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SCAR-MarBIN: Linking, Integrating and Disseminating Marine Biodiversity Information

imageSCAR-MarBIN supports the Antarctic science community by giving free and open access to an unprecedented mass of data relevant to understand Southern Ocean biodiversity. SCAR-MarBIN will leave a valuable legacy for future generations, in the form of an information tool that will provide a baseline reference for establishing a State of Antarctic Environment, and predicting the future for marine communities around Antarctica, which are currently facing global change.

SCAR-MarBIN (SCAR Marine Biodiversity Information Network) establishes and supports a distributed system of interoperable databases, forming the Antarctic Regional OBIS Node, under the aegis of SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research).

SCAR-MarBIN compiles and manages existing and new information on Antarctic marine biodiversity by coordinating, supporting, completing and optimizing database networking. This information will in turn be sent to larger biodiversity initiatives such as OBIS - the information component of the Census of Marine Life (COML)- and GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility). SCAR-MarBIN data policy protocols align with the Antarctic Treaty (Art. III.1) and IPY requirements, as well as data management protocols of GBIF and OBIS.

SCAR-MarBIN integrates these efforts, giving a single and easy access to relevant marine biodiversity information and maximizing the exploitation of these resources.

SCAR-MarBIN will leave a valuable legacy for future generations, in the form of an information tool that will provide a baseline reference for establishing a State of Antarctic Environment, and predicting the future for marine communities around Antarctica, which are currently facing global change.

SCAR-MarBIN is the companion-project of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML), an ambitious 5-year project which aims at assessing the nature, distribution and abundance of the Southern Ocean biodiversity. CAML will focus the attention of the public on the ice-bound oceans of Antarctica during the International Polar Year (IPY) in 2007/08. SCAR-MarBIN will handle biodiversity data arising from CAML field projects.

SCAR-MarBIN was initiated at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) and is implemented within the Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPF). SCAR-MarBIN is supported by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (SLOAN) through the Census of Marine Life (CoML) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).