Supporting iNatters in conflict zones

The topic of how to support iNatters in Ukraine made me realize that there are people in conflict zones around the world. One of the ways we can support them (and it is a very small way) is to help get any observations made into GBIF by adding high quality identifications.

I found a good but not exhaustive list of “fragile and conflict-afflicted situations” around the world developed by the World Bank. The list published in the summer of 2021 actually does not list Ukraine. The list is only as good as yesterday’s news, I guess.

This list is a good place to start but you don’t have to feel constrained by it. If you know of a place that could use some ID support, especially if in your estimation it is either socially fragile or experiencing high to medium conflict, share your thoughts. Help get the word out.


I agree with this. One of the goals of Amnesty International is to write letters, partly to let governments know that the people (most are detained) exist. I can almost see iNat fulfilling a smaller, but similar function. If people in other nations start to identify those observations, it may alert authorities that the rest of the world knows that these people exist. If in fact they monitor iNat.


Thanks for this. Ukraine is, alas, not unique.


I was rather surprised to see the Federated States of Micronesia listed as having high institutional and social fragility. I have lived in the FSM for the past 29 years and the nation seems to be institutionally and socially quite stable. I do concur with finding ways to be supportive of those in conflict zones, in whatever ways one can be.

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IUCN has an interesting document titled Conflict and Conservation that is relevant to the conversation.


Good to hear an on the ground perspective and I’m very glad for the people of the FSM. I have no idea what criteria the World Bank used. Maybe vulnerability to climate change?


This is not specifically about conflict, but The Small Arms Survey maintains a database of Global Violent Deaths ( Global Violent Deaths (GVD) | Small Arms Survey) and tracks the small arms trade and the illegal movement of small arms.


The world has changed. Overnight. What is happening in Ukraine is unique. “Sport and politics do not mix” and “Culture and politics do not mix”, have proved to be the phrases of the past, which have lost their relevance. iNat’s activities are not political, but iNat people, as social beings, are political. Choosing between right and wrong is a moral duty of man. Anyone who neglects this duty is a hypocrite.
I have chosen my side, and if the Russian leadership is intended to restore the territorial boundaries of past state greatness, I, as a Finn, may be the so-called matter-of-fact of this attack before long.

In iNat, it is common practice to stop setting identifications once the Research Grade level has been reached. We can show our support for the Ukrainians by actively identifieng the observations made in Ukraine after reaching this level.


Nope. What has happened in Ukraine is deplorable but it is hardly a new thing, even in Europe.

Boycotting and excluding aggressors from sport and culture only look new if you grew up in the last few years and don’t know the history of the 20th Century.

Russia deserves to be opposed in its aggression but not because the people of Ukraine deserve more consideration than other people subject to violent oppression. The response of some European nations to non-white refugees from countries with very violent and oppressive conflicts contrasts starkly with their response to Ukrainians facing similar circumstances. That’s about the only way in which this is unique.

Again, thanks to the OP.


I’m closing this thread as it’s veering to political territory, which is not the iNat Forum’s purpose.

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