In 2004, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) assigned the Centre Suisse de Cartographie de la Faune (CSCF), as the national data center, the responsibility for the organization of the Swiss Participation in the international initiative, the set-up of a centralized Swiss databank and the transfer of Swiss biodiversity data to the global network.
The vision of the Swiss GBIF initiative is that by 2030, 10 of the 45 million specimens stored in Swiss biorepositories are digitized and available on the network. The gathering of reference specimens within all national surveys and the research in systematics required for their scientific validation are ensured.
The Swiss Node is in charge of unifying biodiversity data from Swiss biorepositories, national data centres and research institutions within a centralized and multilingual IT architecture (national biodiversity data network). The node actively assists data owners with the data preparation and data cleaning process and contributes, based on the advice of the scientific commission, to the definition of priorities for collection digitization projects. In collaboration with the national data centres, the node promotes inter-institutional data digitization projects with a focus on priorities defined by FOEN (national focus, red list projects).
The work of the Swiss Node is accompanied by a scientific commission with representatives of Swiss collection-holding institutions (Conservatoire et jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Musée Cantonal de Zoologie Lausanne, Muséum d’histoire naturelle de la Ville de Genève, Naturhistorisches Museum Basel, Naturhistorisches Museum Bern), National data centres, the Swiss Academy of Sciences and FOEN.
National funding is provided by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Species, Ecosystems, Landscapes Division, Species and habitats section.