Biological Collections Network 2005-2008


The Biological Collections (BC) play a central role in the management of natural resources based on biodiversity. The Iberoamerican BC cover as a group a paramount diversity in organisms, ecological regions and genetic variants, including domesticated species of human importance. Many of those BC are of prime international importance. Several Iberoamerican institutions have developed their own standards and applications focused to BC. These include biological information systems and networks, environmental indicators based on biodiversity, and strategies for systematic collection and prospecting of bioactive components. This network focuses on two main aspects that are key to the BC: (a) Data collection, storage and access (BC as documentation centers). And (b), preservation of specimens (BC as repositories). The network will also work to facilitate the development of taxonomic expertise.


Specific objectives of the network are: (a) Creation a catalog of BC in Iberoamerica. (b) Transference of expertise from the more advanced groups to those that are beginning with the digitization and normalization of data. (c) Support in the adaptation of standards and procedures to particular conditions of Iberoamerican countries. (d) Transference of technical knowledge for the management of CB and their associated data. (e) Help in the definition of local needs for the digitization of BC. (f) Create a space for the formation of human resources orientated to CB, with a high technical profile. (g) Help in access of BC to taxonomic expertise, and of the experts in taxonomy to the CB.

During the first year the network will focus on: (a) Formation of human resources, with participation of the groups collaborating in the network, plus external participants, including the local scientific community. (b) Make an evaluation of the condition, possibilities and urgencies of the BC in Iberoamerica, aiming to their future integration. The network will organize a multidisciplinary event including instances of technical formation (courses, workshops), discussion of policies (symposia, conferences), and meetings for coordination.