Mobilization of biodiversity data from the private sector

A Norwegian data flow established to ensure mobilization of biodiversity data to GBIF from the private sector

South of Vikeså during the planning of the Lyngdal to Ålgård road construction project
South of Vikeså during the planning of the Lyngdal to Ålgård road construction project
© 2015 Kjell Inge Søreide, Statens vegvesen (The Norwegian Public Roads Administration).

The data flow for Norwegian biodiversity information used for public management and assessment of environmental impact from road and other large construction projects is already well-coordinated with GBIF Norway and the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre (NBIC).

Niels Cadee of NBIC remarks:

“Biodiversity data are mainly found in natural history museums, research institutions, environmental agencies, and NGO citizen science projects run by professional and amateur biologists. NBIC works with all these groups to collate and share this material. We welcome the fact that consulting companies not only use this data but also contribute their own survey results so we can truly present the most comprehensive overview of biodiversity data in Norway and make it available to everyone.”

Mandatory environmental impact surveys are directed to the data flow established between GBIF Norway and NBIC. This use case describes the contact with some of the large private engineering consulting companies in Norway.

Company Description GBIF publisher Occurrences in GBIF
Asplan Viak AS Asplan Viak AS is one of the large engineering consulting companies in Norway, with more than 30 offices and more than 900 employees. On January 13th 2016, Per Gerhard Ihlen at Asplan Viak contacted GBIF Norway for assistance to publish a dataset with species survey data collected in the planning of a road construction project from Lyngdal to Ålgård (approximately 130 km). During 2016, 2017 and 2018 a total of 11 datasets were published by Asplan Viak with assistance from GBIF Norway. Initial contact was made by Asplan Viak, and Asplan Viak has also independently made contact for each dataset they wish to publish. All data preparation and publication costs are covered by Asplan Viak without co-funding from GBIF Norway (except from our own costs for support). GBIF Norway provides the standard data flow solution for delivery of these species survey data from Asplan Viak for the purpose of use in planning the construction of national main roads in Norway and more. Asplan Viak receive funding for the survey and the results are considered as delivered when the data is published to the Norwegian Species Map Service (Artskart). All data (without exception) published on Artskart are also published on GBIF (using the very same data flow solution – IPT or Norwegian Species Observation Service - Artsobservasjoner). link 2,959
Multiconsult AS Multiconsult AS is one of the large engineering consulting companies in Norway. In 2016 Multiconsult (environment advisor Ragnhild Heimstad) contacted GBIF Norway following the 2016 grants call to apply for co-funding the publication of survey data along the railroad from Oslo to Bergen in August and September 2015. The survey included invasive species at the railroad station areas including 1 km along the tracks to each side. The survey field work was funded by the Norwegian Railroad for the purpose of planning the handling of soil from construction work. However, the costs for data preparation and publication were underestimated in the project. Multiconsult is planning to use the GBIF data templates and to include the appropriate budget for data publication in future survey assignments. The dataset from the railroad stations was published in July 2018. link 602
SWECO AS SWECO AS is one of the large engineering consulting companies in Norway. A GBIF publisher was created and planning initiated together with NBIC to extract respective occurrences from the larger Norwegian Species Observation Service - Artsobservasjoner dataset. SWECO currently publishes 1124 occurrences in Artskart. link 533

Per Gerhard Ihlen from Asplan Viak AS comments:

“Information about the location of different species is important when assessing the potential impact of planned construction projects (e.g. roads, buildings, power lines etc.) on an area. Two examples of how we use the data registry are: accurately geo-locating rare and red listed species that may be affected by projects and using bird species as indicators of important wildlife areas. The species register is valuable for our work and therefore it is important that we contribute to the registration process as well.”

A number of private companies that focus on nature survey projects also publish species data through GBIF Norway or through Norwegian Species Observation Service - Artsobservasjoner; including BioFokus, Biolog John Bjerne Jordal AS, Rådgivende Biologer, Faun Naturforvaltning AS, NNI Norsk Natur Informasjon AS, ARC Arctic Research and Consulting DA, and Ecofact.

Data flow for collecting biodiversity survey data for policy decision-making in Norway is very well-coordinated with the data flow for biodiversity data publication in GBIF. The authoritative knowledge base used for decision-making related to invasive species or threatened species, etc. (Norwegian Species Map Service - Artskart) uses GBIF Norway as the main data flow solution. This ensures that all biodiversity data used for this type of policy decision-making in Norway is also made freely available in GBIF. And that all available biodiversity data, including data published in GBIF from other countries, are included in this type of policy-making processes in Norway.

GBIF Norway provides an annual data mobilization grant for co-funding data preparation and data publication costs.

More information and contact details

Other nodes can contact GBIF Norway and the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Center (NBIC) to learn more about this mechanism.