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Global Biodiversity Information Facility

Service Provider Description
The purpose of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility
(GBIF) is to make the world's primary data on biodiversity
freely and universally available via the Internet.

GBIF works cooperatively with and in support of several other
international organizations concerned with biodiversity. These
include (but are not limited to) the Clearing House Mechanism
and the Global Taxonomic Initiative of the Convention on
Biological Diversity , and regional biodiversity information

Participants in GBIF have signed the Memorandum of
Understanding, and support network Nodes through which they
provide data.

Functionally, GBIF encourages, coordinates and supports the
development of worldwide capacity to access the vast amount of
biodiversity data held in natural history museum collections,
libraries and databanks. Near term GBIF developments will focus
on species and specimen-level data.

Technically, GBIF is evolving to be an interoperable network of
biodiversity databases and information technology tools using
web services and Grid technologies. In the near term, GBIF will
provide a global metadata registry of the available biodiversity
data with open interfaces. Anyone can then use it to construct
thematic portals and specilised search facilities. Building on
the contents of this registry, GBIF will provide its own central
portal that enables simultaneous queries against biodiversity
databases held by distributed, worldwide sources. In the long
term, molecular, genetic, ecological and ecosystem level
databases can be linked to the system. These will facilitate and
enable data mining of unprecedented utility and scientific

As its work programs progress, GBIF will enable users to
navigate and put to use the world's vast quantities of
biodiversity information. This information is vital to
generating economic, environmental, social and scientific
benefits from the sustainable use, conservation and study of
biodiversity resources.


[Summary provided by the GBIF]
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