LifeWatch Belgium is a distributed virtual laboratory and is used for biodiversity research and climatological and environmental impact studies. The Belgian LifeWatch node aims to:
Design a central LifeWatch Taxonomic Backbone
Construct a Belgian LifeWatch Observatory
Develop a Belgian LifeWatch e-Lab and Marine VRE
Conduct data archaeology
Develop an ecotopes database for Belgium
Monitor and synthesis ecosystem dynamic descriptors
Build an Antarctic Biogeographic Information System (AntaBIS)
Develop a Barcoding Facility for Organisms and tissues of Policy Concern (BOPCo).
Belgium makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.
LifeWatch Flanders Team (funded through FWO Vlaanderen)
Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) (coordinator of LifeWatch Belgium)
Research Institute for Nature and Forests (INBO)
LifeWatch Wallonia-Brussels Team (funded through the Wallonia-Brussels Federation)
Earth and Life Institute (UcL)
Biosystems Engineering Department (ULg-Gembloux ABT)
Belgian Federal Institutes (funded through the Belgian Science policy office (Belspo)
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)
Royal Museum of Central Africa (RMCA)
Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPf) (which acts as the Belgian LifeWatch Support Committee)
Access to regional and global biodiversity data systems is facilitated by means of several data services (Belgian LifeWatch E-lab), data publication, marine and non-marine data archaeology and the construction of a local marine-freshwater-terrestrial observatory.
Furthermore, a central Taxonomic Backbone combines taxonomic, biogeographical, trait and genomic data and disseminates this via web services.
Four ecosystem dynamic descriptors are derived from satellite images. Their weekly average profiles are calculated at a 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.
GlobCorine demonstrated an automatic service that can generate in a consistent way land cover / land use maps and land change indicators, based on a CLC-compatible legend. CLC is derived from a visual identification and classification of landscape objects using high resolution images.
The aim of WoRMS is to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonymy. WoRMS is a component of the central LifeWatch Taxonomic Backbone.
JERICO-NEXT aims at extending the EU network of coastal observations by adding new infrastructures while integrating biogeochemical and biological observations. The LifeWatch marine observatory and related data infrastructure supports JERICO-NEXT activities in the Southern Bight of the North Sea.
The European Tracking Network (ETN) is an online platform for tracking data from electronic tagging. The ETN data portal is developed by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) as part of the Flemish contribution to LifeWatch.
The EMODnet biology data portal provides free access to temporal and spatial distribution data of marine species and species traits from all European regional seas. It is built upon WoRMS and EurOBIS, both components of the central LifeWatch Taxonomic Backbone.