The GBIF Governing Board

The Governing Board is the means by which GBIF Participants make collective decisions. Currently meeting once a year, it consists of one representative from each Participant country and organization.

Only representatives from Voting Participant Countries (those countries making a financial contribution to GBIF's central fund) have the right to vote on the Governing Board. Representatives from Associate Participants, both countries and organizations, are encouraged to attend the Governing Board and take part in its discussions, but may not vote. Further explanation of the different categories of GBIF membership can be found here.

The Governing Board has established Rules of Procedure, further elaborating on the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the structure of the board, meetings, requirements for participation and the establishment of subsidiary bodies.

For a full list of delegates to the Governing Board, see the Directory of contacts.


Countries or organisations or other international bodies that have not signed the MOU, but are interested in sharing biodiversity data and follow the activities of GBIF, may be recognized by the GBIF Governing Board as observers, as well as former Participant Countries deciding to be observers.

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is invited to designate a non-voting representative to the Governing Board.


The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee operates on behalf of the Governing Board when the Board is not in session and within the areas of responsibility delegated to it by the Governing Board. Among its functions are monitoring of the performance of the Secretariat in carrying out the decisions taken by the Governing Board including implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Work Programme, and management of the budget.

More information can be found in the Executive Committee's Terms of Reference.

List of current members of the GBIF Executive Committee:

Peter Schalk
Governing Board Chair
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Darwinweg 2
NL-2333 CR
NetherlandsTel: +31 71 751 7363Fax: +31 71 751 7367
Governing Board Chair
Jorge Soberón Mainero
Governing Board 1st Vice Chair
University of Kansas
Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center
Dyche Hall
1345 Jayhawk Blvd.

KS 66045-7163
United StatesTel: +1 (785) 864-3897

Governing Board 1st Vice Chair
Mark Graham
Governing Board 2nd Vice Chair
Canadian Museum of Nature
P.O. Box 3443, Station D
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6P4
CanadaTel: +1 613 566 4743Fax: 1-613-364-4027
Governing Board 2nd Vice Chair
Walter Berendsohn
Budget Committee Chair
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Freie Universität Berlin
Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8
14195 Berlin
GermanyTel: +49 30 838 501 46 (or 43)Fax: +49 30 841 729 43
Budget Committee Chair
Roderic Page
Science Committee Chair
University of Glasgow
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
Glasgow G12 8QQ
United KingdomTel: +44 141 330 4778Fax: +44 141 330 2792
Science Committee Chair
Hanna Koivula
Nodes Committee Chair
Finnish Environment Institute - SYK
Yliopistokatu 7 (Natura-rakennus)
80100 Joensuu
FinlandTel: +358-295251703
Nodes Committee Chair
Donald Hobern
Executive Secretary
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Universitetsparken 15

DenmarkTel: +45 35 32 14 70

Executive Secretary


Meetings of the Governing Board

The Governing Board currently meets annually in a Participant country that offers to host it. The meeting is organized by the Secretariat in collaboration with the hosting country. The formal proceedings of the Board are associated with a number of other events at the same location, including meetings of nodes, standing committees, training events and the annual Science Symposium.

Next meeting

GB23: 24-27 October 2016, Brasília, Brazil

Previous meetings

GB22: 8-10 October 2015, Antananarivo, Madagascar

GB21: 16 & 18 September 2014, New Delhi
Message from CBD Executive Secretary
Videos from public symposium

GB20: 8-10 October 2013, Berlin

GB19: 18 & 20 September 2012, Lillehammer, Norway

GB18: 4 & 6 October 2011, Buenos Aires
Photos via Flickr

GB17: 12 & 14 October 2010, Suwon, Republic of Korea
Suwon declaration

  • GB16: 6 & 8 October 2009, Copenhagen
  • GB15: 3 & 5 November 2008, Arusha, Tanzania
  • GB14: 16-17 October 2007, Amsterdam
  • GB13: 2-3 October 2006, Iquitos, Peru
  • GB12.5: 15-16 June 2006, Madrid
  • GB12: 3-4 April 2006, Cape Town
  • GB11: 11-13 October 2005, Stockholm
  • GB10: 19-20 April 2005, Brussels
  • GB9: 5-7 October 2004, Wellington, New Zealand
  • GB8: 26 April 2004, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • GB7: 6-8 October 2003, Tsukuba, Japan
  • GB6: 28 April-2 May 2003, Copenhagen
  • GB5: 9-11 October 2002, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • GB4: 20-22 March 2002, Canberra, Australia
  • GB3: 11-12 September 2001, Paris
  • GB2: 15-17 June 2001, Bonn-Bad Honnef, Germany
  • GB1: 9-11 March 2001, Montreal