The ABDS data policy will, where possible, be in accordance with the Conservation Commons and the International Polar Year (IPY) data policies.

Open access

Free and open access to data, information and knowledge for conservation and management purposes will be promoted. In some cases compelling reasons exist for restricting data availability, such as revealing sensitive sites of endangered species, and such cases will require the application of appropriate safeguards.

Mutual Benefit

Users of ABDS are welcomed and encouraged to contribute data - click here

Rights and responsibilities

This ABDS adopts a flexible approach towards data rights and responsibilities which allows it to embrace all options from free public data to strict data control:

  • Ownership of data will rest with the originators of that data and the requirements they place on its use.
  • Unless requested otherwise, the data collector (or the representative of the organization that is the property owner) will be acknowledged as owner of the intellectual property of the data.
  • CAFF may act as custodian for individual data collectors, holders and publishers, but this does not automatically confer any rights to those data.
  • The responsibility for and ownership of the data will always remain with the data collector, publisher and/or holder.
  • Data collectors can manage their data collaboratively within ABDS.
  • Data collectors can, if they wish, transfer their rights to CAFF. It will also be possible to release data conditionally (e.g., based on use agreements).

Use of data from ABDS

Users of the ABDS are expected to comply, in good faith, with terms of use specified by contributors i.e. to cite formally the data provider and source of the data in question. For more information on usage please see CAFF's Usage Policy.


ABDS will endeavour to leverage existing data repositories and capacities where possible. CAFF will encourage interoperability standards and collaboration.


ABDS aggregates data from a wide group of collaborators. Every effort is made to ensure data are accurate however CAFF cannot assume any responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or utility of any information. Users are referred to originators of the data regarding appropriate use of these data products. 

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