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4 GBIF-endorsed campaigns underway

What is a GBIF Campaign?

Different users of the GBIF network have different interests that require significant volumes of biodiversity data of various types. Given the small size and coordination mandate of the Secretariat, it is not possible for GBIF's central activities to meet all of these needs. However, the interests of various countries and organisations that participate in the GBIF network do coincide with the needs of these user groups.

GBIF has therefore encouraged all parties that are interested in particular areas of concern to come together to design and implement activities that will meet the data needs associated with addressing those concerns. The GBIF information architecture and existing data are the foundation upon which these projects can be built. The data and other capabilities developed during these activities will be openly shared via the GBIF network.

The activities of such a group of users, data providers, and funders are known as a "GBIF Campaign". The intention of the Campaign model is to broaden the capacity and resources available for activities associated with overall GBIF objectives, without constraints imposed by limited Secretariat resources. Thus, Campaigns have a liaison within the GBIF Secretariat, but are led by a GBIF participant. It is intended that Campaign activities after the initial planning stages will be supported by non-GBIF sources of funding.

The four GBIF Campaigns endorsed in 2007

At its 2007 meeting, the GBIF Governing Board endorsed four Campaigns, and awarded 30,000 to each for the planning stage. Of primary importance during that planning stage is of course identifying the fundraising activities that will be undertaken to sustain the Campaign.
The four GBIF Campaigns that are currently underway focus on the following areas of concern:

  • developing evidence-based indicators to measure progress toward the 2010 Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  • building a biodiversity information facility for the Amazon basin;
  • increasing the available data and building networks to address the global pollinator crisis; and
  • developing a register of marine species for the world.

Each of these GBIF Campaigns is described below. More information on the partners involved in the Campaign, the activities that are planned for the Campaign, etc., can be sought from the contact persons listed with the descriptions.

GBIF looks forward to the successful implementation of these Campaigns and encourages all interested parties to participate in them and contribute to their success.

GBIF for 2010
Contacts: Daniel P. Faith, The Australian Museum
Claire Brown, UNEP WCMC

The GBIF 2010 Campaign, led by Australia and UNEP-WCMC, will mobilise and apply GBIF data to address the globally recognised biodiversity target for 2010 of a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national levels. At the core of the Campaign is better measurement of biodiversity patterns (by integrating GBIF and other data) and better support for the decision-making and planning needed to reduce biodiversity loss (by using systematic conservation planning).

While many have regarded the 2010 target as difficult to achieve, a reduced rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 is possible, based on the core idea of systematic conservation planning (SCP). Simply put, land-use planning and other decision making that more efficiently balances conservation with other needs of society implies reduced biodiversity losses, compared to business-as-usual. Through that important core idea of finding a balance, the GBIF 2010 Campaign provides links to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of environmental sustainability at global and regional scales.

The SCP approach depends on GBIF primary data as the basis for good measures of overall (wholesale) biodiversity. These data are integrated with environmental data to extend the predictive power of the biodiversity models. These models then must be integrated with socio-economic threats, and land use data for SCP decisions and indicators of achievement against the 2010 target. In this way, the Campaign hopes to promote, demonstrate, and enable application of GBIF primary biodiversity data to not only measure progress towards, but actually achieve the 2010 biodiversity target.

Amazon Basin Biodiversity Information Facility (ABBIF)
Contact: Victor Miyakawa, IIAP (Peru)

ABBIF is a multilateral effort led by Peru and Colombia that involves partners from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela, to unlock biodiversity data on the Amazon basin, with the development of strong collaborative links in the region. The campaign will ensure that all biodiversity databases and information systems that are developed will comply with GBIF standards and protocols. ABBIF also has the support of external organisations including INBIO Costa Rica, Argentinean Natural History Museum, CONABIO Mexico, SPAIN, BIOTA / UTU Finland, ETI Bioinformatics Netherlands, AndinoNet, and the New York Botanical Garden.

Once operational, ABBIF will help promote a collaborative environment to study, discover, and describe species diversity in the region, to analyse, synthesise, and share information and knowledge to promote sustainable development and human well-being.

The Campaign will address important thematic and taxonomic gaps already identified for the region, aiming at improving the primary data (species and specimens) infrastructure currently available on vascular plants and Amazonian fish. But the Campaign will also be opportunistic in order to accommodate emerging partnerships with interested communities in contributing data from key indicators or taxa, including ants and amphibians.

Global Pollinator Species Campaign
Contact: Michael Ruggiero

One of the most important and free ecosystem services provided by nature is pollination, the transfer of pollen between flowers by animals. Without this vital ecosystem service, 3/4 of the worlds leading fruit, vegetable, and seed crops would be in peril. The global value of pollination to agriculture has been estimated at around 150 billion per year. While bees are by far the dominant pollinator group (about 20,000 described species), other insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles are also important.

Increasing concern about the loss of pollinator species and the consequent effects on food supply and natural biodiversity has given rise to regional pollinator initiatives in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. Additionally, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has taken the lead for the Convention of Biological Diversity to coordinate these regional efforts through the International Pollinator Initiative.

This GBIF Campaign is led by the United States. It will support pollinator conservation through the use of integrated taxonomic knowledge. Five major information products are proposed:

  • A World Checklist of Bees and other Pollinating Species,
  • Searchable Digitized Records from Major Bee Collections and Observation Programs
  • Information on Plant and Pollinator Associations
  • Pollinator Identification Capability
  • Status and Trends of Pollinators

World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)
Contact: Mark Costello

Ocean biological data exchange and management, and the integration of biological with other ocean data urgently require an authoritative register of all known marine species. Such a register also facilitates the efforts of taxonomists to discover and describe new species, fosters global-scale collaboration among experts, enables ecologists and other scientists to ensure that they are using correct taxonomic names in their work, and stimulates biogeographic and evolutionary research.

The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Campaign is led by GBIF Associate Participant OBIS. WoRMS is the next step in the long-term effort to make ocean biodiversity informatics an everyday part of the marine and biodiversity sciences and associated environmental management. WoRMS will be a standards based, quality controlled, expert validated, open-access infrastructure for research, education, and data and resource management.

WoRMS builds on the European Register of Marine Species and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), and collaborates with GBIFs ECAT and Global Names Architecture, as well as the Catalogue of Life partnership, OBIS, SpeciesBase, Encyclopedia of Life, SeaLifeBase, the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange of IOC, and multiple data centres and other related initiatives. For additional detail, see


Contact: Meredith A. Lane
Global Biodiversity Information Facility

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