Grants support new data mobilization activities in Asia

Eight new projects to receive a total of €118,000 through BIFA—the Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia

Gentiana depressa
Gentiana depressa, collected by John Stainton in Nepal. Photo via the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.

Institutions in seven Asian countries have started work on projects to increase the availability of data relating to the region's plant and animal species.

The eight new projects are funded under the third round of the Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (BIFA) programme, operated by GBIF with funding from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. The total grant funds of €118,000 are matched by co-funding of more than €100,000 from the participating institutions.

The projects were selected through a highly competitive call, and cover a wide range of target areas for mobilization of data, including records of plants in Pakistan, Sumatra and the Korean peninsula (both North and South), bryophytes in Vietnam, invasive species in Nepal and the Philippines, mammals in Cambodia based on camera trap evidence, and biodiversity sampling data extracted from student theses in Indonesia.

The eight awarded projects are:

Title Lead country
Data mining of historical herbarium specimens from the Korean peninsula Republic of Korea
Digitizing and databasing Sumatran flora Indonesia
The Biodiversity Theses Database Indonesia
Mobilizing occurrence data of alien and endemic plant species of Nepal Nepal
Alien reptiles and amphibians of the Philippines Philippines
Data mobilization of Vietnamese herbarium Cryptogam collections Viet Nam
Mobilizing a country-wide, long-term camera trap data set in Cambodia Cambodia
Georeferencing and mobilization of plant occurrence data from Pakistan Pakistan

Kicking off the project activities, project partners took part in a capacity enhancement workshop in Beijing aimed at equipping project teams with the necessary skills to mobilize biodiversity data for open access through GBIF.

Full details of the awarded projects are available on the respective project pages. Since its inaugural call in 2015, the BIFA programme has provided funding of more than €248,000 to 15 projects covering 11 countries and areas in the region.