Europe Alicante Regional Nodes Report 2010
Report from the GBIF European Regional Nodes Meeting, held 10-12 March 2010 in Alicante, Spain. It contains highlights, general remarks, workshop outputs and information on other relevant agreements and decisions.
Hof C. and Archambeau A.
, Thursday, September 23, 2010 (All day)
GBIF Node managers
The GBIF European Regional Nodes meeting was held on 10, 11 and 12 March 2010 in Alicante, Spain. The meeting was organised by the Spanish (GBIF.ES) and Dutch (NLBIF) GBIF Nodes with the support of the GBIF secretariat and kindly hosted by the University of Alicante. Ten national GBIF Nodes were represented (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK) two associate European Nodes (ETI and NordGen), three invited very relevant European organisations (LifeWatch, PESI, Species 2000/4D4Life) and three Program Officers from the GBIF secretariat (Nodes, ECAT, DIGIT). The meeting took place prior to the provided GBIF directions on (reporting) regional GBIF meetings. Throughout the meeting there was a very clear sense of urgency in many ways. Although Europe accommodates the most GBIF participants and European countries provide a very significant chunk of the GBIF data, European Nodes do face problems that seem persistent. Political commitment and finance is an ongoing concern, proper and stable staff is also an issue of concern, out of the 10 national Nodes present 3 were recovering from a period of significant staff changes with often an associated phase of inactivity. Participation in Europe is far from optimal. Large economies such as Italy and Greece are not in GBIF, the Eastern parts of Europe are still white area’s on the GBIF map. This aspect of activity and European participation is particularly troublesome when European GBIF Nodes want to serve data for pan--‐European projects or general European policy support, as part of their new regional functioning. Sense of purpose amongst (European) GBIF Nodes is a dimension that needs to receive more attention. Why are we doing this, who has benefited after the first 10 years of GBIF, who is using our data, what (biodiversity) questions can we answer now that we operate at a joint international and regional level. All participants agreed that as European GBIF Nodes we need to be able to answer these questions properly very soon and, more important, need to showcase what we can achieve at the European level and how European GBIF Nodes fit into the European biodiversity landscape. The financial crisis is already taking its toll in the (scientific) biodiversity community and under these conditions European GBIF Nodes definitely need to prove their value for science and society in order to secure future support and funding. Apart from the big issues on continuity, participation and purpose, a large part of the meeting was filled with the practicalities, frustrations and challenges Nodes face in their day to day life, often subjects that are very relevant for the GBIF secretariat and the functioning of GBIF as a whole. These items where categorised, ordered and prioritised. Three levels of urgency where set a priori: 1) Items that are considered problematic for the functioning of the Nodes and require immediate action, in most cases by the GBIF secretariat in cooperation with the community, 2) Priorities for European Nodes themselves, 3) Items that are of importance for the GBIF Work Programme on the short and long term. After the meeting work continued. Points of action were formulated, and responsible partners / Nodes assigned to take the responsibility on these different points of action. A first (digital) follow--‐up was planned for May 2010.
Hof, C. and Archambeau A. (2012). Europe Alicante Regional Nodes Report 2010. 15 pp, accessible online at http://www.gbif.org/orc/?doc_id=4413.
Endorsed by the Nodes in Europe.
Permission to copy and/or distribute all or part of the information contained in this document is granted, provided that such copies carry due attribution to the authors and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
Hof, C. and Archambeau A.