Progress and plans
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is a Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo) funded initiative that works in cooperation with policy and research institutions; a neutral and interest-free science-policy interface, providing credible information on biodiversity science; and a major actor in national, European, international and intergovernmental biodiversity initiatives.
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is a science-policy interface that offers a privileged access to primary biodiversity data and research information. The Platform encourages interdisciplinary cooperation among scientists and serves as an interface between researchers and science-policy organizations. It provides advice on the designation of biodiversity research priorities and promotes Belgian biodiversity research in international fora.
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is funded through the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo) who also provides the financial contribution that has allowed Belgium to be a Voting Participant since the very beginning of GBIF.
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform's mandate is based on a Cooperation Agreement between federal and federated authorities (the federal government, the Communities, and the Regions). According to the Cooperation Agreement, host institutions are designated for a period of four years. The current host institutions are: Belspo, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, the Research institute for Nature & Forest (INBO), and the Research department for natural and agricultural environment (DEMNA) under the Public Services Department of the Walloon Government.
The Platform provides services to the Belgian scientific community engaged in biodiversity research. The Platform is the Belgian GBIF node and IPBES focal point. As a science-policy interface, it provides neutral and scientifically credible information on all aspects of biodiversity science. It also offers services related to data publication, management and use, science networking, training and capacity building. The Platform is a multidisciplinary team, composed of natural and social scientists and IT experts, that provides suitable services to Belgian scientists.
The Belgian network consists of all major institutes that deal with primary biodiversity data:
Botanical Garden Meise (Plantentuin Meise - NBGB)
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (Instituut voor Natuur-en Bosonderzoek - INBO)
Flanders Marine Institute, Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ)
Research department for natural and agricultural environment (Département de l’Etude du milieu naturel et agricol - DEMNA)
Universities of Antwerp, Brussels(ULB/VUB), Gent, Liège, Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve, Mons and Namur
Citizen Science NGOs : Natagora, Natuurpunt
The Belgian Node Network communicates through an informal contacts group consulted whenever necessary.
The Platform Steering Committee is composed of permanent members and observers from the science and environmental fields designated by their respective authorities. The Steering Committee acts as the strategic decision-making body of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform.