The Global Taxonomy Initiative

Institutional and individual capacity building - Call 2004


See the results of the call 2004 ...


The specific convention between the Belgian Development Cooperation and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (2003-2007) aims to contribute to a better knowledge of biodiversity and to reach a better implementation of international environmental conventions in developing countries.

Action 2 focuses on the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) established under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The purpose of the GTI is to remove or reduce the 'taxonomic impediment' - in other words, the knowledge gaps in our taxonomic system, the shortage of trained taxonomists and curators, and the impact these deficiencies have on our ability to preserve biodiversity. 

Type of support

Seed money is available for institutions or individuals from developing countries in need of taxonomic and curatorial training. Such training should invariably have a clearly identified output in terms of increased taxonomic and/or curatorial capacity for the developing country or its region.

Estimated number of supported projects

In 2004, the funding available to grant seekers is roughly 25.000 €. This amount will rise in following years. Funding covers both visits of trainees to Belgium, as well as visits of the Belgian tutor for the GTI (or equivalent, taxon-or subject dependent, tutor) to developing countries.

Amount of DGDC support per project

The funding should allow up to ten researchers to come over to Belgium to receive training in 2004. From 2005 to 2007, as more funding will become available, the number of visiting trainees will increase significantly.

Given the limited funding available, trainees are encouraged to seek additional funds from other funding bodies. The Belgian tutor for the GTI (or equivalent, taxon-or subject dependent, tutor) will annually carry out two to three training sessions on specific modules (each lasting one to two weeks) upon demand of partner countries.


The Belgian Development Cooperation has chosen to have privileged relations with 18 partner countries, mainly in Africa (Algeria, Benin, Burundi, DR Congo, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania), but also in South America (Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru), Asia (Vietnam) and the Middle East (Palestine). 

Figure: Belgium's priority partners for development cooperation.

Individuals and institutes from other developing countries are nevertheless eligible to receive support and training.

Content requirements

The capacity building should focus on:

  • taxonomic or parataxonomic training (with a priority to extant zoological taxa)

  • collections establishment and/or management (including local/regional collections)

  • tools for the study of biodiversity (e.g. molecular methods for species identification) or to apply biodiversity data (e.g. taxonomic keys)

Note: the Belgian Development Cooperation has identified priority sectors of the Belgian cooperation in its 'Environmental strategic note' in 2003 and in its 'General policy note for 2004'. Projects addressing those issues will have an advantage.

Project period

Dependant on number and type of projects received annually.

Submission instructions

Complete application form in English or French should reach the Belgian tutor of the GTI no later than March 31st or November 30th to be eligible for the period May 2004 to March 2005.

Indicative timeline for review of proposals and execution of pilots

1 March 2004 Call for proposals distributed through Belgian CHM
31 March / 30 November 2004 Proposals due
1 -15 April /1 -15 December 2004 Proposals reviewed
20 April / 20 December 2004 Successful applicants contacted
May to July 2004 / January to March 2005 Execution of visits of trainees to Belgium
1 September 2004 / 1 May 2005 Reports of trainees due
October to December 2004 / March to April 2005 Visit of Belgian tutor (or equivalent) to partner country

Principles by which proposals will be reviewed

They will be based on the selection criteria on application form.



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Last updated  29-11-2004

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