GBIF and the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) have released an updated version of their joint publication, Best Practices for Publishing Biodiversity Data from Environmental Impact Assessments.
This overhaul of the same groups' 2011 publication aims to help practitioners, consultants and other experts curate, archive, manage and share primary biodiversity data captured during environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and enviromental and social impact assessments (ESIAs).
Assembling data from baseline biodiversity assessments and monitoring is one of the most expensive and time-consuming tasks in the impact assessment process. Access to this highly valuable infomation is often strictly limited to the confines of the project, despite the direct influence it has on understanding current and future impacts of development activities.
By demonstrating how impact assessment practitioners and professionals can use available resources, the guide seeks to make dissemination of such high-quality data a routine practice capable that produces additional scientific and societal returns on their substantial investments.
The guide supports and reflects the private sector's growing interest in sharing biodiversity data through other initiatives like:
- the Equator Principles, a voluntary risk management framework used by private banks that fund large-scale infrastructure projects
- Data4Nature, a programme initiated with Agence Française de Développement that seeks wider engagement with development banks
- the OpenPSD project led by GBIF Spain with four other national participant nodes
- Western Australia's Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments, the subject of a recent presentation by Chris Gentle of the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI)
The best practices guide is the next in a series of digital-first publications produced by the GBIF Secretariat that the wider GBIF network supports through community peer review. An open-source publishing platform simplifies the process of editing and adjusting "first final" versions of guidance materials and empowers volunteer-led translation of any document for which there is community interest and support.
Those interested in future publications, peer review and translation opportunities within this programme should consider subscribe to the dedicated digital documentation mailing list.