The Tropical Data Hub (TDH), based at James Cook University, is an open portal enabling researchers to submit information relating to the tropics in an open and collaborative way. The TDH complements existing data repositories and will come to be acknowledged as the definitive source of information relating to the tropics, both within Australia and internationally.
The information available through within the TDH relates to the physical and natural environment, societies and communities (e.g. linguistic and cultural data), and economies. The use of metadata will ensure that the TDH is readily accessible to governments, researchers and the business sector.
Nearly half the world’s population and 85% of the world’s biodiversity live in the 122 countries that have a landmass in the tropics. This region faces some of the most pressing issues of our time, including environmental variability and change, rapid population growth, social and economic inequalities, political instability, disease and poor access to healthcare. At the same time, the nations of the tropics have rapidly growing economies, along with burgeoning middle classes, and thereby present significant opportunities for Australia to export science, knowledge, innovation and technology. Reliable and accessible information is an important element in realising the potential.