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, organizations or other international bodies that have not signed the MoU, but are interested in the activities of GBIF, may be recognized by the Governing Board as observers. A number of former Participants that have not yet signed the latest MoU are also classified as observers to the Governing Board.

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
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Darwinweg 2


+31 71 751 7363
+31 71 751 7367
Jorge Soberón Mainero
1st Vice Chair
Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center
Dyche Hall
1345 Jayhawk Blvd.

United States of America

+1 (785) 864-3897
1st Vice Chair
Motomi Ito
2nd Vice Chair
University of Tokyo
Department of Systems Sciences
Komaba, Meguro-ku


2nd Vice Chair
Claude-Anne Gauthier
3rd Vice Chair
Museum national d’Histoire naturelle
Direction générale - CP 24
57, rue Cuvier


+33 1 71 21 46 58
3rd Vice Chair
Walter Berendsohn
Budget Committee Chair
GBIF.DE - Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Freie Universität Berlin
Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8


+49 30 838 501 46 (or 43)
+49 30 841 729 43
Budget Committee Chair
Hanna Koivula
Nodes Committee Chair
Finnish Museum of Natural History
PO Box 17


Nodes Committee Chair
Roderic Page
Science Committee Chair
Division of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Faculty of Biomedical and Life Science
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

+44 141 330 4778
+44 141 330 2792
Science Committee Chair
Donald Hobern
Executive Secretary (Ex-officio member)
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Universitetsparken 15


+45 35 32 14 70
Executive Secretary (Ex-officio member)


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.

Previous meetings

GB21, 16 & 18 September 2014, New Delhi
Public presentations
Meeting documents (GB delegates only)

GB20, 8-10 October 2013, Berlin
Public presentations
Meeting documents (GB delegates only)

GB19, 18 & 20 September 2012, Lillehammer, Norway
Public presentations 
Meeting documents (GB delegates only)

GB18, 4 & 6 October 2011, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Photos via Flickr
Meeting documents (GB delegates only)

GB17, 12 & 14 October 2010, Suwon, Republic of Korea
Suwon declaration
Meeting documents (GB delegates only) 

GB16, 6 & 8 October 2009, Copenhagen
Public documents
Meeting documents (GB delegates only)

GB15, 3 & 5 November 2008, Arusha, Tanzania
Meeting summary (GB delegates only)

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