Benefits of GBIF Participation

In building a case for a country or international organization to join GBIF, you will need to explain the benefits of GBIF Participation and of establishing a node. In 2019, during GBIF’s Governing Board meeting, the GBIF Participants were asked to provide statements on how they summarize GBIF’s value and communicate it to colleagues and funders. A selection of the answers given are provided here for you to review and compare. Consider which benefits of Participation are common across the statements and which are unique to the specific Participant concerned. You can find further information about each GBIF Participant delegation by following the links to the country pages on the GBIF website.

Particpant examples

Read these statements from GBIF Participants on how they communicate GBIF’s value, and consider how they relate to the context of your country or organization.

🇦🇺 Australia

The major biodiversity assessment and monitoring challenges confronting nations are inherently transnational and thus demand data at such scale. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility delivers three key functions for Australia.

  1. First, it provides the national and global biodiversity research community access to the best available transnational data to support their work.

  2. Second, it provides a global focal point to foster data interoperability, promulgation of data standards and architectural alignment, which inherently leads to a smoother flow of data.

  3. And finally it allows Australian biodiversity data generated by collections, museums, researchers, ecological monitoring and citizen science programs to deliver impact globally. Conversely, it allows Australian researchers and decision makers access to data that would be otherwise hard to obtain for purposes such as biosecurity risk assessment and climate change scenario planning.

GBIF has achieved what few other environmental domains have been able to achieve globally and acts as a strong exemplar to scientific and research funding infrastructure initiatives of the level of coordination and cooperation within the biodiversity domain.

🇧🇪 Belgium

GBIF is a unique infrastructure delivering access to a vast quantity of evidence data from various sources (specimens, observations, monitoring). It is a fantastic indexation tool for biodiversity data. It provides a powerful common denominator aggregating data tool.

Thanks to capacity enhancement programmes and numerous training workshops, GBIF succeeded to create a vibrant community of nodes supporting data publishers and users around the globe.

GBIF’s Data Citation mechanism is amongst the most advanced in open data and open science landscape.

🇨🇦 Canada

In communicating the value of GBIF to colleagues and funders, Canada emphasizes that:

  • GBIF provides Canadian citizens and stakeholders with an easy, reliable one-stop source available anywhere for accessing Canadian and global biodiversity information, wherever the data was generated;

  • GBIF provides great added value from the perspective that it facilitates aggregating relevant data from different sources and reviewing data quality which can be very labour-intensive.

  • Like many other countries, the Government of Canada committed to an Open Government Strategy. Membership in GBIF and contribution of Canadian biodiversity datasets directly supports Open Government activities.

  • Participation in GBIF also contributes to Canada’s data and information requirements for Canadian commitments to intergovernmental processes. For example, having detailed biodiversity data contributes to the Convention for Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 19 on the sharing of biodiversity knowledge and also on target 9 (invasive species), target 11 (protected areas), target 12 (avoiding extinctions), and target 13 (conserving genetic resources).

🇬🇭 Ghana

I would like to summarize the value proposition of GBIF for Ghana in four ways:

  • GBIF is an international community and / infrastructure of excellence that is truly dedicated to serving open biodiversity data for science, conservation and policy.

  • GBIF is an excellent practitioner of the “new” and existing discipline of biodiversity informatics.

  • GBIF is a means to achieving national commitments to inter-governmental cooperation / agreements such as Clearing House Mechanisms (CHM) of the CBD.

  • GBIF is a powerful aggregator of worldwide biodiversity data that is crucial for biodiversity research and science.

🇮🇪 Ireland

To summarize GBIF’s value from Ireland’s perspective:

  1. It internationalizes Ireland’s work – being a small island the temptation for us is to have a national focus – GBIF allows us to participate easily and proactively in a global initiative/network with all the benefits that this brings

  2. Through Ireland’s participation in GBIF it ensures that knowledge on the spatial distribution of Irish biodiversity contributes to the global biodiversity database, - important that we are not overlooked!

  3. It provides a valuable and good value for money resource for researchers within, and associated with, Ireland to use in biodiversity related research, thereby improving the evidence base on Ireland’s biodiversity and how it is changing.

🇰🇷 Korea, Republic of

The data from Korean Biodiversity need to be registered and distributed through the GBIF’s integrated portal to manage and secure strategically the national biological resources. It is also necessary to respond to international issues of ABS* by following the Korea’s ratification in May 2017 on the Nagoya Protocol. In summary, I would like to say that the GBIF’s values are to collect and share the original data and samples of biological resources to people, and then they can use them for various purposes of environmental monitoring, biodiversity management & conservation, and further industrial uses in medicines, cosmetics, health functional foods, etc.

*Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity

🇲🇽 Mexico

GBIF is the most comprehensive source of free spatial biodiversity information in the world, really important since biodiversity does not recognize political frontiers and many analysis need to include the whole range of species distribution, assess invasive species, changes caused by climate change or other drivers. Having access to those data has proved to be very useful tool, despite we might like to have additional data on species population, for example, to assess endangered species. For many megadiverse countries, this infrastructure provides the basic information needed for better decisions, that provide opportunities for collaboration in different ways. GBIF has already proved its value.

🇵🇹 Portugal

We summarize GBIF’s value based on achievements obtained from our participation so far, starting by highlighting the measurable indicators of performance:

  • Peer review articles published by researchers with Portuguese affiliation, using GBIF data

  • Citations of peer review articles published using data from Portuguese institutions which was published by GBIF

  • The 130% annual average increase in the number of accessible data published by Portugal since the implementation of the Portuguese Node in 2013, having increased from 99 thousand records to the 7.1 million at present

However, the major impact/value of GBIF for Portugal is highly focused on other components, namely Capacity Building, Infrastructures, Open Science and International Cooperation.

🇹🇬 Togo

GBIF is a community of biodiversity enthusiasts, a platform of scientists and policy makers working to link biodiversity data with science and development; a platform that strives to provide freely decision-making material for understanding biodiversity data for the purpose of preserving and conserving biodiversity for present and future generations. More than a platform, GBIF is a community.

This commendable initiative can only be communicated by illustration. To scientists and researchers through the many applications that are emerging and that help in the analysis and understanding of the data mobilized and available in open access. To decision-makers, GBIF is communicated through the relevance of scientific productions resulting from the analysis of available data and taking into account their concerns, particularly in terms of management, preservation or conservation of the environment in order to mitigate the effects related to climate change.

Consider your own country or organization

After reading the statements from some of the GBIF Participant countries on how they communicate GBIF’s value on that national level, look for the topics that are mentioned frequently and that you think could be relevant to your country or organization. Note down at least three examples on your activity sheet.