Science and conservation research agencies are in need of knowledge and information on living organisms and their geographical distributions. In order to identify the great majority of living organisms, to understand the evolution of life on Earth, and to conserve biodiversity, taxonomic research is required and the current knowledge is inadequate. Tools available for taxonomic research include morphological, biochemical, genetic and sophisticated systematic models and software, yet basic taxonomic research lags seriously behind needs and a global effort currently attempts to address this serious lacuna. Taxonomic research has scientific implications but also implications for agriculture, nature and environmental conservation, the economy, human welfare, and health, and therefore it is crucial that biodiversity surveys and taxonomic research remain viable in face of fleeting fashions in scientific research.
Our ability to conserve, use and share the benefits of our biological diversity is limited due to knowledge gaps in our taxonomic system (including those associated with genetic systems), the shortage of trained taxonomists and curators. In the world there are millions of species still undescribed and there are far too few taxonomists to do the job. Three international organizations are attempting to remedy this situation: The Global Taxonomy Initiative and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Israel Taxonomy Initiative was established to join this effort in Israel.
A presentation on Taxonomy, developed by BioNet, is available here.