Using GBIF-mediated data for Sustainable Development and Open Science in Asia

Literature study of publications from Asia using data from GBIF for SDGs and Open Science


Open biodiversity data plays a key role in supporting the achievement of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, SDGs 14 (Life below Water) and 15 (Life on Land) and aligns with the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science adopted in 2021.

In this example, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) GBIF node conducted a literature study to better understand the role and influence of GBIF in advancing the SDG goals and Open Science in Asia.

"Our study showed us that biodiversity data has direct and indirect contributions in achieving SDGs", said Dr Xu Zheping, GBIF Node manager at CAS. He continued: "It's clear that we need big biodiversity data, models and techniques to meet the needs of research and policy—and for that, GBIF plays an important role."

Dr Xu and colleagues extracted data on literature drawn from the Dimensions research information dataset which include filters for research into the 17 SDGs for more than five millions publications available in the dataset tagged using machine learning and semi-automatically generated training data.

Focusing on studies mentioning GBIF in Asia, published after 2016, the researchers were able to extract a list of papers with SDG classifiers as a basis for further investigation. The individual papers were analysed for scope, countries involved, GBIF data used and use of or contribution to open science.

From the results the researchers were able to identify research papers across nearly all SDGs, including the below examples, also described in detail in the attached presentation:

SDG Example paper
GOAL 1: No Poverty Value chain analysis of Rhododendron arboreum squash ‘buransh’ as a non-timber forest product (NTFP) in Western Himalayas: Case study of Chamoli district, Uttarakhand in India
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger Trade-off relationship between modern agriculture and biodiversity: Heavy consolidation work has a long-term negative impact on plant species diversity
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being Integrating snake distribution, abundance and expert-derived behavioural traits predicts snakebite risk
GOAL 4: Quality Education Contributions to the biodiversity of Vietnam – Results of VIETBIO inventory work and field training in Cuc Phuong National Park
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation Indicator environmental variables in regulating the distribution patterns of small freshwater fish Amblypharyngodon mola in India and Bangladesh
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy Renewable energy Nexus: Interlinkages with biodiversity and social issues in Japan
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth Primary productivity connects hilsa fishery in the Bay of Bengal
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure A practical wind farm siting framework integrating ecosystem services — A case study of coastal China
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality Gap analysis of Indonesian priority medicinal plant species as part of their conservation planning
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Bioclimatic Suitability of Actual and Potential Cultivation Areas for Jacaranda mimosifolia in Chinese Cities
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production Ganoderma boninense Disease of Oil Palm to Significantly Reduce Production After 2050 in Sumatra if Projected Climate Change Occurs
GOAL 13: Climate Action Climate change and the increase of human population will threaten conservation of Asian cobras
GOAL 14: Life Below Water Rapid marine biodiversity assessment records 16 new marine fish species for Seychelles, West Indian Ocean
GOAL 15: Life on Land The recent Asian elephant range expansion in Yunnan, China, is associated with climate change and enforced protection efforts in human-dominated landscapes
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal Virtual Herbarium ALTB: collection of vascular plants of the Altai Mountain Country

This work can easily be extended to other continents, regions and countries, using Dimensions and/or the GBIF literature database. Other nodes can contact the CAS node for details on the study.

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  • GBIF network
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  • Data analysis