Although Ghana was among the first countries to sign the GBIF MOU in 2001 it could not fully participate and benefit from the many opportunities made available to participants. This was mainly because Ghana did not have a functional GBIF node. Nonetheless, the importance of open access to biodiversity data in order to inform national policy decisions for conservation and sustainable development became increasingly evident amongst various stakeholders in the country. As such, delegates at the first National Biodiversity Stakeholders’ meeting endorsed the establishment of a country node of GBIF.
GhaBIF was officially established at the second National Stakeholders’ Biodiversity Information meeting held at the Department of Plant and Environmental Biology (formerly the Department of Botany) in the University of Ghana on 20 May 2009. GhaBIF was established as a national coordination body with the overall aim of furthering technical and scientific efforts to develop and share biodiversity information about Ghana.
The node comprises of a wide range of participants including national institutions, agencies, organisations, and individuals that intend to provide free and universal access to data and information regarding Ghana’s biodiversity.
GhaBIF is hosted and based in the Department of Plant and Environmental Biology at the University of Ghana, which provides administrative oversight and logistic support. The host is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the node.
The governing body of the node is the National Committee, which is made up of seven representatives selected among stakeholders.