GBIF committed to provide CBD data foundations – Hobern

Executive Secretary statement to biodiversity convention’s conference in India

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is committed to providing the data foundations for actions by governments to tackle biodiversity loss, its executive secretary has pledged.

Donald Hobern was making an opening statement to the eleventh Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP11), being held in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

In the statement, Hobern confirmed that GBIF would respond to requests from the CBD to enhance the value of the data published through its network, and to provide evidence to help in preparing the next Global Biodiversity Outlook.

Donald Hobern made his intervention during discussion of capacity building and tools in support of the Aichi Targets towards halting biodiversity loss. The full text is as follows:

“Following a decade of effort and investment from the country participants of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), collaborating with hundreds of partners around the world, huge progress has been made in mobilizing critical biodiversity data for use in scientific research, policymaking and education in support of the Convention objectives.

“A great deal still needs to be done to enhance the coverage, quality and usability of publicly-available data. GBIF welcomes recommendations of the information paper prepared by Conservation Commons, which reinforces the measures adopted and promoted by GBIF to support data sharing and data re-use.

“In his review of progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity 2011-2020, the Executive Secretary of the CBD, Braulio Dias, has urged GBIF to facilitate access to sample-based data, including ecological datasets and presence-absence data, and to address the need for assessing biodiversity variation through space and time. These steps are reflected in the priorities GBIF has identified for enhancing the value of its network in 2013 and beyond.

“GBIF reiterates its commitment to providing data foundations that support the processes of the CBD and the actions of the governments represented in this room and looks forward to working with our partners, including UNEP-WCMC, IUCN, GEO-BON, DIVERSITAS and others to contribute evidence to inform the Fourth Global Biodiversity Outlook (due to be published in 2014).”

For more information please contact:

Tim Hirsch

GBIF Secretariat