ENBI 2003-2005

European Network for Biodiversity Information
Reference Number: EVK2-CT-2002-20020

The European Network for Biodiversity Information had the general objective to manage an open network of relevant biodiversity information centers in Europe and other countries of the western European palearctic region, and, in particular, to include all European national nodes of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and all relevant EU-funded projects. By offering European researchers access to a European-wide pool of technical and human resources, expertise and know-how on biodiversity, the network provided views of biodiversity and access to biodiversity data and information at the European bio-geographical scale (including marine biodiversity). As Europe holds the world’s richest and most important biodiversity collections, literature and other data and as much of this information relates to parts of the world other than Europe, the network also contributes with information to users outside Europe, by sharing data with GBIF.

The objectives and expected achievements can be grouped into four main clusters. The deliverables have in general the format of reports, web services, and established expert platforms. The network entered in some selected feasibility studies to test or demonstrate its conclusions and recommendations.

I. Coordinating activities.

Development of a strong network structure with identifiable centers of excellence.

Establishment of strategies for sustainability and continuity of the network activities, by developing a European approach, building upon Member States initiatives, in line with the objectives of the European Research Area.

Identification of priorities that require a common approach and are more efficiently managed at the European scale

Establishment of a platform for national nodes to support GBIF-related discussions and decision-making on scientific issues that are better handled at a European scale

Dissemination activities to inform both institutional staff (including new generations of scientists), and policy makers.

Description of recommendations with respect to the legal and financial implications of sharing and dissemination of biodiversity information.

II. Maintenance, enhancement and presentation of biodiversity databases.

Development of routines and mechanisms to update, validate and ensure sustainability of the databases.

Advanced linkages between distributed biodiversity databases of various kinds.

Identification of gaps in knowledge and information, and strategies to solve these.

Promulgation of the rational use of techniques, including ‘best practice’ policies.

Contribution to a common biodiversity information infrastructure so that the various networks and institutions can efficiently and without duplication of effort share and reuse information.

III. Data integration, interoperability and analysis.

Identification of new emerging technologies and trends, to anticipate upon, and to organize a critical mass of European efforts

Integration of standards and protocols (metadata) for taxonomic, specimen, collection, and survey data in a common interoperability structure.

Distributed information management requirement analysis for ENBI.

Analysis of the application of Grid’s in order to integrate distributed primary data into end-user oriented products.

Inventory of biodiversity database analyzing software systems (existing and in development), and the identification of common (exchangeable) approaches (esp. for GIS based analyses).

Contribution to a common biodiversity information infrastructure in collaboration with other initiatives, e.g. those of EEA and current EU data base projects, such that information providers and users have a common platform for information interchange.

IV. Products and e-services.

Establishment of communication platforms to support the development of common procedures to meet end-user priorities with respect to high quality products and e-services.

Establishment of the best ways of institutional cooperation throughout Europe, to provide species-level and collection-based biodiversity data to end users, with special attention for sharing biodiversity data with end-users in the countries where this biodiversity originates from.

Development of dictionaries of biodiversity terminology in different (8) European languages, to be integrated in existing machine translation services.

Coordination procedures with other European level projects, initiatives, and services, in particular the European Community Clearing-House Mechanism, and with the Secretariat of the CBD, in particular the Global Taxonomy Initiative.