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Currently the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components is a priority, given the environmental crisis of the planet in recent decades. Knowledge of biodiversity becomes urgent in view of the rapid process of the loss of ecosystems, species and genes, as well as a broad spectrum of environmental services and products derived from plants and animals pending discovery or study.
In this sense, biological collections are one of the main sources of information on biological diversity. The large quantity of information they represent and the fact that they are dynamic require, for their consultation and updating, the use of specialized computer tools. Gathering these collections in an information network allows not only for the connection of the main databanks, the updating of information and direct contact with specialists, but also access, exchange and consultation of data open to the public in general throughout the world.
The World Biodiversity Information Network (REMIB) is a computerized system of biological information (it includes databases of a curatorial, taxonomic, ecological, cartographic, bibliographic, ethno-biological type, use of catalogues on natural resources and other subject matters), based on an academic inter-institutional decentralized and international organization, formed by research and higher education centers, both public and private, that possess both scientific biological collections and data banks.
The Mexican Biodiversity Information Network, given that name since its beginning, was created during the first years of operation of Conabio, by an agreement of 25 executives of institutions related to the study of biodiversity, in accordance with the so-called Declaration of Oaxaca (November 1993). This declaration established the creation of an information network to interconnect biological data banks existing in the country and facilitate their access by data processing tools with the following characteristics:
In its first stage, REMIB incorporated collections which management and financial funds were provided by Conabio. Subsequently, certain international institutions demonstrated their interest in pertaining to the Network, thus it changed its name to the World Biodiversity Information Network, incorporating information not only from Mexico but from almost 146 countries. Throughout this time, most of the decisions on its implementation have been made on the basis of suggestions from academic personnel and curators, members of REMIB. This network is formed by a Board of Directors and two Executive Committees whose structure and functions are summarized in the following table:
Currently, REMIB has Regulations that establish the guidelines for its functioning.
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