The Atlas of Living Australia (GBIF Australia) was initiated by a group of 14 (now 17) partner organisations. The Atlas was formally established through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), which was originally administered by the Australian Department of Science and Innovation – now the Department of Education. The Atlas is hosted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and has a partner base including Australian Museums, Herbaria and other biological collections.
The intent was to create a national database of all of Australia’s flora and fauna that could be accessed through a single, easy to use web site. Information on the site would be used to improve understanding of Australian biodiversity and assist researchers to build a more detailed picture of Australia’s biodiversity; and to assist environmental managers and policy makers develop more effective means of managing and sustaining Australia’s biodiversity.
The Atlas of Living Australia’s core mission is to “share biodiversity knowledge”.
The vision is to bring together information on all the known species in Australia - aggregated from a wide range of data providers including at least: museums, herbaria, researchers, community groups, government departments, non-government agencies, consultants, individuals (or citizens) and universities.
The Atlas of Living Australia’s Management Committee provides strategic guidance for the project. The committee includes representatives from the partner community (museums, herbaria, CSIRO), as well as other NCRIS capabilities, Federal and State agencies. The committee represents and engages with key partners, data publishers and the overall collection and user community.
Funding for the Atlas of Living Australia was provided by the Australian Government under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and the Super Science Initiative (SSI), part of the Education Investment Fund. The Atlas partners have provided considerable in-kind contributions.
The basic financial contribution to GBIF is made by Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO National Research Collections Australia.