First Session of the IODE Steering Group for OBIS, 8-9 December 2011

Meeting Report


Executive Summary

The First Session of the IODE Steering Group for OBIS took place at the IOC Project Office for IODE, Oostende, Belgium on 8 and 9 December 2011. During this first Session, the primary emphasis for the meeting was the role for OBIS within IOC/IODE and the development of a sustainable business strategy for OBIS into the future. Specific goals were discussed within the UNESCO Mid-Term Strategy (2008-2013) and IOC/IODE program priorities. Short to long-term objectives were discussed, including linking with other biodiversity databases, relationships with new data providers, a metadata policy, multi-language platforms, and outreach and collaboration with other international programmes and initiatives. In addition, closer linkages to IODE programmes such as the Ocean Data Portal (ODP) and OceanTeacher will be established. A plausible approach for sustained operations of the Project Office will be included in the business plan to be completed by May.

Operational procedures and technical issues were also addressed as a part of the development of the 2012 work plan. Steering Group members presented node achievements, challenges and aims for 2012. The collaboration has achieved much, altogether, OBIS contains over 30 million records, from 1,000 datasets. In addition, the current resources available for the project office are not sufficient to continue operations as in the past. To help address this limitation, OBIS will operate as a distributed infrastructure of nodes with project office emphasis on leadership and coordination. A team-based approach to achieving network tasks was adopted to better engage the expertise of the nodes. The progress made by the technical working group to establish and maintain a distributed OBIS portal has been significant and steering group members were pleased at the progress made to date.

Recommendations and Decisions