SANBI-GBIF is a network consisting of key national partners and stakeholders who provide and publish data through the SANBI-GBIF portal or to GBIF directly through the Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT) enabling the Node to support national reporting. This also includes the end-user community that makes use of the data. The scope of the efforts of the SANBI-GBIF Node has extended towards driving regional and international collaborations and strategic approaches to supporting biodiversity informatics.
End Users and Partners include museums, herbaria, universities, conservation agencies, government agencies and departments and non-governmental organisations. It is intended to build the network of data providers and contributors to the initiative, so that the Node can best serve the country’s needs by mobilising foundational data to fill the data and knowledge gaps in support of education, research, analysis and use that is necessary for decision making for sustainable development.
SANBI-GBIF was established in 2003 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in collaboration with the National Research Foundation, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as members of the scientific community. The SANBI-GBIF Node, which is now institutionalised in SANBI, was initially established as a programme called the South African Biodiversity Information Facility (SABIF), with a focus on providing funding for data mobilization, and was hosted by the NRF. With the establishment of SANBI, it was felt that the SABIF programme was more in line with the mission of SANBI. Thus 2006 saw the handover of SABIF from the NRF to SANBI. The DST funded SABIF since its establishment in 2003. With the handover of SABIF from NRF in 2006, DST continued its commitment to fund the SABIF under SANBI for 3 years, starting in the 2006-07 financial year and ending at the end of the 2010 financial year. In June 2005 the SABIF web portal was launched by the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom.