The GBIF Swiss Node is the official body mandated by the Swiss Confederation to meet the operational requirements for the global exchange and reuse of biodiversity Swiss data.
Under the auspices of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, the GBIF Swiss Node brings together active actors that strengthen the sharing of coherent and comprehensive information on biodiversity, and assists the mobilization and use of relevant data that support data-based conservation activities in Switzerland, while increasing biodiversity-based knowledge world-wide.
The vision of the GBIF Swiss Node is that Swiss biodiversity data available on GBIF are complete and non-redundant. We, therefore, promote inter-institutional data sharing and facilitate the linking of multi-dimensional information.
The GBIF Swiss Node acts as a national hub for biodiversity data by:
- providing assistance to data owners with the processes of cleaning, preparation and publication of pertinent datasets
- setting up data flows among different sources, such as national data centres, swiss biorepositories, scientific collections, research institutions
- unifying information within a centralized multilingual IT architecture and assuring the availability of the data
Major aims of GBIF Swiss Node are i) to operationalize the Swiss Biodiversity Information Network; ii) to maintain, share and develop pertinent registries (registry of scientific collections, national taxonomy and checklists); iii) to share globally data collection specimens stored in Swiss institutions; iv) to diversify the types of data to be mobilized in GBIF, such as eDNA.
National funding is provided by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Division Biodiversity and Landscape, Section Biodiversity policy Species and habitats section.
In 2004, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) assigned the Centre Suisse de Cartographie de la Faune (now Info fauna) the responsibility for organising the participation of Switzerland in the global network and developing the appropriate structure - the GBIF Swiss Node.
In 2016, the Federal Council strengthened collaboration with GBIF and decided that Switzerland would become a full member. The GBIF Swiss Node is therefore responsible for:
- Coordinating the network of Swiss partners willing to participate in the global effort to make information available.
- Mobilising data from multiple sources on a harmonised basis resulting from flows and procedures that ensure the consistency of the information with the standards defined by GBIF.org.
- Facilitating the link between the national and international levels, in particular by offering an infrastructure and services for the management and integration of information.
The GBIF Swiss Node participates in various national bodies, commissions and working groups active in mobilising biodiversity data available in Switzerland. Our implication in these communities together with the prerogatives and needs set by the FOEN, contributes to define and prioritise the Node's activities.
The communities involved are highly diversified and include representatives of collection-holding institutions, data centres, the Swiss Academy of Sciences, and other national pertinent organizations and initiatives.