Amazon Basin Biodiversity Information Facility (abbif)



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Amazon Basin Biodiversity Information Facility (ABBIF)

Feasibility Study Report


Index
Executive Summary

Executive Summary 1

Executive Summary 1

Methodology 4

Methodology 4

Architecture, standards, and protocols 5

Architecture, standards, and protocols 5

Elements of the Network 6

Elements of the Network 6

Data Providers 6

Portal 7


Tools 8

Data archive 8

Standards 9

Standards 9

Brazil 9

Bolivia 9

Colombia 9

Ecuador 10

French Guyana 10

Peru 10


Venezuela 10

Communication Infrastructure 10

Communication Infrastructure 10

ABBIF and Amazonian countries 13

ABBIF and Amazonian countries 13

Analysis based on the ABBIF survey 13

Analysis based on the ABBIF survey 13

Peru 13


Venezuela 14

Bolivia 16

Colombia 16

Ecuador 16

Brazil 17

Strategy for data digitization 19

Strategy for data digitization 19

Strategy for capacity building 20

Strategy for capacity building 20

ABBIF and Non Amazonian countries 21

ABBIF and Non Amazonian countries 21

Evaluation 21

Evaluation 21

Argentina 21

Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia (MACN), Herbario Nacional de Plantas Celulares 21

Museo de La Plata, División Zoología Invertebrados - MLP 21

Austria 22

Belgium 22

Bulgaria 23

Denmark 23

Estonia 24

France 24

Germany 25

Latvia 26

Netherlands 26

Poland 27

Portugal 27

Spain 27


Sweden 28

Switzerland 29

UK 30

USA 31


Analysis and Recommendations 34

Analysis and Recommendations 34

Digitization and Collaborative Research Programs 36

Digitization and Collaborative Research Programs 36

Natural History Museum Vienna, Dept. of Botany (W) 36

National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Dept. Spermatophyta-Pteridophyta and Dept. Bryophyta-Thallophyta, Herbarium BR 36

Museúm National d'Histoire Naturelle, Herbier Unité taxonomie et Collection - Dept Systematique et Evolution 36

Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, herbarium Berolinense 37

Botanische Staatssammlung München, Dept. Vascular Plants 37

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Herbarium 37

Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) 37

New York Botanical Garden 37

Seed Money Program 37

Seed Money Program 37

Thematic Information Systems 38

Thematic Information Systems 38

Proposed Overall Budget (US$ 1,000) 38

Proposed Overall Budget (US$ 1,000) 38

Final Comments 38

Final Comments 38




Executive Summary


The Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental (CRIA) together with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) conducted a study to determine the feasibility, need and convenience of establishing an Amazon Basin Biodiversity Information Facility (ABBIF). As biodiversity data is a critical resource for scientific and conservation purposes including better decision-making, ABBIF aims at making available -freely and openly- non sensitive Amazonian biodiversity data via the internet.

The ABBIF feasibility study aimed at identifying the size, location, and availability of Amazonian data, the existence of infrastructure, staff and the availability of resources. It also appraised the interest and willingness of participation and sharing biodiversity data of different data providers within and outside the region. In addition, this study also wanted to assess if an initiative like ABBIF was considered important and/or needed and beneficial for the Amazon region and its institutions.

Based on an inclusive and participatory process that included: an on-line survey, 600 questionnaires sent, direct interviews, a regional workshop with Amazonian scientists and consultation with representatives from northern-based large Natural History institutions, the following results and reports have been produced:

1) Proposal for digitization of biological collections: http://www.cria.org.br/abbif/docs/digit.doc

2) Report on data sharing and repatriation of biodiversity information: Setting-up a collaboration program with collections from non-Amazonian Countries:

http://www.cria.org.br/abbif/docs/repatriation.doc

3) Proposal on architecture: http://www.cria.org.br/abbif/docs/Architecture.doc

This study concluded that there is a strong support and endorsement from the scientific community from the Amazon region to promote and establish an initiative like ABBIF (http://www.cria.org.br/eventos/abbif/ and share biodiversity data. Furthermore, scientists working in northern-institutions that hold vast quantities of specimens collected in the Amazon expressed also their keen interest in collaborating with ABBIF and in promoting activities of data sharing with countries of origin.

Technology, standards, and protocols for distributed systems are readily available and ABBIF can be structured following a decentralized and distributed architecture having GBIF as an articulator and integrator. Siamazonia in Peru and Humboldt Institute in Colombia, both GBIF nodes, and CRIA in Brazil are prepared to contribute with a distributed architecture. Most northern-based large Natural History institutions are also serving data to GBIF. It is therefore expected that with appropriate funding, data systems can be organized and made available very quickly, showing at an early phase the value and importance of ABBIF.

ABBIF is envisaged as building upon existing expertise and national initiatives and projects. A three year project is being proposed to the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation to: (1) fully establish and make ABBIF operational (2) help catalyze initiatives and (3) establish the basis of a regional and decentralized network. Yearly evaluations based on clear indicators shall be carried out to help institutions responsible for maintaining the information systems in Amazonian countries to analyze their progress and to help promote the exchange of experiences and know-how.

For further information please contact:

Vanderlei Canhos (vcanhos@cria.org.br)

Dora Canhos (dora@cria.org.br)

Beatriz Torres (btorres@gbif.org)

Introduction

Biodiversity information is critical to a wide range of scientific, conservational, educational and governmental uses, and is essential for decision making. Most of the biodiversity information on the Amazon Basin is neither readily available nor accessible. Access to taxonomic information (scientific names and synonymic lists) and specimen data (primary data, including geospatial information) is fundamental to build robust ecological niche models and environmental change scenarios. An initiative to integrate worldwide distributed species and specimen information on the fauna, flora and micro-biota of the Amazon Basin is urgently needed. An action plan must be carried out to digitize and integrate all relevant information on the region in a structured manner, with the adoption of standards and protocols that allow transparent data integration and systems interoperability.

Recent developments in the field of biodiversity informatics can directly benefit environmental education programs, resource management, conservation efforts and biomedical and agricultural research in the region. However, in order to benefit from the recent developments in information and communication technologies a shared digital data infrastructure is a fundamental requirement. Species and specimen data (scientific names and synonyms; localities and collection dates) and associated environmental information (climatic, geological and geographical data) are the fundamental building blocks for the comparative spatial analysis, synthesis and visualization of biodiversity information.

ABBIF’s primary goal is to support the development of a shared data infrastructure associated to a modeling framework, with a broad and inclusive participation of local stakeholders. This facility will be developed adopting GBIF recommended standards and protocols and modern approaches of data capture and management, increasing the value, visibility and usage of available data worldwide through dynamic networking. The scheme of the proposed infrastructure integrating data, web-services, tools and products is shown in figure 1



Figure 1. Biodiversity information infrastructure components




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