Pretoria – The FBIP has announced its keynote speakers for the Joint Biodiversity Information Management & Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme Forum 2019 taking place from 20-22 August at the Roodevalley Faircity Hotel, Pretoria.


One of the keynote speakers, Prof Hannu Saarenmaa, is currently the CEO of Bioshare Digitizaton, which deals with tools and technologies for mass-digitization of scientific collections.

He also comes with a wealth of expertise in biodiversity informatics, being involved in initiatives such as GEOBON, Lifewatch and GBIF, where his expertise in data interoperability and data management has been highly relevant.

A standing item of the Forum will include a Postgraduate Student Forum, which will take place on the 19th of August.  The core programme will also be followed by training workshops on the 22nd of August.

Key Sessions for the 2019 Forum will include: Open Data for Open Science; The Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP); Regional Biodiversity Information Efforts and the Africa Agenda; Developing our Biodiversity Information Science and human capital; Innovative tools and applications to support research and development; Information Systems, Services and Architecture; Data Management, Data Sharing and Standards; Biodiversity Information Management priorities in museums and herbaria.

The Forum provides an opportunity for the foundational biodiversity information research and data community in South Africa to share information, discuss practices and explore ways of improving the efficiency and impact of its work.

This year’s Forum will have 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.


Download provisional programme PDF

BIMF FBIP2019 Programme


We have extended the call for abstracts to 12 July 2019 and are inviting delegates to showcase their work, achievements and questions related to the sessions and workshop themes identified above.

Contributions to the forum can be through:

  • Standard oral presentations (10 minutes) or Speed presentations intended to provide students with an opportunity to share their research findings (5 minutes)
  • Poster presentations, and /or
  • Workshops

The abstracts should be in Calibri font, size 11 and 1.5 line spacing, and should be accompanied by the following: full names, title and affiliation of presenter and co-authors, and contact details of the presenter (including landline and cell phone numbers, an e-mail address and a postal address) and co-authors (e-mail address only). Clearly state the type of contribution (i.e. standard oral presentation; speed presentation; poster presentation or workshop). If accepted the presentation length will be confirmed with you.

Please note that due to limited time not all proposed presentations will be selected. Presentations need to be relevant to the sessions and criteria highlighted above in order to be considered. The Forum’s organising committee will confirm acceptance/rejection of papers by 19 July 2019.


Registration for the Forum is free to all delegates. There is travel support available for a limited number of early career scientist (40 years and younger) and postgraduate students (including postdoctoral fellows). All other participants will be required to make their own travel arrangements to and from the venue.

Accommodation (including dinner and breakfast) for a limited number of delegates is available at Roodevalley Faircity Hotel and will be sponsored by the funders. To make your registration and accommodation request, please follow the link and complete the registration form. Once we have received your registration and request for accommodation, you will receive an email to confirm acceptance/rejection of your accommodation application. The deadline for accommodation requests is 24 July 2019. The Forum’s organising committee will notify applicants by the 26 July 2019 if their request for accommodation has been approved and will make the reservations on behalf of the successful applicants. Due to space limitations and costs, students will be expected to share and where possible, we also encourage delegates to share rooms.


A Post-Grad Student’s Forum will be held on the 19th of August 2019. A limited number of travel support is still available and post-grad students and postdoctoral fellows interested to participate must please read the announcement and submit their request on the latest at 8 July 2019. (Download student/supervisor motivation template Doc.)


This year, travel costs of a limited number of early career scientist will be sponsored. To qualify for the support, applicants must under 40 years of age and work in the biodiversity information field at a South African organisation (within South Africa). Applicants must also actively participate in the meeting, i.e. deliver a paper and/or poster. If you qualify and want to apply for travel support, please contact Lita Pauw at: Deadline for applications is 12 July 2019.


Three training sessions will run parallel on the 22nd of August 2019.

  • SANBI-GBIF Training, Data Management – Data Fitness for Use (8:00 – 17:00)
  • FBIP Proposal Writing Workshop (8:00 – 13:00)
  • Barcode of Life Database (8:00 – 15:00)



Application for travel support (Postgrad and Postdoctoral fellows) closes: 8 July 2019

Application for travel support (early career scientists) closes: 12 July 2019

Call for abstracts (extended deadline): 12 July 2019

Request for Sponsored Accommodation at Roodevalley Faircity Hotel closes: 24 July 2019

Registration (excluding accommodation) closes: 30 July 2019

Confirm acceptance/rejection of accommodation request: continuous until 26 July 2019

Accommodation cancellations: 02 August 2019

Official opening of Forum: 20 August 2019

Poster and Networking Session: 20 August 2019

Post-grad Student Forum: 19 August 2019 (13:00)

Parallel Training Workshops: 22 August 2019

For more information on the Joint Biodiversity Information Management & FBIP Forum,

contact Fatima Parker-Allie, or +27 (0)21 799 8698 or Lita Pauw at  or Tel: +27 (0)12 843 5113