Taxonomy is essential to implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Taxonomic knowledge is a key input in the management of all types of ecosystems, from marine areas to forests to drylands. It is also a key to effectively addressing alien species, access and benefit-sharing, and the many other cross-cutting issues under the Convention. Each country and region, in addressing this wide range of biodiversity issues, has different needs and priorities regarding taxonomic support. Understanding those needs and priorities is the important first step to overcoming the "taxonomic impediment". Consequently, it is no surprise that the Conference of the Parties, at its eighth meeting in March 2006, urged Parties and other Governments that have not done so to undertake or complete or update, as a matter of priority, national taxonomic needs assessments, including related technical, technological and capacity needs, and to establish priorities for taxonomic work that take into account country-specific circumstances, with particular regard to user needs and priorities.
The programme of work for the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) includes a focus on taxonomic needs assessment and identification of priorities at national, regional and global levels. At the national level, the programme of work specifies that each country would report their taxonomic needs through their national biodiversity strategies and action plans as well as through their national reports, and the information would be disseminated through the clearing-house mechanism of the Convention. Accordingly, this page intends to summarize the information of the needs and priorities identified in national reports, national biodiversity strategies and action plans, Global Environment Facility (GEF)- funded assessments, or other sources.