Over the last 12 weeks the NBN Trust has held a series of 9 workshops across the UK to seek input to a new NBN Strategy. Workshops were held in Belfast, Aberystwyth, Edinburgh, London and Peterborough. More than 150 people attended these workshops representing every part of the Network including schemes and societies, record centres, NGOs, UK government agencies, biological recorders, ecological consultants, universities and other research institutions. Our thanks to everyone who participated in these workshops.
Our thanks also go to workshop hosts and sponsors: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, Natural England, Natural History Museum and Natural Resources Wales. The NBN Trust would also like to thank Sarah Keast who facilitated the majority of the workshops.
There were a number of important messages that are provided here under each of the five proposed Strategic Aims of the new NBN Strategy.
Theme A: Capturing, diversifying and enhancing wildlife data
Workshop participants suggested the Network must simplify the data capture process, reduce gaps in the data and improve verification processes, data quality and data flow.
Theme B: Making Wildlife data available to those who need it
The NBN Trust heard that the Network should more closely examine the needs of the various users. Work is needed to improve accessibility to data and the service delivery standards. Improving data interpretation services and enhancing data through the addition of environmental layers should be a priority. The NBN should also develop a strategy for sharing data and co-operating internationally.
Theme C: Captivating and Engaging People about wildlife [data]
The message received at the workshops was that the NBN should work to raise its profile and brand as the trusted repository or conduit for people seeking data and information about biodiversity. The Network should also improve the user interface of the data tools to help engage and involve more people.
Theme D: Providing the best wildlife information management
Workshop participants suggested that besides stabilizing the NBN Gateway and improving web services that the Network should improve the standards for data capture and storage to include more detailed metadata and attributes. The Network should also build a stronger working relationship between developers and supporters and users to ensure close alignment and problem solving.
Theme E: Supporting the Network
Priorities for the Network include developing a sustainable funding model and improving the Network performance. This includes delivering training and networking events, building a true partnership of Network members and ensuring that the NBN Trust is fit for purpose to facilitate Strategy implementation.
The Strategy is now being drafted and will be out for comment early in 2015.