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GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY. INFORMATION FACILITY. GBIF Overview and recent achievements Beatriz Torres, IUCN – Biodiversity Commons Meeting , 25-26 May 2004. WWW.GBIF.ORG. What is GBIF ?. A collaborative and decentralized network of Participant nodes that

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global biodiversity



GBIF Overview and recent achievements

Beatriz Torres, IUCN – Biodiversity Commons Meeting, 25-26 May 2004


what is gbif
What is GBIF ?
  • A collaborative and decentralized network of Participant nodes that
    • Make primary biodiversity data openly and freely available over the Internet
    • Use common standards for data and metadata
    • Encourage generation of additional content
    • Assure that data providers retain control of their own data
    • Gain access to others’ data by sharing theirs
who are participants in gbif
Who are Participants in GBIF?
  • 41 countries
    • PNG
    • Cameroon has sent letter of intend
  • 26 international organisations, e.g.
    • IUCN
    • Nordic Gene Bank
    • UNEP (WCMC)
    • Nature Serve
gbif s focus is on primary data
GBIF’s focus is on primary data
  • Primary data result from the direct observation of nature, for example
    • A specimen of an organism
    • Banding a bird
  • Primary data can be used and reused to answer many kinds of questions, both scientific and societal
  • Georeferenced primary data can be analyzed in many ways, e.g.
    • Choosing sites for conservation areas
    • Predicting effects of climate change on biota
    • Predicting the spread of invasive species
gbif contribution to interoperability
GBIF contribution to interoperability

Until now, it has not been possible to combine data from GenBank with specimen and ecological data from other sources without painstaking work by a person.

With GBIF’s components in place, data can be drawn directly from different sources with a

single query.

Compiled specimen, genetic, and ecological information

  • DADI (Data access and database interoperability) + ICT group: development of software, search engines and tool kits
  • ECAT (Electronic catalogue of names of known organisms)
  • DIGIT (Digitization on Natural History collections)
  • OCB (Outreach and capacity building)
why was gbif established

Developed World

Biodiversity Data


Developing World

Why was GBIF established ?
  • Both biodiversity and biodiversity data are unevenly distributed around the world:
  • GBIF promotes the sharing of data with countries of origin.
some characteristics
Some characteristics
  • GBIF does not claim any IPRs
  • Data providers get due attribution
  • Data providers contrl the quality and access on their data
  • GBIF Data use agreements and Data Sharing Agreements
work on intellectual property rights
Work on Intellectual Property Rights
  • Background paper available
  • IPR Experts Meeting (Feb. 2004)
  • In depth-discussion at next GB9 meeting (October 2004)
  • Data Agreements
  • Other activities
data repatriation
Data repatriation
  • GBIF commissioned paper (CRIA)
  • More than 18 international institutions holding large-collections involved.
  • Exciting results:
    • Scientific community wants to share data
    • No formal agreements established
    • Due attribution requested
capacity building
Capacity building
  • Training in DiGIR technologies
  • GBIF-UNESCO Chairs in biodiversity informatics
  • In the works: Manual of best practices, training in digitization of natural history collections, mapping, uses of data
  • School of biodiversity informatics
example the cactus moth cactoblastis cactorum
Example: The Cactus Moth Cactoblastis cactorum
  • Study done by Jorge Soberon, CONABIO, Mexico, and collaborators
  • Cactoblastis devours every single species of prickly-pear (Platyopuntia) cactus that has been examined
  • In the US and Mexico there are more than 90 species of Platyopuntia, many endangered, that are vital components of arid ecosystems.
  • In Mexico, Platyopuntia is the 10th most important agricultural product

Predicted number of species of Platyopuntia

Opuntia lagunae

Fotografías de la planta y el fruto de Jon Rebman

Fotografía de las flores de George Lindsay

2004 request for pre proposals for seed money awards
2004 Request for Pre-proposals for seed money awards
  • Two programs:
    • DIGIT—funding to digitise collection or observation data: USD 700,000 available
    • ECAT—funding to help complete the catalogue of names of known organisms: USD 480,000 available
  • Awards up to USD 50,000 per project
  • Competition open to anyone
  • Priority areas include projects that support international initiatives, such as GTI or GSPC
  • Further information, including descriptions of projects funded in 2003, at
prototype of gbif data portal now open for use
Prototype of GBIF data portal now open for use
  • Currently contains 22.8 million specimen and observational records,
  • Provided by +30 data record providers and about 20 names providers
  • Can search on scientific names (including synonyms), see record information, plot maps, get lists of taxa by country, etc.
  • Expect to add many more records and to improve search methodologies throughout 2004
  • Please provide comments to help us improve it!!
contact details
Contact details
  • Beatriz Torres
  • GBIF Secretariat
  • Universitetsparken 15
  • Copenhagen 2100