BIFA programme awards funding to nine new projects in Asia

Projects selected under the Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia will promote the mobilization and use of biodiversity data from Asian collections and ecological monitoring

Euryale ferox
Prickly water lily (Euryale ferox) observed in Xiaoxingkai Lake, Heilongjiang, China by John Howes. Photo via iNaturalist (CC BY-NC 4.0)

The fifth round of funding from the Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (BIFA) programme will support nine new projects in 2020, focusing on mobilizing biodiversity data from collections and ecological monitoring in the region.

The call issued in November 2019 attracted a wide range of highly competitive proposals. The projects, selected after a rigorous evaluation process, involve teams from institutions in nine Asian countries, along with four partners from outside the region. When combining the total funding of €117,829 awarded with co-funding secured by the project teams, the total investment enabled by this round of BIFA exceeds €280,000.

2020 BIFA project grantees

Project Country of project lead Funding from BIFA Cofunding
Digitizing and data basing of bee specimens in Thailand Thailand € 13,888 € 13,888
Enriching the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal through digitization and mobilization of specimen collections Bhutan € 7,952 € 9,072
Supporting conservation through mobilizing ecological data from Kalimantan, Indonesia Indonesia € 14,985 € 4,828
Mobilizing Indonesian butterfly collections at the Museum Zoologi Bogor (II) Indonesia € 14,953 € 15,516
Digitization of specimens at the University of the Philippines Los Baños Museum of Natural History Philippines € 14,992 € 5,233
Digitization of mycological collections in Nepal Nepal € 14,750 € 8,500
Mobilizing invertebrate monitoring data in South-East Asia China € 14,127 € 81,102
Using citizen science to study whales and dolphins in Vietnamese waters Viet Nam € 14,783 € 14,585
Cleaning and digitizing plant specimen records from Heilongjiang Province, China China € 7,399 € 11,015

The projects are all beginning in July, and will be implemented by the end of 2021 at the latest. Each project has nominated at least one team member to take part in a virtual Data Mobilization Workshop for Asia aimed at sharing the key skills required for formatting and sharing data through the GBIF network, and growing the regional community of practice in biodiversity informatics.

The BIFA programme is managed by the GBIF Secretariat and funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan with the goal of filling data gaps and supporting biodiversity information capacity in Asia.