TFBIS - Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information Systems Programme fund

The Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme supports the conservation of New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity, by increasing awareness of and access to fundamental data and information about terrestrial and freshwater biota and biodiversity. The Programme is one of a number of initiatives introduced in July 2000 to implement the Government's commitment to achieving the goals of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (NZBS).

TFBIS mission

“Support seamless access to essential biodiversity data, information and knowledge to achieve the goals of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2000”.

Funding rounds

The 2013 funding round closed on 30 April 2013. The TFBIS Steering Committee met on 28 June 2013 to consider the 39 applications received. The TFBIS Steering Committee will submit a recommendation report for this funding round to the Deputy Director General Kahui Kaupapa Atawhai, Department of Conservation. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in August.

If you wish to be added to our contacts list so that you will be informed of future funding rounds please email us at

For details of approved projects see the resources section (projects funded in last application round). 

Funding emphasis

The implementation of the TFBIS strategy (PDF, 552K) has influenced the types of projects that receive funding. The major changes have been:

  • Significant increase in spending on providing underlying and connecting infrastructure together with the development of supporting standards, privacy, data access, and intellectual property policies - technologies that allow sharing and federation of research data, information and tools are rapidly gaining in sophistication and web services are also maturing to enable secure interconnection of data between different data systems and agencies. To aid the development of this “federated” system greater investment in infrastructure and in the development of consistent support activities is seen as being a priority needing greater investment.
  • More proactive emphasis on the coordination of efforts/communication across the sector - this has been a low investment area traditionally for the Programme. Communities of Practice and other methods of promoting better communication across the sector will be encouraged where there is a proven and critical need not funded from current funding regimes.
  • Continued funding to fill priority data and information gaps - future applications for funds for these projects will require a persuasive case linked to the important biodiversity management issue/s to justify expenditure.
  • Less spending on digitisation of existing data and information – in the past significant investment was made in digitisation of information and data. Limited investment in this area is anticipated in the next few years.

Process changes have also been introduced that place greater emphasis on user needs assessment for all projects. A differentiation has also been introduced in the application form to be completed for large and small scale projects.

If you wish to discuss a potential application you are welcome to contact staff by emailing

Viewing documents on this page

Some documents are currently only available as PDFs or other files such as Word or Excel. If you can't view these files please get in touch with the listed contact to request another format or a hard copy. About PDFs and other alternative formats.


Find out more


Learn more


If you have questions, suggestions or comments about the TFBIS Programme, please contact:

Fund Advisor