1. The LOOP Coordinating Committee (LCC)
This is composed of the NACIs and other Members in the LOOP structure and the NECI which also serves as its executive arm or Secretariat. Thus, there will be at least one representative from each member country and from each of the other identified Associate Member bodies (where such exist). The LCC's responsibilities are as follows:
1) Promote, maintain and sustain the LOOP and its activities, by securing the necessary commitment and financial support of LOOP member governments and funding for core activities and Work Programmes from donor agencies, and through good management of resources.
2) Serve as the subregional advisory body on taxonomy and its development in providing the best possible advice to LOOP member governments, international organisations and donors and others on all taxonomic matters in the region.
3) Appoint and oversee the activities of the NECI and enable it to serve as an effective Secretariat and executive arm of the LCC.
4) Prescribe the mandates of all coordinating institutes within the LOOP (NECI and NACIs) and terms of reference for Working Groups.
5) Devise and enable the implementation of Work Programmes and other activities designed to achieve LOOP objectives.
6) Draw up the LOOP Budget for core activities and work programmes and oversee use of allocated resources.
7) Seek funding for specific programmes, from member country contributions and funding agencies.
8) Meet at least annually for the purpose of conducting LOOP business, especially to evaluate progress and outputs in relation to inputs and identify needs, with rotational venues if practical.
9) To decide on inviting and/or approving applications for membership.
2. The Network Coordinating Institute (NECI)
This is the core of the LOOP and carries substantial responsibilities. It is the centre for receipt, collation and distribution of information and contacts. It is the Secretariat of the LOOP Coordinating Committee (LCC). It is the link between the NACIs and the direct link between the LOOP and TecSec and the link through TecSec with all other BioNET-INTERNATIONAL LOOPs and with BIOCON. The designated NECI needs to provide adequate logistical and operational support for the Network Coordinator to fulfil their role.
The responsibilities of the NECI are as follows:
1) Coordinate the activities of the network in accordance with the instruction and directions of the LCC.
2) Prepare programmes of work and budgets as approved by the LCC and with the appropriate support and inputs from NACI's and others.
3) Draft reports on activities and the Annual Report of the network as required by the LCC, again and with the appropriate support and inputs from NACI's and others.
4) Serve as, and provide an effective link between, the NACIs and the Technical Secretariat.
5) Collect, collate and disseminate information; issue a Newsletter at agreed intervals (again dependent on receiving adequate contributions from the NACIs and others).
6) Organise LCC meetings.
7) Serve as the repository of literature, documents and papers relating to the network, as required.
8) Liase with and facilitate the operation of Working Groups.
9) Generally function as the executive arm of the LCC.
10) Process funding proposals on behalf of the LCC where these have been drafted by the LCC and others.
3. The National Coordinating Institutes (NACIs)
The NACI is the anchor-point of national activities, and has within it at least one person designated as the National Coordinator to whom responsibility for LOOP affairs is delegated (an 'alternate' should also be designated). The responsibilities of the NACI are as follows:
1) Nominate a National Coordinator (person and post) and an 'alternate' in the case of the non-availability at a particular time of the nominated Coordinator, and allocate institutional time and budget within that post to allow for the proper execution of NACI responsibilities.
2) Designate and support the Coordinator to serve as the national representative on the LCC and to implement the decisions and recommendations of the LCC at national level.
3) Coordinate a national network of NI's and national taxonomic activities and programmes in support of the LOOP work programmes (which are focussed on meeting national needs).
4) Liase with and exchange information with other NACIs and the NECI on a continuous basis.
5) Provide, as delegated, leadership and/or support for Working Groups and other programmes.
6) Communicate, on a continuous basis, on all LOOP and BioNET-INTERNATIONAL activities to and from National Institutes and to and from the NECI.
7) Liase with all CBD and GTI Focal Points of the subregion to ensure the LOOP is supporting, where appropriate, subregional activities aimed at implementing the CBD.
4. National Institutes (NIs)
These are those Government institutes, organisations, services (e.g. quarantine), NGO's and other private and public sector bodies which have something to offer to LOOP activities or who need LOOP services (i.e. both providers and users of taxonomic services and products). Together they constitute the National Network within which the National Coordinator is the focal point. Their responsibilities are as follows:
1) Assist the NACI in the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the LCC at national level.
2) Contribute expertise, resources, information, research findings etc. to the LOOP through the NACI and NECI.
3) Actively participate in all feedback systems of the LOOP (e.g. identification of needs, achievements, problems, solutions, new knowledge, technologies, new records, newsletters etc.).
4) Lead, support and facilitate, as delegated, and otherwise contribute to Working Groups, and other LOOP programmes.
5) Communicate on a monthly basis with the NECI and with the designated National CBD and GTI Focal Points to report on LOOP activities (and thereby assist the Focal Points in writing their National and other reports) and learn of the latest progress in national implementation of the CBD and other initiatives.
6) Provide and maintain the GTI Programme Officer at the Secretariat of the CBD with a list of national taxonomic experts, indicating which CBD thematic areas and Cross-cutting issues they are expert in and including their regularly updated contact details.
5. Working Groups
The members of Working Groups consist of a group of specialists appointed by the LOOP Coordinating Committee. The size of these groups may vary according to the workload of the Working Group. The LCC may change members or size of the various groups or modify their Terms of Reference from time to time if necessary or useful. One member of each group should function as the Focal Point for that Group, and be responsible for maintaining the necessary contacts between the group members, other groups and the NECI.
Working Groups should be established to deal with specific problems in the region. Working Groups may be permanent, addressing matters that need constant attention such as training, or may be temporary e.g. to deal with difficult taxonomic group problems, suspected invasive alien introductions etc.
The LCC should establish Terms of Reference for each Working Group, and the Working Group should submit a Technical Report on activities, conclusions and recommendations to the NECI to be presented and discussed at the LCC.