Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Mobilising Biodiversity Information in Support of Science and Policy in South African National Biodiversity Institute
Fatima Parker-Allie

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rum 10
Date: 2014-10-28 11:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-04


Biodiversity Informatics in South Africa, as in other parts of the world, is a young and dynamic field of science, which translates into an enormous challenge for biodiversity scientists. Understanding mechanisms for information sharing in this landscape has been successful over time. The South African National Biodiversity Institute houses the South African Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Node, and supports a knowledge-management platform that makes biodiversity data freely and openly available. The South African Biodiversity Information Facility (SABIF) is a major publisher of biodiversity data, making >11.5 million biodiversity data records available, from a growing network of more than 15 organisations, to the global scientific community. Data standards such as the Darwin Core, and protocols such as TAPIR and the Integrated Publishing Toolkit have been used. Data sharing takes place through both funded and non-funded mechanisms, to initiate digitization activities.  A comprehensive policy framework has also been put in place by SANBI to enable data sharing which takes into account intellectual property rights, citations and sensitive data.  The scope of data of types being mobilized is increasing through the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme with species, specimens, observation, images and molecular data being mobilised, and made accessible. The Information Architecture is evolving to support these data types and to ensure that relevant data can be accessed efficiently in support of science, policy and decision making.