The BioEco Working Group was chartered in 1997 by the Committee on Environment
and Natural Resources (CENR) Subcommittee on Ecological Systems (SES) to improve
coordination of Federal biodiversity and ecosystem informatics activities and
to provide a recognized, high level focal point for those activities.
The current charter charges the working group with the following:
- Increase communication, coordination, and efficiency of Federal activities in biodiversity and ecosystem informatics
- Support science, technology, and innovation for sustainability through improved biodiversity and ecosystem information systems, standards, and services
- Leverage and enhance Federal, private sector, and international information on biodiversity and ecosystems through encouraging mutual data access and interoperability
- Facilitate the integration and utilization of biodiversity and ecosystem knowledge to inform decisions, and the gathering of new knowledge, including the socio-economic and geophysical data required for ecosystem valuation and decision support
- Serve as the interagency coordinating body in support of EcoINFORMA, an initiative that participating agencies are implementing to facilitate effective interoperability and mobilization of national scale data sets for sustaining environmental capital
- Provide advice on policies and opportunities related to biodiversity and ecological informatics, as required by the SES, CENRS, and/or the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
EcoINFORMA is the Ecoinformatics-based Open Resources and Machine Accessibility initiative recommended by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST 2011) to ensure that Federal agency data relevant to biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as the socio-economic and geophysical data required in support of ecosystem valuation and decision-support, are published in machine-readable, interoperable format to facilitate research engagement by public, private, academic, and other stakeholders, and to support policy- and decision-making at Federal, state, and local levels.