The Belgian Biodiversity Platform fosters biodiversity research by providing services related to:
- Answering policy needs
We serve as an interface between Belgian researchers and descision-makers at national and global level. We act as a catalyst for the integration of research into biodiversity science policy and we ensure that the visibility and engagement of Belgian scientists in global initiatives is enhanced.
- Catalysing the improvement of research processes
We act as a central catalyst to the development and support of new biodiversity research initiatives in Belgium. Through a diverse set of activities such as conferences, trainings, experts consultations, and workshops we serve the Belgian biodiversity research community by allowing them to generate, assess and use knowledge on biodiversity. We also frequently organise horizon scanning exercises to identify strategic developments of existing activities as well as new issues related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and its components.
- Knowledge interfacing and sharing
We intend to build mutual understanding and shared knowledge among diverse communities. One of our specificities lies in our activities establishing a direct dialogue between scientists, decision-makers and practitioners on topical issues. Strengthened by our knowledge of both the decision-makers community and of the scientific community, we have an acute knowledge of both communities’ difference of opinions and shared values. Both communities generally work with the same objectives in mind (the sustainable use of biodiversity and long-term solutions to societal issues based on scientific evidence) but with different tools, different levels of understanding of complex issues, and with different sets of language. For this reason, we have established “Communities of Practice” (previously known as “Forums”) to bring together relevant knowledge holders and stakeholders around issues of topical interest. The main method used is to physically bring people together and promote interaction through participatory approaches, which are supported by electronic means (social media, website, digital communications). They are an elegant way of putting together competence on important and emerging issues, particularly transdisciplinary competence.
- Enabling data publication and data use
We promote free and open access to biodiversity data in line with our responsibilities as Belgian national node to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). We support Belgian research teams in the publication and use of biodiversity data through dedicated data portals and by developing and hosting databases. We play a pivotal role in ensuring that all our activities are supported and enabled by the use of credible scientific information made available to all, in the format required by stakeholders (whether they are scientists, policy-makers, practitioners, or the general public).