The Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) was established within the framework of the EU funded project European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT) and under the umbrella of the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF). The EDIT consortium agreement lasted from March 2006 until March 2011. Since then, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) remains responsible for the continued management of DEST, organization of courses and related logistical matters. The DEST currently includes a network of around 100 training providers from 60 institutions.
More about EDIT
The European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy was the collective answer of 29 leading European, North American and Russian institutions to a call of the European Commission, issued in 2004 within the Sixth Framework Programme, for a network in « Taxonomy for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research ». Among the members of EDIT were the premier natural history collections-based institutions worldwide, with their collections global in coverage and supported by complementary expertise. More than half of the world’s natural history specimens, which constitute the large scale infrastructure for taxonomic research, are held in the repositories of EDIT’s membership. The inclusion in the consortium of network institutions devoted to management of biodiversity data, and of a research organisation directly related to users of taxonomy for agriculture and environment, in addition to the links or inclusion of many partners with universities has facilitated dissemination of EDIT taxonomic research and training towards a wide audience.
More about CETAF
The Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities comprises 32 members representing 56 of the largest taxonomic institutions from 19 European countries. Its member institutions include Natural History Museums, Natural Sciences Museums, Botanical Gardens and other research institutions that hold biological collections and conduct taxonomic research. Their collections comprise an estimated 1.5 billion specimens and represent more than 80% of the world’s described species. Owing to these collections, CETAF collectively represents an unprecedented resource for scientific research across the globe and its members act as the custodians of our common heritage. CETAF member institutions dedicate themselves to both the preservation of this rich heritage as well as to the promotion of it through scientific research, education and public outreach.