GBIF aims to make the world’s biodiversity data freely and universally available for the benefit of science and society, and to help ensure a sustainable future.
The Importance of Biodiversity Information
Earth’s ecosystems consist of many different kinds of living organisms interacting with each other. “Biodiversity” is the term used to describe these kinds of interactive relationships among diverse organisms.
In order for human beings to continue living on Earth, it is extremely important that biodiversity be maintained. From basic survival (food, clothing, and shelter) to high-level economics, we experience the benefits of biodiversity in numerous ways in our everyday lives.
In order for biodiversity to be maintained in the future, we must understand its underlying mechanisms and work to preserve it.
This is why biodiversity information plays such an important role.
What is Biodiversity Information?
Biodiversity information includes many kinds of information about living organisms: their distributions, sources of specimens, data from research and observation, etc. The accumulation of such information will make it possible to understand the properties of diverse and complex ecosystems. The analysis of this information will yield a rich harvest of new knowledge and understanding.
For example, biodiversity information is being used in basic research on the mechanism of speciation and the estimation of extinction risks. It is also being used to investigate the landscape characteristics of highly diverse ecosystems, the effects of climate change on living organisms, and the risk of invasion by non-native species.
Assessing the risk of invasion by non-native species requires us to obtain information from around the world and analyze how it relates to information about the local environment.
The Role of GBIF
The mission of GBIF is to make the world’s biodiversity data freely and universally available. The GBIF was founded in 2001 at the recommendation of the OECD Megascience Forum (1998).
The GBIF Secretariat is located at the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
For more information on the Japanese activities relevant to GBIF, please see “ About JBIF”.
GBIF is working to:
- Build a biodiversity informatics architecture to support policy-making and research.
- Gather and disseminate biodiversity information.
- Develop tools for collecting and analyzing information.
- Provide outreach and capability-building support for activities related to biodiversity information.
Information contributed from around the world may be accessed through the GBIF portal ( https://www.gbif.org/).