Scope and goals for GBIC2

The scope for GBIC2 and for the envisaged coordination mechanism is biodiversity informatics. This includes includes all processes, tools and software which serve to capture and organise information on species, their evolutionary history, their ecology, their life histories, and their morphology and physiology. Primary uses of such information include taxonomy, ecology, conservation, biosecurity, medicine, agriculture and primary production. Biodiversity informatics has strong connections and overlaps with molecular bioinformatics, ecoinformatics and earth observation systems.

It is not the aim of GBIC2, or of any mechanism arising following the workshop, to encompass infrastructure planning for all of these associated fields. This would be a futile goal.

Instead, GBIC2 proceeds from the recognition of a strong international community around taxonomy and taxon-based data management, represented by the wide range of organizations and institutions united through international initiatives like GBIF, TDWG, GEO BON, CBD, IPBES and IUCN. Those participating in these groups share a common vision for open sharing of knowledg about the world's biodiversity. Thus, the scope of GBIC2 primarily encompasses information that can be associated with recognized biological taxa, in particular species, therefore reflecting biodiversity informatics in a general sense as indicated in the GBIO.

The primary goal for GBIC2 is to explore and evaluate possible models for a transparent and trusted international collaboration mechanism—one capable of enabling this community to coordinate its efforts and investments to delivery of shared, open and interoperable knowledgebase encompassing all sources of information related to the world's biodiversity. The workshop aims to develop a working proposal for a governance model, a set of processes and support services necessary for researchers and institutions from all countries and regions to cooperate in developing and implementing agreed-upon priorities.

A secondary goal is to explore four key topics from the GBIO in greater detail to highlight the challenges expected once a coordination mechanism is operational. Parallel working sessions will attempt to identify a set of candidate priorities for each component area, leading to greater understanding of some of the impediments ahead. The final review session will consider, among other things, any refinements needed for the proposed governance and consultation processes.

More specifically, GBIC2 aims to:

  • Develop the attendees’ consensus vision for how a global-scale coordination mechanism for biodiversity informatics planning should work, including its scope, governance and required resources
  • Prepare and publish a white paper communicating this vision to scientific and policy audiences
  • Agree on next steps for soliciting input from non-attendees, in particular from non-anglophone groups, and for preparing to seek funding required to establish the mechanism
  • Explore in a workshop situation how to structure and document decadal roadmaps for international collaborative implementation of biodiversity informatics component areas
  • Offer draft exemplar roadmaps from these workshops to provide a concrete perspective on expected outputs