A forum is held annually to provide opportunities to:
- discuss challenges and potential solutions in terms of the collection, compilation and co-ordination of foundational biodiversity information;
- provide guidance for funding proposals; and
- facilitate networking and collaboration that will enhance the products from the FBIP and increase their impact.
2019 BIMF-FBIP Forum
The fourth BIMF-FBIP Forum jointly hosted by the Biodiversity Information Management (SANBI) and the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) was held 20-22 August 2019 at Roodevalley Faircity Hotel in Pretoria. As with its predecessors the gathering aimed to promote and further enhance networks, collaboration and the development of information management practice by the biodiversity science community.
The 2019 Forum had a strong focus on “biodiversity open data supporting open science, technology and innovation,” in support of the recent White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation. One of the keynote speakers was Prof Hannu Saarenmaa, who is currently the CEO of Bioshare Digitizaton, which deals with tools and technologies for mass-digitization of scientific collections. Key Sessions for the 2019 Forum included: Open Data for Open Science; Regional Biodiversity Information Efforts and the Africa Agenda; Developing our Biodiversity Information Science and human capital. Standing items on the Forum programme included a Poster & Networking session, Postgraduate Student Forum, and the core programme was followed by Training Workshops: SANBI-GBIF Data Management/Fitness for use of data training, FBIP Proposal Writing, and BOLD Training. Overall 171 delegates gathered for this annual event.
2018 BIMF-FBIP Forum
The third BIMF-FBIP Forum jointly hosted by the Biodiversity Information Management (SANBI) and the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) was held 13-16 August 2017 at Cape St Francis in the Eastern Cape. As with its predecessors the gathering aimed to promote and further enhance networks, collaboration and the development of information management practice by the biodiversity science community.
The 2018 Forum had a strong focus on DNA barcoding, with iBOL’s Dr Evgeny Zakharov headlining the event. Standing items on the Forum programme included a Poster & Networking session, Postgraduate Student Forum, and the core programme was followed by Camera trap data management, Barcode of Life Database, and SANBI–GBIF Geo-referencing Training workshops. Over 142 delegates gathered for this annual event.
2017 BIMF-FBIP Forum
For the second year, the Biodiversity Information Management (SANBI) and the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) jointly hosted the BIMF–FBIP Forum. The Forum was held from 14th – 17th August 2017 at Salt Rock Hotel and Beach Resort, KZN and aimed to promote and further enhance networks, collaboration and the development of information management practice by the biodiversity science community.
The 2017 forum had a strong focus on Collections Data Management. A standing item on the Forum programme included a Postgraduate Student Forum, and the core programme was followed by a SANBI–GBIF Geo-referencing Training workshop and a FBIP proposal development and evaluation workshop. Over 100 delegates gathered for this annual event.
2016 BIMF-FBIP Forum
In 2016, the FBIP jointly hosted a forum with SANBI’s Biodiversity Information Management Forum (BIMF). Approximately 120 participants from 35 different institutions attended the Forum which was held from 10-13 May 2016 at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town.
The key focus of the forum was to harmonise biodiversity information generation and sharing in support of science, policy and decision-making to bring about a holistic understanding of institutional needs, priorities and capacity relating to biodiversity data across the sector.
One of the aims of the forum was also to promote the FBIP as a funding mechanism to provide foundational biodiversity information and to give guidance for 2016 funding proposals. A few funded FBIP projects were showcased and delegates had an opportunity to network and collaborate towards potential projects. On the third and fourth day, parallel training sessions, Specify working groups and a Postgraduate Student Forum were held.
2015 FBIP Forum
The first Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) Forum was held from 3-4 June 2015 at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, Pretoria. Approximately 100 participants from 29 different South African institutions including universities, museums, science councils and other research organisations attended the forum. The two-day programme included presentations and parallel working group sessions.
The objectives of this inaugural FBIP Forum was to:
- Provide guidance for funding proposals;
- Discuss some of the challenges and potential solutions in terms of the collection, compilation and co-ordination of foundational biodiversity information; and
- Facilitate networking and collaboration that will enhance the products from the FBIP and increase their impact.
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Ms Carmel Mbizvo, Head of Research and Policy Advice at the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), opened the forum and welcomed the participants. Dr Yonah Seleti, Chief Director of Science Missions at the Department of Science & Technology (DST), outlined the biodiversity priorities for the DST and Dr Andrew Kaniki, Executive Director Knowledge Fields Development at the National Research Foundation (NRF), provided inputs and feedback from the NRF perspective. The FBIP Manager, Prof Michelle Hamer (SANBI) presented an overview of the FBIP programme, outlined the key elements for successful proposals and discussed the requirements for small grants and large integrated projects. Finally she summarised the FBIP data types, requirements and templates (species occurrence data, species information pages, taxonomy data, sequence / barcoding data).
The rest of the day consisted of contextual and informative presentations on current funded projects, research and data management and grant holder presentations.
On the second day, the following working groups met concurrently to discuss several topics and answer questions of importance to each group’s field of study: DNA barcoding, foundational biodiversity information for microbes, and species occurrence & pages.
DNA barcoding group
Facilitators: Michelle van der Bank (University of Johannesburg) and Monica Mwale (National Zoological Gardens of South Africa).
The group discussions centred on questions such as: What qualifies as DNA barcoding; how do we ensure that data meet requirements for barcoding; What are the priority focus taxa / areas for barcoding; What are the co-ordination requirements for SA-IBOL; Should we consider other approaches for using DNA for species identification?
Foundational biodiversity information for Microbes group
Facilitators: Karin Jacobs (Stellenbosch University), Riana Jacobs-Venter (Agricultural Research Council) and Rosemary Dorrington (Rhodes University).
This group deliberated questions such as: What data are generated through surveys and studies on microbe diversity; Who uses these data and how do they use them; How can we increase use of microbe data; How do we manage and disseminate the data for use?
Species occurrence & species pages group
- Species occurrence (animals): Willem Coetzer (South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity)
- Species occurrence (plants): Domatilla Raimondo (SANBI)
- Species pages group (e-fauna): Tsungai Zengeya (SANBI)
- Species pages group (e-flora): Marianne le Roux (SANBI)The species occurrence and species pages group merged for part of the session to discuss the integration of species attribute data into data management systems such as Brahms and Specify. Thereafter the species occurrence working group focused on the following topics: fields/data required, templates and software and identified needs in terms of training, support, integration of data sets, potential formation of user groups. The working group for species pages reflected on initiatives such as EOL, e-flora, and others; the alignment in data to be covered; integration or linking of different projects and data sets, avenues for dissemination.