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Official Launch of the TBIA Web Portal—A One-Stop Information Query Platform with a Wealth of Ecological Data Establishing an Ecological Database Through Inter-Departmental Cooperation Thanks to Four New Major Partners

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202312/12
After several years of efforts and collaboration, on December 12, the Taiwan Biodiversity Information Alliance (TBIA) officially launched the “Unified Biodiversity Database Information Query System” platform (TBIA Web Portal). The platform integrates large amounts of ecological data from 10 biodiversity related institutions in Taiwan, comprising over 19.5 million records of biological occurrences. It provides convenient one-stop information query services for domestic and foreign ecological researchers, government agencies, environmentalists, and members of the public who are interested in ecological information. Moreover, the platform not only encourages all members of society to participate in biodiversity conservation and research, but also creates brand new possibilities for the application of ecological information.
One-stop Information Query for Comprehensive Biological Data
At the early stage of the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Taiwan took part as an associate participant. Taiwan actively uploads information to the GBIF, holding the number one spot for uploaded information in East Asia. Thanks to the TBIA’s efforts to integrate domestic ecological survey information, the breadth of the database has grown more comprehensive. It now includes species occurrence records and records of automatic camera observations, as well as specimen data, such as natural history collections of museums.
Building Stronger Capabilities through Inter-Departmental Cooperation, Four New Major Partners Join the TBIA
In response to the gradually increasing demands for biodiversity information exchange and integration, in 2021, the Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency (FANCA), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA); the Taiwan Biodiversity Research Institute (TBRI), MOA; the Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica (BRCAS); the National Park Service, Ministry of the Interior (MOI); the Ocean Conservation Administration, Ocean Affairs Council; and the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, MOA, jointly signed a cooperation agreement and officially announced the establishment of the TBIA. This year (2023), four major partners, namely the National Taiwan Museum, the Water Resources Agency, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the National Museum of Natural Science, and the Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures joined the TBIA. These institutions are dedicated to integrating all of Taiwan’s biological data and information through inter-departmental cooperation, advocating for the open sharing of information
Open Sharing of Information, Providing Unrestricted Access to Taiwan's Biodiversity Information
One of the TBIA’s primary goals is to promote the open sharing of information, thereby enhancing the connection between each database and improving the potential availability and application of information. The TBIA Web Portal not only provides one-stop query services for the largest and most comprehensive cross-departmental biological survey information, it can also link the external databases of partners, enabling users to obtain more comprehensive information. Furthermore, the web portal has also integrated specimen data, including the aforementioned biological survey information. All information can be easily acquired through convenient services, such as download and connectivity.
Regarding sensitive species, whose location may need to be partially blurred, the web portal offers a service that allows users to apply for access to the specific locations of such species. After users’ applications providing reasonable reasons are approved, they can obtain the specific locations of sensitive species from all partner departments within the TBIA at once.
Collaboration, Ecosystem Co-Prosperity, Information Integration, and Support for International Goals
The TBIA Web Portal has been successfully developed thanks to the support of funds provided by the FANCA and the efforts of the TaiBIF team at the BRCAS. All partners spend time and energy to jointly overcome the challenges of integrating information, and actively collaborate by upholding the ideals of open sharing of information, thus enabling Taiwan’s biodiversity information to become more open and convenient in the future. The TBIA Web Portal will become a powerful tool for ecological research and administrative management. Aside from meeting the needs for personal and ecological environmental monitoring, the web portal is also an important tool for calculating national-grade indicators, such as sustainable development goals (SDGs) and other effective conservation measures (OECM), providing a more comprehensive and convenient information database for global ecological conservation.

Note:
1.   TBIA Web Portal
2.   Global Biodiversity Information Facility
 
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