The Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (BIFA) is a program that provides supplementary support for existing activities within the GBIF network, addressing the needs of regional researchers and policymakers through mobilization and use of biodiversity data. In the Philippines, the fund promotes the interest of several projects in order to increase available biodiversity data that will assist the science-policy needs of the country. This is achieve thru regular data updating of the Philippine Clearing-House Mechanism (PhilCHM) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which serves as the Philippine Biodiversity Information Facility (PhilBIF).
A Trainer’s Training on Global Biodiversity Information Facility Integrated Publishing Toolkit (GBIF-IPT), in collaboration with the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) and GBIF, was conducted on 20 – 24 June 2016 in Tagaytay City, Philippines. The IPT trainer’s training was participated in by the informatics personnel of Biodiversity Management Bureau of Department of Environment and Natural Resources and a team of biologists and IT personnel from twelve institutions from government agencies, academe and non-government organizations. It was facilitated by the Belgian GBIF Node Manager Mr. André Heughebaert and Mr. Nicolas Noé of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform. The program aims to strengthen the PhilBIF through enhancing the capacities of BIOWEB partners in the publishing of biodiversity information according to GBIF standards.
Participants and Training Facilitators of the ToT on Global Biodiversity Information Facility Integrated Publishing Toolkit
The five day training-workshop emphasized the process of Data Transformation, Mapping different data types following the Darwin Core Standard, importance of Metadata and publishing primary biodiversity data. Participants were assisted in the hands-on publishing of their biodiversity data using the IPT facility provided by ACB.
The trainers facilitating during group discussions
As a way forward, ten(10) participating institutions presented their IPT Action Plan to disseminate the knowledge back to their organization. As an example, Dr. Ely Alcala of Siliman University presented a 4-activity action plan compose of the following:1) seeking endorsement as a GBIF publisher, 2)updating of their Museum records, 3)seminar orientation on Philippine BIOWEB and GBIF Initiatives and 4)hands-on training on IPT.
Aside from the published data the following are the other major outputs of the training:
- Agreement on the Philippine CHM / Biodiversity Information Facility Structure
- Approval/Endorsement of the request of Siliman University as a GBIF Publisher
- Sixteen(16) published hands-on datasets were reviewed and commented by the trainors
- Initiative to engage and invite other organizations/institutions to join the BIOWEB.