SiB Colombia and NLBIF shine bright in GBIF Node Awards' first edition

Awards recognize achievements of excellence and innovation within the GBIF global node community

Team from SiB Colombia, March, 2022: Dairo Escobar, Esteban Marentes, Ricardo Ortiz, Camila Plata, Jeimmy Díaz and Andrés Duarte. Photo by Dario Escobar

The GBIF nodes from Colombia and the Netherlands are the first recipients of the new GBIF Node Awards. The award programme will honour the collective accomplishments of the teams that coordinate GBIF-related activities for the network's Participant countries and organizations.

SiB Colombia has received the Excellence Award, celebrating their progress across a range of critical service areas for GBIF nodes, such as scientific and policy support, community engagement, and technical aid for biodiversity data management.

NLBIF has won the Global Impact Award, which recognizes the value of its initiative on EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting to contribute to both the delivery of GBIF's strategic framework and its potential benefit and applicability for the entire GBIF network.

The GBIF Node Awards will be held every other year with the aim of highlighting exemplary approaches that can inspire other nodes to take up similar actions. The programme's first year received high-quality nominations in both categories. Secretariat staff will repurpose the examples included the nomination submissions as replicable guiding examples for further advancing access and use of free and open data on biodiversity.

"These awards spotlight our node community's exceptional dedication and ingenuity, and SiB Colombia and NLBIF are vanguards inspiring others to follow suit," said Mélianie Raymond, community and capacity manager at the GBIF Secretariat. "We're eager to see how their achievements—as well as those shared in all the other outstanding nominations—can catalyze further innovations across the network."

Excellence Award: SiB Colombia

For its unwavering dedication to mobilizing biodiversity data and consistent contributions to advancing GBIF's overall strategic goals, both nationally and in the Latin America and Caribbean region, the jury has presented the first GBIF Node Award for Excellence to SiB Colombia. The selection recognizes several of the team's accomplishments, including:

"The collective efforts of the team and their dedication to addressing our community's needs and challenges have encouraged our network to recognize the advantages of advancing toward the democratization of knowledge about our biodiversity," said Ricardo Ortiz, node manager for SiB Colombia, which is hosted at the Humboldt Institute (Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt) in Bogotá. "This is also a recognition of the efforts of SiB Colombia’s network of more than 200 publishers, whose commitment to open data is the cornerstone to contribute significantly in achieving both national and global objectives."

SiB Colombia node team

  • Dairo Escobar: Node manager (Jan 2020-Jun 2023); Head of delegation (May 2015-Jan 2020); Node staff (Apr 2012-Jun 2023)
  • Camila Plata: Node staff (2013-2015, 2018-Feb 2023)
  • Ricardo Ortiz: Node manager (Jun 2023-present); Node staff (2018-Jun 2023)
  • Esteban Marentes: Node staff (2020-present)
  • Jeimmy Díaz: Node staff (2018-Mar 2023)
  • Andrés Duarte: Node staff (2021-)

Global Impact Award: NLBIF

With the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) taking effect on in January 2023 under the European Green Deal, companies in Europe have an urgent need to understand how to prepare and publish new environmental reports starting in 2025. In recognition of a pioneering pilot project with Big Four accounting firm KPMG to help develop an analysis pipeline for assessing corporate dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, the jury has selected NLBIF, the national GBIF node for the Netherlands, as the recipient of the first GBIF Node Award for Global Impact.

Businesses face increasing demands to disclose their nature-related dependencies, impacts, risks and opportunities—not just in Europe, but around the world. GBIF's unique ability to provide global-scale, location-specific data on the patterns and characteristics of biodiversity has prompted growing corporate interest, including the Secretariat's participation in a recent scoping study of the business sector's biodiversity data needs led by the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). By initiating deeper knowledge exchange between business and biodiversity experts, NLBIF's partnership with KPMG has advanced new policy-relevant opportunities for the use of GBIF-mediated data that can instruct and benefit all GBIF nodes.

"Helping businesses report on their impacts and dependencies on nature and biodiversity under the CSRD by using geospatial and temporal information on biodiversity derived from GBIF-mediated data has significant potential to increase our impact," said Niels Raes, NLBIF node manager and programme manager at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NLBIF's host institution. "With so much of global land cover under private control, we need to ensure effective implementation of CSRD and TNFD to guide sustainable development toward the targets in the Global Biodiversity Framework."

NLBIF node team

  • Niels Raes: Node manager
  • Jeroen Creuwels: Data manager
  • Amy van Nobelen: Communication officer
  • Sijmen Cozijnsen: Technical support