The countries of the former Soviet Union maintain significant stores of biodiversity information in the form of specimen collections and scientific publications from the past 150 years. However, most scientific communities active in the study of regional- and global-scale biodiversity do not yet share data through the GBIF network due a variety of factors, including the lack of information on relevant collections, institutions and specialists, the absence of digital data and the fact that most materials published before the 2000s are either in Russian or other national languages.
The project aims to improve access to biodiversity data from specimen collections and bibliographic resources in Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania. While the scope of action focuses on the three countries within their current boundaries, it expects to reach deep into the studies of regional biodiversity, including Polish and Russian legacy data.
Planned activities include:
- Identifying and inventorying the organizations in Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania that hold specimen collections
- Assessing the potential for digitizing and mobilizing bibliographical resources in library collections
- Creating a comprehensive resource of information materials in Russian that describe essential knowledge on biodiversity informatics, based on materials available from GBIF Portal
- Engaging key regional organizations through workshops and a conference