BioNET-INTERNATIONAL is dedicated to supporting sustainable development by helping developing countries to overcome the taxonomic impediment by becoming self-reliant in taxonomy, i.e. self-reliant in the skills, infrastructure and technologies needed to discover, identify, name, classify and to understand the relationships of all organisms.  

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BioNET-INTERNATIONAL, the Global Network for Taxonomy, is dedicated to creating sustainable mechanisms to assist developing countries to overcome the Taxonomic Impediment by becoming self-reliant in taxonomy i.e. self-reliant in the skills, infrastructure (collections etc.) and technologies needed to discover, identify, name and classify and to understand the relationships of all organisms on this planet.

It is concerned with helping developing countries to recognise and know the organisms that constitute and threaten their biodiversity, not for taxonomy's own sake, but rather to support national programmes for sustainable agricultural development, and conservation and sustainable use of the environment.

Support for the Global Taxonomy Initiative, the CBD and other conventions
BioNET-INTERNATIONAL is particularly focused on helping countries implement the various environmental conventions such as the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC; and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD;, especially its taconomic capacity building compnent, the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI). The subregional networks of BioNET-INTERNATIONAL have been identified as appropriate structures through which much of the GTI ( can be effectively implemented.
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Taxonomic skills and products are essential for implemeting sustainable development, including conservation and food production. Until the early 1990s, many taxonomic services were provided free by former colonial powers. Today, developing countries typically lack the ability to pay for taxonomic services and have poor or poorly resourced local taxonomic capacity. For many economically and ecologically important organism groups there are no longer any trained taxonomists at all in many regions.

We establish subregional LOOPs (Locally Organised and Operated Partnerships; see, for example, or or of institutions in developing countries that are dedicated to making regions self-sufficient in their taxonomic needs, i.e. designed to optimise self-sufficiency and provide a cost effective basis for strengthening the ability of countries to meet their taxonomic needs by sharing resources subregionally. LOOPs are Technical Cooperation Networks (as defined by UNDP), designed to be permanent government-owned structures formed by intergovernmental agreement to address national and regional taxonomic priorities identified by their member countries.

BioNET-INTERNATIONAL has a Technical Secretariat that works to facilitate the establishment of new LOOPs and help existing LOOPs to become self-sufficient via donor-funded activities. Since 1993 seven LOOPs have been established by 120 member countries and the value of the LOOPs has been recognised by the 182 countries that have ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity. LOOPs are not coordinated by full-time staff. Instead, coordinators are nominated by their institute and a proportion of their time is dedicated to LOOP activities on the understanding that these activities directly support that institutes mission.
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Both the LOOPs and the Technical Secretariat are not-for-profit, donor funded programmes. The BioNET-INTERNATIONAL Fund supports the operations of the Technical Secretariat and provides catalytic funding of some US$130 000 over two years to establish LOOPs (co-financing for work programme proposals, communications costs, publicity, planning meetings etc) and initiate fundraising. The initial two-year period is critical for establishing the credibility of the LOOP and securing funding for activities, but is purely an incubation phase. After this period the success of LOOPs is entirely dependent on member country governmental support and attracting donor funding to implement their work programmes.

LOOPs have been successful in securing funding for their work programmes from a number of generous funding partners to date, including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Department for International Development (UK), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, USAID, UNDP and many more.

LOOP activities typically fall into five categories:
1. Training.
2. Rehabilitation and resourcing of biological and literature collections.
3. Information and communications.
4. Introduction and application of appropriate new technologies.
5. Sustainable functioning of the LOOP.

Contact the Technical Secretariat:
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