Introduction – Expertise network(s) and e-Infrastructure(s) for pan-European species directories
PESI provides standardised and authoritative taxonomic information by integrating and securing Europe’s taxonomically authoritative species name registers and nomenclators (name databases) and associated exper(tise) networks that underpin the management of biodiversity in Europe.
PESI defines and coordinates strategies to enhance the quality and reliability of European biodiversity information by integrating the infrastructural components of four major community networks on taxonomic indexing into a joint work programme. This will result in functional knowledge networks of taxonomic experts and regional focal points, which will collaborate on the establishment of standardised and authoritative taxonomic (meta-) data.
PESI will coordinate the integration and synchronisation of the European taxonomic information systems into a joint e-infrastructure and the set up of a common user-interface disseminating the pan-European checklists and associated user-services results.
The organisation of national and regional focal point networks as projected not only assures the efficient access to local expertise, but is also important for the synergistic promotion of taxonomic standards throughout Europe, for instance to liaison with national governmental bodies on the implementation of European biodiversity legislations.
PESI will provide a robust infrastructure to support the nomenclatural needs of European users and stakeholders. PESI will specifically address the issues of: pooling resources, standardisation, sustainability, accessibility and international cooperation.
PESI supports international efforts on the development of a 'Global Names Architecture' by building a common intelligent name-matching device in consultation with other principal initiatives. PESI contributes the development of a unified cross-reference system and provides of high quality taxonomic standards. PESI will further involve the Europe-based nomenclatural services and link the planned joint European taxonomic e-infrastructure to the global e-gateway.
PESI takes forward and builds upon previous European initiatives and, in doing so it helps sustain the momentum, ensuring that data is kept up to date and that valuable social networks are maintained and strengthened. This re-invigoration helps build the capacity necessary to support the growing international initiatives such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Life Watch, the Catalogue of Life (CoL) and the Encylopedia of Life (EoL) and the major breakthroughs in harmonising taxonomic expert networks achieved in by the EU Network of Excellence on taxonomy (European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy - EDIT).
PESI is an initiative, funded by the European Union under the Framework 7 Capacities Work Programme: Research Infrastructures. It is a three-year project, started in May 2008. Led by the University of Amsterdam, it involves 40 partner organisations from 26 countries.