Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) update

Scott Miller miller.scott at NMNH.SI.EDU
Wed Dec 10 15:56:48 CST 2003

The Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) was established by the Conference of
the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity to address the lack
of taxonomic information and expertise available in many parts of the
world, and thereby to improve decision-making in conservation, sustainable
use and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from genetic resources.
The GTI is specifically intended to support implementation of the work
programmes of the Convention on thematic and cross cutting issues. For more
information on the background of the GTI, see

The Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) of the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) had its second meeting in November
during the meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Science, Technology and
Techological Advice (SBSTTA).  The meeting resulted in recommendations to
the next Conference of the Parties to the CBD which are recorded as
recommendation IX/3 [page 34] of document UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 available at
Other useful background documents include reports prepared for the SBSTTA
meeting on the general status of the GTI (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/INF/16)
and proceedings of the GTI Asian meeting (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/INF/17)

The GTI now has a full-time program officer, Dr. Lucie Rogo, a Kenyan
entomologist and conservation biologist.  She can be reached at
lucie.rogo at

Note that the CBD has requested countries to designate agencies and
individuals ("national focal points") to help coordinate and communicate
GTI activities (e.g., COP decisions V/9 and VI/8 and SBSTTA recommendation
IX/3) and to provide a link between taxonomists and the CBD, but only about
48 out of 187 parties have done so (see for a current
list).  Taxonomists in countries without a GTI focal point should contact
the agency responsible for the CBD in their country (see for a current list) and urge them to
name a suitable GTI focal point such as the national museum or
herbarium.  These focal points will be increasingly important in helping
the GTI reach its potential in promoting taxonomy internationally.


Scott E. Miller, Ph.D.
National Museum of Natural History, MRC 105
Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Telephone: (202) 357-1355; Fax: (202) 786-3141
Email: miller.scott at

US National Focal Point for the Global Taxonomy Initiative

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