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Belgian Biodiversity Information Facility


The Belgian National Node of the worldwide biodiversity network GBIF

TDWG, Portugal 2003


The Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPF), the OSTC advisory organ on biodiversity research (analysis, development and promotion of biodiversity-related research in the scientific community).

The Belgian Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM), the national portal site for information exchange on all matters related to the Convention on Biological Diversity

Belnet-BIODIV, the electronic catalogue of Belgian resources in Belgium: research projects, experts, institutions, collections and databases, events, etc. Belgian BioCASE Node

The Belgian Biodiversity Information Facility (BeBIF), the Belgian Node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. An endeavour to build the prototype of a Belgian bioinformatics infrastructure to integrate “Belgian” biodiversity resources within an unified environment

Four partners funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BelSPO)

TDWG, Portugal 2003


BeBIF: Belgian Biodiversity Information facility


SPO (Belgian Federal Science Policy Office)

  • Staff:
      • Promoter (Robert Herzog)
      • Node Manager (Patricia Mergen)
      • Data Analyst (Didier Piette)
      • Analyst Programmer (Johan Duflost)
      • System Administrator (Frédéric Wautelet)

TDWG, Portugal 2003


Role of BeBIF

Data stored locally by DataNodes

National level

Global level

Data Parsing

XML file transfer










Data subset


(Full Data)

Link to datanode for additional information

TDWG, Portugal 2003


Collaborations and Projects

International Level

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)


FP5, European Network for Biodiversity Information Cluster I (WP2), Cluster IV (WP 13)

Taxonomic Database Working Group

BeBIF is institutional member of TDWG since 2002


TDWG, Portugal 2003


Collaborations and Projects

National Level

Support Programme for Sustainable Development (SPSDII)

Centralisation of the Biodiversity related data collected during these projects

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Recent invertebrates (Laboratory of Carcinology)

BIANZO (BIodiversity of three representative groups of the ANtarctic Zoobenthos)

National Botanic Garden of Belgium

Collaborative project: Prototype Image Server to integrate the Martius Herbarium and the Digital Flora brasiliensis

Royal Museum for Central Africa

Valorization of the museum collections for biodiversity studies

The African Biodiversity Information Centre (ABIC)

TDWG, Portugal 2003


Collaborations and Projects

Belgian EMBnet Node (BEN) to provide links to sequence related data

Collaboration with the Belgian Co-ordinated Collections of Micro-organisms (BCCM) to expose part of their data on our server under GBIF Standards.


Federation of Biogeographical Databases

Belgian Committee of the International Water Association (BIWA)

Research Unit in Organismic Biology (Namur): BeBIF Data Node (Sub-Contractor) specialized in freshwater ecology

Collaboration with Provinces, Communities and Regions in Belgium

To play its role as national gateway to expose “Belgian” biodiversity data to the worldwide GBIF network, BeBIF has developed several strategies and informatic tools

TDWG, Portugal 2003


How to collaborate with ?

(Plan for the future)

Concerning BeBIF

  • Fill in or update the Metadata form (to respect IPR)
  • Share biodiversity data under international standards with BeBIF and GBIF
  • Data will be visible online, can be queried centrally
  • Data will be validated by an SPO panel of scientific and IT experts
  • Official"checked data"  Label

TDWG, Portugal 2003


DATA to be shared with GBIF

Data Providers and Metadata: Fill in the Metadata online form, Information about the data and respect of IPR

Species: Taxonomy, Scientific Names, Synonyms, Common Names, Belgiancontribution to the GBIF Catalogue of Life

Specimens: Number of specimens hold, collected or observed

Geographic location:As accurate as possible (GPS recommended), restricted access for endangered species Services of our online mapserver

Any other biodiversity related data: Species or specimen descriptions, Identification keys, sampling site descriptions, list of publications … Either transmitted to BeBIF or made publicly available on a local server in collaboration with the BeBIF team

TDWG, Portugal 2003


Guidelines for a GBIF National Node ?

No unique model for all nodes, but adapt to the conditions at national level

And be aware of (Jean-Claude Vandamme)

  • Peopleware
  • Hardware and software
  • Funding?

Work hard, but have fun and enjoy it !

TDWG, Portugal 2003


How to reach BeBIF



For any questions or feed-back …

Belgian Biodiversity Information Facility (BeBIF)

Université Libre de Bruxelles

Campus de la Plaine CP 257

Bâtiment NO, Bureau 4 O4 209 (Niveau 4)

Boulevard du Triomphe, entrée ULB 2

B-1050 Bruxelles

Tél. : +32 2 650 57 51 - Fax : +32 2 650 51 24

TDWG, Portugal 2003