Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
Free access to worldwide biodiversity data.
Objective and members of GBIF
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international initiative to make scientific data and information about biodiversity available for free worldwide on a permanent basis by publishing it in digital form on the internet.
More than 100 countries and international organizations have joined the GBIF initiative so far. 1.9 billion occurrence data from 62,000 data sources can currently be accessed at GBIF (last update: October 2021). These include the specimens in natural history collections. 1745 data holders provide GBIF with their data.
GBIF was established in 2001 on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the participants. Germany is one of the founding members and has supported the initiative since 2001 with an annual contribution, since 2007 including a co-payment by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The BMBF is providing approx. 26.3 million euros for GBIF in the period 2001-2027.
GBIF in Germany
Starting in 2002, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has funded the establishment of altogether eight GBIF nodes in Germany, whose focus is on major groups of organisms. Here researchers coordinate the digitization of information available in Germany regarding specific groups of organisms and ensure that this data is fed into the GBIF information system. From 2009, GBIF Germany has been extended to include a comprehensive soil zoology information system (GBIF-Edaphobase).
Priorities of future work
Up until 2027, work will focus on promoting research for a better understanding of global biodiversity and on enhancing knowledge transfer. Societal challenges related to global change will also be considered in this context.