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BEST 2.0+

Establishing a St Helena

 Biological Records System

About the project

The BEST 2.0+ program has funded the establishment of a biological recording system for St Helena (SA-2020-91). This project began in July 2021 and is planned for completion in February 2023. This project aims to develop a centralised online biological recording system for St Helena. The initial focus of this start-up project is to establish all existing terrestrial invertebrate and plant records on the centralized system. Through the project we will be setting up a web-based interface and App (Record St Helena) that will allow people to record and access invertebrate and plant records using a standardised recording protocol.

Project Importance

St Helena’s isolation for the past 14 million years has created a unique environment of flora and fauna. 94% of the British Endemic species lie within its Overseas Territories and of the 1,547 species, St Helena holds the majority of over 500 and rising.

The creation of Record St Helena provides the opportunity to record St Helena’s diverse wildlife. Therefore enabling  professionals and amateurs to submit records that will build on valuable biological datasets, increasing their value for analysis and interpretation over time.

Project Deliverables

To create Record St Helena a stakeholder network had to be established compromised with local and international experts. This group meets bi-monthly to discuss details such as data standards and policy concerning biological data collection. The project officer is then responsible for prioritising datasets to use for building the baseline data for the biological records database.

An associated web-portal will be constructed alongside the biological records database. Through the web-portal historical biological records and newly verified records created through Record St Helena can be viewed through different media, such as species distribution maps. 

A Communications Strategy has been developed. The document entails how the St Helena Research Institute will manage communication activities to successfully deliver the the outcome of the BEST + project: Establishing a St Helena Biological Recording System. The success of the project, its sustainability and value to society depends on increasing the number of people contributing biological records to Record St Helena. Communication is therefore key to the success of the project. The purpose of this plan is to reach out  and inspire people across the community to get involved in wildlife recording, adding new wildlife sightings to Record St Helena and to raise awareness and enable registered professional users to access the dataset for the purpose of analysis and interpretation.

Project Progression

Establish and populate Record St Helena
In Progress... 50%
Build associated web-portal
Pending... 95%
Raise awareness of Record St Helena locally and internationally
In Progress... 10%

BEST 2.0+ statement

This BEST 2.0+ project has received funding from the European Union. The objective of BEST 2.0+ is to promote the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services, including ecosystem based approach to climate change adaption and mitigation, in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

BEST 2.0+ aims to fulfil its objective by enabling, empowering and strengthening local authorities and civil society organisations which are committed to local development, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services in OCTs through the implementation of a grant scheme accompanied by capacity building activities.

BEST 2.0+ continues the EU BEST Initiative and is a direct follow up of the BEST 2.0+ Programme To learn more, visit

Disclaimer: This publication/website/video was produced with the financial support of the European Union Its contents are the sole responsibility of The St Helena Research Institute and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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