CETAF at the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) Forum on 2-4 December 2020

Friday, 18 December, 2020


The Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) Forum, initially scheduled to take place in Berlin in April 2020, was conducted virtually from the 2 to 4 December 2020.


In preparation for the adoption of a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the GTI Forum, hosted by MfN (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin), welcomed more than 90 participants per day. Governmental experts, national focal points, representatives of partner organizations and interested third parties related to taxonomy and systematics from around the world joined the event.

The three-day GTI Forum, initiated by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) consisted of: an opening symposium on “Best practices and challenges of the GTI in achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets”, followed by two days of workshops on the following themes:


  • The GTI 2021-2030 activities to support Parties’ achievement of the post-2020 biodiversity targets and;
  • The GTI 2021-2030 activities to enhance education, public engagement and collaboration between governments and taxonomic institutions.

CETAF was invited to the Forum as a partner to the GTI and was on the panel of invited participants, represented by Prof. Michelle Price (CETAF Vice-Chair, Head of Science at the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of the City of Geneva) and Mrs. Ana Casino (CETAF Executive Director). 


CETAF gave a contribution The Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF): A collaborative network for collections and taxonomyon the second day of the forum. During the CETAF presentation, M. Price highlighted the importance of taxonomic knowledge and expertise in underpinning global efforts to protect biodiversity, and in contributing to sustainable development goals. The successful model of collaboration and cooperation across European taxonomic facilities, under CETAF, was also highlighted during the presentation. 


Following the Forum, the CETAF Executive Committee prepared CETAF contributions the GTI Forum outcomes document “Global Taxonomy Initiative in Support of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”, with comments and remarks on structuring, supporting and increasing taxonomic capacities and expertise across the world, and on how coordination across natural history institutions and collaborations on taxonomic publishing, taxonomic expertise and taxonomy training, as undertaken by CETAF and its member institutions, contribute to the Global Biodiversity Framework.


CETAF key highlights:

  • Taxonomy is the fundamental scientific discipline underpinning biodiversity discovery and understanding, and the sustainable use of biodiversity 
  • Taxonomic expertise, training opportunities and the fostering of taxonomic-literacy is essential for successful capacity building strategies;
  • The science of taxonomy is supported by technical developments and tools (Next Generation Sequencing, DNA barcoding, isotopes, artificial intelligence, informatics, etc.), and underpins scientific cooperation; 
  • Taxonomy is the keystone in the Biodiversity Knowledge Management component;
  • CETAF is the European hub for taxonomy (taxonomic knowledge, training and expertise).