1. PROJECT GOAL
To secure, enhance and make accessible existing reference collections containing material from the East Asian subregion through National Taxonomic Reference Centres (COP III/10).
1) To assess the status of existing facilities and resources (COP V/9:2a&b; IV/1D: Suggestions for Actions 11.i) and identify priorities (COP IV/1D: Suggestions for Action 3).
2) To recommend to LOOP member governments one or more NIs as dedicated National Taxonomic Reference Centres (COP V/9: 2c).
3) To enhance the existing strengths in collections, and related human resource capability and scientific literature (CBD III/10 endorsing SBSTTA recommendation II/2)
4) To promote the use in the subregion of compatible collection management procedures to facilitate effective network access to collections and collection information within and between the countries of the EASIANET subregion (COP IV/1D: Suggestions for Action 3 & 4).
5) To establish methods of access to collections of East Asian material held outside the subregion and information held therein (COP IV/1D: Suggestions for Action 3).
6) To maintain collections for both scientific investigations and educational museums of natural history, as well as to produce popular products such as field guides.
7) To establish new collections and reference materials in response to priority subregional needs and demands.
Conduct a needs assessment of the current strengths and weaknesses, including collections, taxonomic range, housings, environmental control, collection documentation and management procedures and support services, curatorial expertise and taxonomic capability. NACIs to submit copies of the report to the NECI and their national CBD Focal Point for inclusion in Country Reports to COP (COP IV/1D: Suggestions 1 & 7). The needs assessment would include:
1) Establish the needs assessment team; methodologies developed & standardised (possibility to acquire process outline and questionnaire from other LOOPs).
2) Taxonomic facilities and resources inspected at NACIs and NIs and those needing rehabilitation identified.
3) Sustainable options for establishing specialised National Taxonomic Reference Centres and/or museums recommended.
Initial needs identified could result in the following phased activities:
1) Specimen collection, culturing, preservation, storage and curation equipment/materials.
2) Key groups, eg. insect/arthropod collections, herbaria, and fresh water collections upgraded and maintained
3) Germplasm collections of food and tree/forestry crops upgraded and maintained.
4) Microbial collections (fungi, bacteria, microalgae and virus collections) upgraded and maintained.
5) Specialised identification tools available at a subregional centre.