To improve data flows in the Basque Country we are focusing on three key aspects: data, relationships and people.
The information on biodiversity is a complex information, with an important scientific knowledge base, and very specialized. Many stakeholders produce high quality knowledge that can be used for decision making. Much of this knowledge has been financed with public money, so we have the responsibility to use it efficiently and make it available to the public so that others can generate new value for society as a whole.
In Basque Country we have used a bottom-up approach to enhance collaboration and networking, improving the knowledge and data flow between different systems/communities that we integrate in a public, open data infrastructure: the Nature Information System of the Basque Country, also linked to other public repositories of data like GBIF and to platforms of citizen science like
These are the key points we are working on:
- Unify standards, criteria and tools to incorporate in the specifications of the public contracts, in the calls for subventions and in the agreements with data providers.
- Work with local data providers using leading entities to organize and coordinate local groups of data providers and to train volunteers in the collection of primary data
- Make visible the work of all partners
- Incorporate relevant data providers, especially other public administrations

Resources needed

About 25,000 euros a year to hold workshops with the stakeholders.
We have the technical support of Innobasque, a non-profit, public interest association which helps us to meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations.

Evidence of success

We have signed agreements with the Society of Sciences Aranzadi, the University of the Basque Country, and AMBAR, the Society for the study and conservation of marine fauna, in order to incorporate the information generated by them in the Nature Information System. We have incorporated quality criteria and standard formats for the delivery of information in monitoring programs for common birds, butterflies, waterbird censuses and in the call for subsidies for the generation of knowledge

Difficulties encountered

The need to improve inter-institutional coordination is one of the biggest problem. This is a difficult challenge because of the multi- layered nature of institutional organization in the Basque Country which reveals a complex interplay of different forces at all levels.

Potential for learning or transfer

The bottom-up and collaborative aproach can be applied to any region, simply adapting it to the particular characteristics of the local stakeholders. In the BID-REX project we are also preparing a Guide, which may be used by any public authority nor local stakeholder for:
• Establish priorities in the allocation of budget and monitor the impact of actions financed by public funds in order to finance those actions that provide relevant information on biodiversity, ensuring that, in addition, the information generated can be reused to provide new public value.
• Promote and improve sectoral forums that involve key stakeholders (authorities, NGOs, professionals, researchers, etc.) in favour of integrating data on biodiversity.
• Improve the skills related to the production, management and use of biodiversity information of all the stakeholders involved.

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Main institution
Basque Government
País Vasco, Spain (España)
Start Date
October 2012
End Date


Marta Iturribarria Please login to contact the author.

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