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GBIF to serve as administrative host for Species 2000 Secretariat

Agreement between GBIF Secretariat and the Catalogue of Life’s legal body will support further collaboration on ChecklistBank and other joint activities

The GBIF Secretariat and Species 2000 have signed an agreement for GBIF to serve as the host for the Species 2000 Secretariat starting on 1 January 2024. The agreement will strengthen their collaboration on both the Catalogue of Life (COL) and ChecklistBank, while both COL and GBIF will remain independent organizations with their own missions, governance and identities.

The complementary missions of COL and GBIF are reflected in more than two decades of collaboration between the organizations. The Global Biodata Coalition has recognized both infrastructures as Global Core Biodata Resources. The partners have worked together to build ChecklistBank as a joint infrastructure for managing and delivering taxonomic data, which GBIF has hosted alongside the latest version of the Catalogue of Life website since December 2020.

ChecklistBank serves as core infrastructure for both COL and GBIF and evolved from GBIF’s internal “checklistbank” system for managing checklist datasets. GBIF developers have fully rewritten the new public-facing service into an open-access, enterprise-scale publishing platform and data repository for managing all the constituent sources of scientific names and taxonomy that go into the Catalogue of Life.

Development efforts are currently focused on preparing the first production release of an “extended” Catalogue of Life Checklist capable of replacing the GBIF Backbone Taxonomy later this year. As outlined in its current work programme, GBIF will begin work this year toward retiring the internal “checklistbank” database and replacing it with ChecklistBank. Upon fulfilling these first two use cases, GBIF and COL will turn their focus to refinements enabling other initiatives to use ChecklistBank, which may lead to additional needs and opportunities for cooperation.