Chile’s unique biogeographic isolation and expansive north-south span—vast northern deserts, Mediterranean-type central zone, temperate woodlands and steppes of the south, all bounded by the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west—all contribute to its unique biodiversity.
Chile is home to around 30,000 described species, nearly 45% of which are found nowhere else, making it a hub of biological endemism and the focus of interest for scientific research at regional and global levels. However, the data that records this biodiversity is fragmented and not readily accessible, as an open-access system for managing Chile's biological data has not yet materialized.
This project seeks to enhance national capacity to integrate and provide free access to information about Chile's biodiversity by working with GBIF Colombia and GBIF Spain to transfer knowledge about using international standards, tools and protocols to publish biodiversity data. The involvement of GBIF’s national nodes from Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina will improve data mobilization in Latin America by cementing a highly specialized collaboration network for the management of biological data. Data mobilization outcomes include:
Publication of at least 30,000 specimen records from the collections of three partner institutions of Chile and Ecuador
Publication of at least four species checklists for Chile
Training in data quality tools and practices, use of data and publication standards for at least 20 publishing institutions
Chilean partner institutions engaged in the project include:
The project will also foster collaboration among national and international biodiversity initiatives, among them the development of a national strategy to strengthen biological collections by 2020 led by Chile’s Ministry of the Environment and progress toward the CBD’s Aichi Target 19.
With close-mentoring from training partners, the project begun with a knowledge sharing workshop and technical visit to the coordinating team of the Biodiversity Information System of Colombia (SiB Colombia). This included the participation from a delegation of 7 selected biodiversity experts from Chile and 1 from Ecuador.
As part of the project, the team has developed a set of presentations and training materials with topics related to the situation of participating nodes, the computer infrastructure of the nodes, data quality, the overall publication process and incentives for publishing datasets.
The project is now moving towards the selection and evaluation of databases and species checklists to be published through the GBIF network. Alongside a regional data publication workshop planned for April 2018, the Information and Technology Office of the Ministry of the Environment is currently developing an informative web page for the Chilean Node. To increase visibility of the national node, a new logo is also being designed and prepared.