Excerpt taken from Atlas of Living Australia, June 2019 “ALA helps improve environmental impact assessments in Western Australia”
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The IBSA solution
Led by the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the WA Environmental Protection Authority and the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, in collaboration with the WA Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) and with the input of stakeholders including mining companies and environmental consultants, WA has established a nationally-leading programme for sharing the biodiversity survey data and metadata that result from environmental assessments.
The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) was approached to provide the digital infrastructure solution and expertise in biodiversity data management and has played a key role in enabling the capture and distribution of this biodiversity information, which is critical for WA’s approvals process.
The result is IBSA – the Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments – an online portal for land-based biodiversity survey data in Western Australia. IBSA is hosted on the ALA’s data collection tool, BioCollect. It provides a central public register of surveys moving through the approvals process and enables efficient data sharing by allowing data to be uploaded to projects and shared with all relevant stakeholders at the same time.
IBSA was launched in 2018 and one year on, we’re already seeing the impact it is having on data availability and usability in the sector.
Impact and outcomes
There are already almost 450 surveys in the IBSA system, with over 350 available in the public web portal while others await upload when the relevant assessments conclude.