Introduction and Organization of GBIF
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility)’s overall goals are as follows;
- To improve accessibility, completeness, and interoperability of bio-diversity DBs
- To provide access to new and existing databases
- To provide data and technical support within the system of intellectual property rights (as specified in Section 8 of MoU)
- To develop new user interfaces featuring multiple languages.
- To develop suitable tools and standards to access and analyze existing and new databases.
(Including the standards and protocols to index, verify, document, and perform quality control in various human languages, text sets, and computer encodings)
In order to fulfill these goals, the GBIF programs (Work Programs) are composed of six thematic programs.
- To facilitate the electronic name listing of known organisms.
- To design and establish the Species Bank.
- To develop the digital library for bio-diversity data
- Establish partnerships with other related organizations and projects
- Improve high-speed networking and computer infrastructure.
- Share calculating tools and methods including large-capacity data storages.
- Develop training models for bio-diversity training models
- To provide training for the data managers and the related workers
- To conduct various programs for enhancing the bio-diversity information capabilities and expertise of developing countries.
- To coordinate or support the coordination of bio-diversity information programs between participants.
- Data Access and Database Interoperability – DADI
- Electronic Catalogue of Names of Known Organisms - ECAT
- Digitization of Natural History Collections Data - DIGIT
- Outreach and Capacity Building - OCB
- SpeciesBank (This program is currently not in operation.)
- Digital bio-diversity-related documentary resources (This program is currently not in operation.)
Structure of the Facility
Unlike the bricks and mortar science organizations of the past, this organization is operated as a virtual facility. Here, the bricks of this organization shall be the database, information resources, and the information tools that can be used by the members of GBIF. The mortar that holds the bricks together is the shared information infrastructure (software tools, operational protocols and the Internet). The Secretariat of GBIF provides the research programs described in the ‘structure’ and implements them to support the provision of the mortar. The basis of the GBIF operation is the participant nodes and their database structure (bricks). When the MoU was signed, a participant was required to agree to form and maintain at least one node (a computer gateway which is stable and capable of searching the regional, sub-regional, state, or organizational databases that include the bio-diversity database of the primary or meta level). The participants agree to openly share their national or organizational bio-diversity databases. This includes the pledges for budgetary support measures for computerization of the bio-diversity information of the museums and libraries within the country. The data providers who are related to the participant nodes should function as the channels that allow the bio-diversity information to be provided to the GBIF portal. Their participation functions as the basis for fulfilling the goals of the GBIF.