Welcome to the March 2024 edition of our Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) newsletter.

In this issue we are proud to be launching Round 3 of the ALA Australian Biodiversity Mobilisation Program. This is one of ALA’s flagship programs that was designed three years ago to provide a mechanism to support the digitisation and provision of important biodiversity that may otherwise not be provided to the ALA. In the first two years the program has supported 12 remarkable teams to digitally enable their data and make it available to the ALA as open data, and through that effort internationally to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. These 12 current projects span a range of incredible institutions, species, and provide important geographic coverage. This year we are excited to have secured additional support from CSIRO’s Catalysing Australia’s Biosecurity initiative. This will provide additional focus on species of biosecurity concern which we know will generate additional excitement around the program, and deliver data to the ALA that assists Australia’s biosecurity sector to better assess risk, and mitigations.

ALA’s Strategy 2020-2025 has an action to ‘establish data priorities to ensure Australia has a nationally comprehensive, representative and adequate biodiversity data infrastructure’. In addition to supporting those parts of the biodiversity data sector that may be resource constrained, the Data Mobilisation Program has become an important mechanism for independently identifying data priorities, whether geographic or taxonomic and starting to fill these gaps in our national biodiversity data system. The existing 12 projects, and approximately nine projects we expect to fund in 2024 will play a fundamental role in ensuring the Australian biodiversity research, management and policy landscape has access to the best available data. The launch of Round 3 also provides a timely reminder that we are keen to grow this important national program through partnerships with government, industry and the research sector so please do reach out if you’d like to play a supporting role in future years.

We hope you enjoy our March Newsletter.