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Brussels, 20 February 2001

Global Biodiversity – A challenge for Europe
Creation of a Global Biodiversity Information Facility

Keywords: biodiversity, research, preservation, environment, ecology

On 5 March 2001, Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will announce the involvement of the European Commission in a new international initiative to provide universal access to information on biodiversity. This Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is a very ambitious endeavour to expand presently limited knowledge of the richness of life on earth. It will provide a tool for the protection, management and sustainable use of biological resources worldwide. Several EU Member States are offering to act as hosts.

A press briefing will be held in Brussels
on Monday 5 March 2001 at 11:00.

So far 32 countries and international organisations are involved in the preparation of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). These include several Member States and the European Commission. Three Member States are in fact candidates to host the permanent secretariat of the GBIF.

The objectives, characteristics and expected deliverables of this worldwide effort will be depicted through short presentations by various partners in the GBIF initiative and scientists involved in EU-supported research projects (see programme enclosed).

The briefing for the press will take place in Brussels on 5 March 2001 from 11:00 to 12:00, at the Breydel building, 45 avenue d’Auderghem in Brussels. Journalists wishing to attend should notify Michel Claessens or Stéphane Hogan so that practical arrangements can be made.

For additional information:

Stéphane Hogan, Quality of Life programme, Research DG
 Tel : +, E-mail : Research Contact

Michel Claessens, Information & Communication, Research DG 
Tel: +32-2-295.99.71, E-mail:

Brussels, 5 March 2001

GBIF press briefing programme




  • The role of the EU in biodiversity research and in the GBIF
Philippe Busquin,
Commissioner for Research (EC)
  • European initiatives in biodiversity information
Dr. Wouter Los,
University of Amsterdam (NL)
  • Importance of biodiversity for research and environmental policy
Dr. Hugo von Listow,
Ministry of Research and Information Technology (DK)
  • Importance of GBIF for a biodiversity-rich country
Dr. Montserrat Gomendio-Kindelán,
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (ES)
  • Questions and Answers
  • Buffet lunch

For more information about the European Union’s research activities in the field of life sciences and technologies:

For more information on the Research DG, and previous press releases, visit our Web site at

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PRESS RELEASES | 06.03.2001