More Foundation Grant to TDWG and GBIF

Berendsohn, Walter G. w.berendsohn at BGBM.ORG
Wed Apr 20 11:23:36 CEST 2005

Dear TDWG members and Colleagues: 

TDWG looks back at 20 years of efforts to advance standardisation of
data used to describe, name and analyse global biodiversity. This year's
meeting in St. Petersburg marks the discussion of several new standards
that are of utmost importance for the establishment and operation of the
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). 

TDWG has always depended on voluntary contribution, its process being
completely community driven. This has worked well whenever individuals
and organisations have dedicated the time and efforts necessary to
advance the standard development. However, this voluntary form of
organisation has also been an impediment, not allowing us to move ahead
the organisational tasks that surround a successful standardisation
body, such as developing appropriate procedural rules, making the
organisation and its scope known to all interested communities, and
disseminating its results appropriately. 

I am therefore extremely pleased to report the success of efforts
initiated last year by the than Chair of the TDWG Executive Committee,
Stan Blum, and Donald Hobern, the GBIF's Programme Officer for Data
Access and Database Interoperability, with the aim of giving TDWG a
solid organisational base for its important function. 

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has just awarded nearly USD 1.5
million to the GBIF - TDWG partnership. The funded project is designed
to establish a more formal process for development and maintenance of
each of the TDWG standards. The grant also includes funding to implement
online collaboration tools for use by, among others, the TDWG working
groups. Enabling such collaboration is intended to increase the
productivity of these groups. To carry out these tasks, dedicated staff
will be recruited. Also, contracts will be placed to develop
documentation and software tools to support the existing TDWG standards.

In addition, the project will organise two international workshops aimed
at developing a model and central services for global unique identifiers
to be used in biodiversity informatics. 

During the 30 months of the project period, TDWG's ongoing requirements
for staff and infrastructure will be examined, and a long-term support
model will be developed for the organisation.

Walter Berendsohn
Chair, TDWG Executive Committee

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