11 Jul 2020 · Taxonomy / Nomenclature

Governance of Global Taxonomic Lists Programme suggests Ten Principles for Taxonomy

In a recent paper, the members of the IUBS Scientific Programme "Governance of Global Taxonomic Lists" suggest a set of ten principles for creating and governing lists of the world’s species, and a proposed governance mechanism for ensuring that the lists are well-managed and broadly acceptable. Prof. Stephen Garnett of Charles Darwin University, the paper’s lead author and one of the Leaders of the  Governance of Global Taxonomic Lists programme says, "Listing all species may sound routine, but is a difficult and complex task. Currently no single, agreed list of species is available. Instead, some iconic groups of organisms such as mammals and birds have several competing lists, while other less well-known groups have none."

This causes problems for organizations and governments that need reliable, agreed, scientifically defensible and accurate lists for the purposes of conservation, international treaties, biosecurity, and regulation of trade in endangered species. The lack of an agreed list of all species also hampers researchers studying Earth’s biodiversity. The new paper outlines a potential solution in the form of a set of ten principles for global taxonomic lists and a governance mechanism for them. 

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10 Jul 2020 · Taxonomy / Nomenclature

First Workshop for Governance of Global Taxonomic Lists

In February 2020 the first of a series of three IUBS supported workshops under the 'Governance of Global Taxonomic Lists' Programme was held in Darwin Australia to help develop a governance framework for taxonomists and the users of taxonomy that they can then use to decide which names should be used by society, while continuing to encourage taxonomic research.

The purpose of the workshop was to start resolving the outstanding issues surrounding a set of principles for unified list creation and refine them for publication as the first stage in developing a conversation among the global community of taxonomists and the users of taxonomy. Further activities will include development and submission of manuscripts on achievements and gaps in global list assembly, a governance regime for a global list describing the potential to shift from polycentric to federalist governance, the minimum requirements for inclusion on a global list, and balancing the scientific independence of taxonomy with an aspiration to involve users of taxonomic lists.