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.
The overall objective of the CCI LC project is to critically revisit all algorithms required for the generation of a global land product, and to design and demonstrate a prototype system delivering global land cover information, in a consistent way over years and from various EO instruments.
The overarching objective of AtlantOS is to achieve a transition from a loosely-coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities producing fragmented, often monodisciplinary data, to a sustainable, efficient, and fitfor-purpose Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS).
ASSEMBLE Plus integrates over 30 marine biological stations and installations from various regions of the world's oceans and seas; providing scientists from academia, industry and policy with the services of these marine stations. LifeWatch BE and GR deal with data management and analysis.
AquaRES was a Belspo funded BRAIN project in which VLIZ, the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and RBINS collaborated to set up the exchange between the species registers WoRMS, RAMS and FADA. AquaRES was thus a project related to the central LifeWatch Taxonomic Backbone.
BioVeL is a virtual e-laboratory that supports biodiversity research using large amounts of data from cross-disciplinary sources. As part of the LifeWatch Marine VRE, a Taverna Server was installed at VLIZ, adding to the sustainability of the workflows developed during the BioVeL FP7 project.