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The Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) is the Flemish research and knowledge centre for nature and its sustainable management and use. The INBO conducts research and supplies knowledge to all those who prepare or make the policies or are interested in them. As a leading scientific institute, the INBO works for the Flemish government primarily, but also supplies information for international reporting and deals with questions from local authorities. In support of this research the INBO collects and manages a wealth of biodiversity data, mainly species observation records: the what, when and where of a species.
One of our strategic aims is to make this research data publicly available. Our journey to opening our data started in 2010 with the publication of our first datasets on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), a network who strives for free and open access to biodiversity data. In the years since, we have become one of the major publishers and promoters of biodiversity data - with over 5 million species observation records, as well as geographical and other research data - and got involved in open data movement.
It is within this context that the organization started to evolve towards an open data research institute. Recently we signed the Bouchout declaration for Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management and approved, as one of the first Flemish institutes, our open data policy. During this presentation we will talk about the barriers, highlights and setbacks we encountered during this journey.