Switzerland becomes voting member of GBIF

The signing of the GBIF Memorandum of Understanding as a full national member follows a decision of the Swiss Federal Council in July.

Red-crested pochards off eastern shore of Obersee, photo by roby 2016 CC BY-NC

Red-crested pochards (Netta rufina) off the eastern shore of Obersee, photo by roby 2016 CC BY-NC, via iNaturalist.

Switzerland has strengthened its participation in GBIF through signature of the Memorandum of Understanding as a full, voting member of the network. This follows the decision of the Swiss Federal Council in July to become a GBIF Voting Participant, among the outcomes of an extensive national consultation on Switzerland’s biodiversity strategy.

This brings the number of voting members in Europe to 18. Voting Participants are countries that agree to make a financial contribution to support the global data infrastructure operated by GBIF, with the size of the contribution linked to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Coordination of data mobilization activities in Switzerland will continue to be led by the national node based at the Centre Suisse de Cartographie de la Faune (CSCF) located at the University of Neuchâtel. The node brings together data from Swiss biodiversity repositories, national data centres and research institutions, offering a centralized and multilingual IT architecture as well as assistance in data preparation and quality control, and priorities for digitization of collections.

The vision of the Swiss GBIF node is that by 2030, 10 million of the 45 million specimens stored in Swiss biorepositories are digitized and available on the network.

To date, institutions in Switzerland have published more than 1.8 million occurrence records covering some 80,000 species. Around two-thirds of these records relate to species collected or observed in Switzerland, with the remaining data covering virtually all countries in the world.

Some 84 scientific studies including authors from Switzerland have cited GBIF as a source of biodiversity data.

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