize.

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 15 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. Fourteen years later, we received an important international award, in a competition with more than 500 candidates from 70 countries. Clearly, we did something right.

But, what was it that INBio did better than many others to win recognition once again? 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.

While this award is important to us, it is even more important to us 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



Dr. Rodrigo Gámez Lobo

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