NLBIF in a nutshell

NLBIF facilitates open access to biodiversity data from the Netherlands for everyone, to help attain a more responsible, productive and sustainable management of this earth’s green reserves. Owners of biodiversity data in The Netherlands, whether this concerns research data, monitoring data, observation or natural history collection data, can use the GBIF and NLBIF infrastructure to make their data findable and useable by national and international users of all kinds. NLBIF itself does not build a large database but promotes the development of a distributed network of databases in which the data remain with the owner and only a portion of the data is electronically published. Data owners remain responsible for the quality of their data and determine what will be placed online.

NLBIF in het biodiversiteitslandschap

NLBIF objectives

NLBIF has three objectives stipulated in its articles of association:

  • to act as the national (data) node for GBIF;
  • to act as the national platform for international exchange and sharing of biodiversity data, information and knowledge available in The Netherlands and elsewhere;
  • to encourage development and application of information technology to support data management, exchange, analysis and electronic distribution of biodiversity information worldwide.

Being part of GBIF, NLBIF follows GBIF’s strategies and work plans, established democratically by the GBIF Governing Board every year. Briefly summarised, the three key GBIF activities are:

  • expanding and improving the GBIF technical infrastructure;
  • increasing the volume and improving the quality of data (files) available through GBIF;
  • increasing participation and interaction with data providers and data users.

Data publication support

In practice, this means that NLBIF supports organisations and institutions with biodiversity data in standardising their data and placing them online interoperably, making them (internationally) findable and usable. To this end, NLBIF builds up a specific infrastructure.

Dissemination of knowledge

Additionally, NLBIF disseminates international knowledge on biodiversity informatics in The Netherlands and informs the international scientific community on Dutch initiatives in this field. Using pilots, trials and newly developed ICT tools, NLBIF demonstrates, with a focus on scientifically and economically relevant applications, the usefulness and necessity of online sharing of biodiversity data.

Representing The Netherlands in GBIF

The Netherlands is one of GBIF’s founding fathers and has always been strongly represented in the GBIF Board.
Currently Dr. P. Schalk from Naturalis Biodiversity Center is chair of the Governing Board.


From 2002 to 2011, NLBIF was funded on a project basis by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. From NLBIF’s formation until 2006, the University of Amsterdam contributed financially on a structural basis to benefit the functioning of NLBIF. As of 2012, NLBIF receives a subsidy on a structural basis from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.  


NLBIF is a foundation with a Board of Directors, consisting of the following members:

  • Dr. G. Verkleij (Chair), CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre
  • Dr. J. Mols, Naturalis Biodiversity Center 
  • Prof. Dr. W.M. Mooij, Netherlands Institute voor Ecology (NIOO - KNAW)
  • H.J.G. Snijders, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
  • T.J. Verstrael, SOVON, Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology

NLBIF Secretariat:

Dr. Henk de Vries, Strategic Partnerships Manager and Node Manager of NLBIF
Dr. Isabel Silva, NLBIF Programme Manager

Please contact us if you have any questions or remarks about NLBIF or wish to give feedback on this website!