• Donald Hobern

What is the name and acronym for the alliance for biodiversity knowledge?

Updated: Jul 13, 2019

The attendees at the GBIC2 workshop agreed that an alliance is needed to facilitate international collaboration and to harness the resources of hundreds of diverse stakeholders from around the world.

However, attendees were cautious not to give the proposed alliance a name that would prejudge the scope or governance arrangements. The landscape of biodiversity informatics and more broadly of biodiversity research and policy is already filled with organizations and bodies with names and acronyms that may confuse the outsider. Adding another acronym to this mixture seems premature.

At present, no existing body has responsibility for all matters and all aspects that should be within the scope of the alliance. Some aspects naturally align with the role of the [Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), but others may be closer to the role of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and more technical aspects are linked to the work of Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). Many other organizations and bodies also have significant roles in this space. Nevertheless, it is possible that the global community may prefer to organize the alliance as an activity under one or more of these existing entities rather than as something wholly new.

For these reasons, we have tried for the time being to refer simply to an alliance for biodiversity knowledge or the alliance for short, without capitalizing any of these words or replacing them with an acronym.

It may be unrealistic to persist for long with this agnostic and anonymous approach, but we prefer to gauge the views of the broader community before starting to use a more concrete term.