The India Biodiversity Portal is a unique example in India of a community driven portal that is owned by a group of institutions and that has over 5000 users of which over 600 are active contributors and participants on the portal. The portal exists to enable free (as in freedom) and open access to biodiversity information on the country to everyone. Keystone has been a regular contributor to the portal and has actively supported the many initiatives of the portal such as campaigns, bioblitz etc.
The portal was being managed by ATREE, Strand and French Institute Pondicherry over the years and in 2013 a consortium model was chosen to broad base the ownership of the community in the portal. At present there are 19 institutions that are members of the IBP consortium, including Keystone.
On 12th December 2014, the annual meeting of the consortium took place at KFRI, Peechi, Kerala. This was the first meeting of the consortium after the new constitution was adopted. Balachander and Poornima attended the meet from Keystone. There was intense discussion on various aspects of the portal including financial sustainability, development paths etc. The next day was an open community meet where for the first time, many of the contributors to and users of the portal met face to face after months and years of interacting online. It was inspiring to see people from various parts of the country and with different backgrounds (researchers, amateurs, lay people, children etc.) all united by a common vision of openly sharing biodiversity information. From the enthusiasm and openness we could see at the community meet, it is certain that the portal will grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come!