Taxonomy is the knowledge base for ... ... understanding the diversity of life on our planet.
View a video on biodiversity published by the UN Convention of Biological Diversity for the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) - a year-long, global celebration of biological diversity and its value for life on Earth.
Taxonomy is the foundation of all the various scientific disciplines dealing with organisms.
It supports informed decision making of policy and regulatory bodies, provides hidden but pivotal services for many industries (e.g. agriculture, pharmaceuticals), and is
fundamental infrastructure for the Millennium Development Goals of poverty alleviation, combating disease, and environmental sustainability.
Taxonomy is indispensable for... Conserving and sharing the benefits of biodiversity: To date only about 1.8 million species of an estimated 5 to 50 million species have been described.
Knowing species and their distributions is central to their protection and provides new opportunities for life sciences to realize benefits from biodiversity.
Responding to climate change: Distributions of species are expected to shift as a consequence of climate change. Taxonomic collections tell us the
spatial distributions of species, allowing extinction, pest and disease risks to be predicted and supporting ecosystem adaption measures.
Managing invasives and pests: Invasives and pests pose one of the biggest threats to food security and biodiversity. Managing these risks calls for trained taxonomists able to provide the species information and rapid identification tools necessary for managers and society.
Facilitating trade: When an unknown insect is found in an agricultural shipment, global commerce is slowed and shipments are held at great cost pending identification. Rapidly available taxonomic support saves money.
Improving human, animal and plant health: Taxonomy is fundamental for correct diagnoses and treatment, prediction of disease vectors and regulation and quality control of trade in medicinal plants.