Copenhagen, Denmark A landmark conference has agreed key priorities for harnessing the power of information technologies and social networks to understand better the workings of life on Earth, focussing on how biodiversity can continue to sustain human lives and livelihoods.
The Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference (GBIC), gathering some 100 experts from around the world from 2-4 July, identified critical areas in which greater investment and better coordination could give society much better, innovative tools to monitor and manage biological resources. These tools will be designed to support vital functions such as food security, human health and more sustainable economic development.
The overall aim is to build global collaboration on biodiversity observation, uniting many partners and initiatives, capable of detecting and enabling responses to short-term changes and long-term trends in biodiversity and ecosystems. This collaboration will connect diverse sources of data on genetic variability, occurrence and abundance of species, traits of organisms and many other factors. It will address a wide range of policy needs including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed by governments in 2010 as part of a 10-year strategic plan to halt biodiversity loss.
Donald Hobern, Executive Director of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), host of the conference said: "Information networks support and permeate nearly every aspect of our daily lives in areas such as banking, commerce and entertainment. We still do not have this kind of rich, globally-interconnected system for understanding and monitoring life on Earth.
"We know a lot about species, genetics, and ecology, but we can't easily put this information together into a working knowledge system. This conference has given us a roadmap toward this goal."
The capabilities discussed by the participants at GBIC, who came from a range of disciplines including
|Contact: Sampreethi Aipanjiguly|
Global Biodiversity Information Facility