Initiatives, activities and projects
The CETAF acts as a forum for exchange of information and ideas: it is a hub for the formation of collaborations on biodiversity related issues.
CETAF also promotes the creation of European-funded projects that are headed by a CETAF member institution and/ or run by sub-groups of CETAF member institutions, with CETAF and non-CETAF institutions as partners. Since CETAF became an International non-profit making association in 2009, it has been able to broaden its scope and adopt initiatives or products from funded project that have ended. CETAF now also has the potential to become an official partner in EU funded projects or apply for funds in its own right (CETAF projects).
CETAF Initiatives are activities created within the consortium or integrated into the consortium that are usually initiated from within an EU-funded project, and include:
European Journal of Taxonomy (EJT)
Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST)
Biodiversity Heritage Library – Europe (BHL-Europe)
The European Journal of Taxonomy is a peer-reviewed international journal in descriptive taxonomy, covering the eukaryotic world. Its content is fully electronic and Open Access (Diamond reference). It is published and funded by a consortium of European natural history institutions where neither authors nor readers have to pay fees. All articles published in EJT are compliant with the different nomenclatural codes. EJT is an archived and indexed journal that welcomes scientific contributions from all over the world, both in content and authorship. EJT is based on EDIT, a project financed by the EU (EDIT, www.e-taxonomy.eu, 2006 –2011). EJT has survived the project, and it is now breathing on its own.
DEST has been established by prominent taxonomists and other international partners during the EU funded project European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT, www.e-taxonomy.eu, 2006 -2011). The major aim of DEST is to transfer knowledge between current and future generations of taxonomists by providing high quality education and prepare students for future taxonomic careers.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) works collaboratively to make biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community. BHL also serves as the foundational literature component of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL)
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access principles.
The BHL has digitized millions of pages of taxonomic literature, representing tens of thousands of titles and over 100,000 volumes.
BHL –Europe facilitates open access to digital biodiversity heritage literature through:
Access to Taxonomic Intelligence services to facilitate the search for taxon specific information.
Search, browse, download and print literature.
A union catalogue of library holdings with content management and deduplication functionalities. A joint effort with EDIT, The European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy.
A Sophisticated resource for aggregating teaching material as a complement to textbooks used in schools.
Europe's digital library, archive and museum.
Scientific material available to every European citizen to help raise awareness and appreciation of biodiversity heritage.
Literature from global partners
These activities include projects /initiatives that were formed or created from within CETAF by CETAF members and that may have CETAF members and/or non-members as partners. These projects /initiatives share information on their activities with the CETAF general meeting on a voluntary basis or provide services for CETAF or CETAF member instutions, and so far comprise:
ICEDIG designs all the technical, financial, policy and governance aspects for developing and operating the ESFRI initiative Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo), to unify access to data from natural science collections in a harmonised and integrated manner across Europe. The severe backlog in the digitisation and cataloguing of specimens from natural science collections has rendered their information underused. The sheer scale and complexity of digitising and providing access to collection data requires technological, socio-cultural, and organisational capacity enhancements. This will be enabled by ICEDIG as it drives new research and technological innovation to solve the challenges of efficiently digitising and seamlessly accessing collections. ICEDIG is a Horizon 2020 project (H2020-INFRADEV-2016-2017) that operates as a Research and Innovation Action for the Development and long-term sustainability of new pan-European research infrastructures.
The main objective of EU BON is to build a substantial part of the Group on Earth Observation’s Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), with reference in Europe. In light of the new Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), such a network and approach are imperative for attaining efficient processes of data collation, analysis and provisioning to stakeholders. The project is funded by the EC through an FP7 grant.
BIOTALENT is a blended e-learning biodiversity training programme. Biodiversity and its protection are tightly linked to a societal change which can only be achieved by a strong investment in environmental education. The right training and capacity building need to be provided today to improve competences of teachers in the sector of biodiversity education, effective at raising the level of biodiversity literacy for teachers and students, motivating both to learn about biodiversity, to engage in conserving Europe’s biodiversity and to ignite their passion for Science. The strategic partnership, which consists of a collaboration between CETAF and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (coordinator), the EduFor Teacher Training Center, the Hungarian Natural History Museum, and the University of Crete & Natural History Museum of Crete, is supported by EPOS and Erasmus+.
SYNTHESYS is a project creating an integrated European infrastructure for natural history collections. It is funded by the European Commission, through an FP7 Integrated Activities grant. It follows from FP5 and FP6 research grants. SYNTHESYS comprises 18 European natural history museums, Universities, Botanic gardens, & research organisations. It aims to create an integrated European infrastructure for researchers in the natural sciences.
Biological Collections Access Service for Europe(BioCASE) is a transnational network of biological collections of all kinds. BioCASE enables widespread unified access to distributed and heterogeneous European collection and observational databases using open-source, system-independent software and open data standards and protocols. It is also the CETAF node for GBIF.
CETAF Projects include those that have been created by CETAF or where CETAF is a main partner in the project. At present we have various proposals in the pipeline, as we are currently in the process of submitting ideas to various calls within Horizon 2020 and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) framework.