Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Local governments get guidance on biodiversity data

Jan Piotrowski in Guidance to help local governments preserve and publish valuable biodiversity data has been provided in a new best practice guide. The guide — published last month (25 May) by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) — outlines the tools and infrastructure available to governments for publishing data, and the benefits of sharing biodiversity information.

Urban planning procedures — such as environmental impact assessments — routinely collect biodiversity data, but subsequently make little use of it. The new GBIF and ICLEI guide aims to explain how local governments can tap into this large pool of biodiversity information and store it most effectively; its publication complements a recently-released technical document for standardising data. 

The guide recommends using standardised GBIF spreadsheet templates for collecting and referencing data, and publishing these either independently or through data-hosting centres, so that they can be shared through GBIF's open-access portal.  It also suggests that data collection and publishing be integrated into standard environmental planning procedures....

Flowers growing in a pavement crack in Durham, North Carolina, shot by Ildar Sagdejev (Specious), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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