New GBIF fund targets biodiversity information needs in Asia

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A new fund aims to supplement existing activities of GBIF to support the needs of researchers and policymakers in Asia through mobilization and use of biodiversity data.

The Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (BIFA) is the outcome of a contribution to GBIF supplementary funds of more than €156,000 from the Japanese government, earmarked for activities in the Asia region.

Allocations from the fund may support the following broad areas of activity:

  • Partial support for a meeting of the regional subcommittee for Asia of the GBIF Participant Node Managers Committee
  • Support for activities aimed at enhancing biodiversity knowledge at the regional level—for example, generating species checklists—based on priorities agreed by GBIF nodes in Asia
  • Support for capacity-related activities in Asia, such as mentoring and training workshops
  • Support for GBIF-related activities potentially contributing to the work of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in particular the upcoming regional assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Asia and the Pacific

A steering committee comprised of representatives from the Ministry of the Environment, Goverment of Japan, the Asia regional group of GBIF nodes, and the GBIF Secretariat will determine the use of the fund within these areas. More information on the allocation of funds from BIFA will be available on GBIF.org in the coming months.

“The establishment of this new fund demonstrates the commitment of the government of Japan to support the mission of GBIF in Asia,” said Donald Hobern, GBIF Executive Secretary. “We hope and expect that the activities supported by BIFA will add significantly to the ability of Asian researchers and decision-makers to access the data required for better understanding and management of the region’s biodiversity.”