Belgium contributes to LifeWatch with varied and complementary “in-kind” contributions. These are implemented under the form of long-lasting projects by different research centers and universities spread over the country and supported by each respective political authority.
In a nutshell, access to regional and global biodiversity data systems is facilitated by means of several data services (Belgian LifeWatch E-lab), data publication to (Eur)OBIS and GBIF, marine and non-marine data archaeology and the construction of a local marine-freshwater-terrestrial observatory.
A central Taxonomic Backbone combines taxonomic, biogeographical, trait and genomic data and disseminates this via web services.
LifeWatch Belgium is also the driving force behind the LifeWatch Marine Virtual Research Environment (VRE), the gateway to marine data resources and services related to the European LifeWatch infrastructure.
Four ecosystem dynamic descriptors are derived from satellite images. Their weekly average profiles are calculated at an European scale. Furthermore, a database describing homogeneous units of the landscape, ecotopes, has been developed.
Biodiversity.aq is building an Antarctic Biodiversity Information System (AntaBIS), as a thematic LifeWatch virtual laboratory.
The Barcoding facility for Organisms and tissues of Policy Concern (BopCo) project is setting up a virtual laboratory that uses molecular techniques to identify unknown biological material to species/population level.
Ph. Credits Photo Gallery / Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ)