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Taxonomy: universal and essential infrastructure for development and management of tropical wildland biodiversity.

Show simple item record Janzen, Daniel H. 2018-06-05T17:37:27Z 2018-06-05T17:37:27Z 1992-08-31
dc.description.abstract A tropical country’s wildlands and their biodiversity can be major engines for national development through high-quality sustainable use of these wildlands by society, which is in turn the key to the implementation of the Biodiversity Convention. Taxonomy is basic, universal and indispensable technological infrastructure for this use. However, there are major taxonomic roadblocks throughout tropical biodiversity research and development. No matter what the form of sustainable use and development of a conserved wildland, a stable, accurate and phylogentically correct international taxonomy of the millions of species of organisms involved is essential, and will greatly improve the quality of the R & D. What we taxonomically know already is adequate to demonstrate that we cannot develop biodiversity without much more taxonomic understanding. What we know already also tantalizes us with the promise of what we could do if taxonomy were no longer a roadblock. Today we can sample the chemicals or the genes in the few hundred insect species that can be readily identified in a Costa Rican rainforest, but imagine what we could do if we could easily identify the 200,000 species that are neighbors to these few. Ironically, the taxonomic roadblocks do not need to be there. They could largely be eliminated in about three decades on a reasonable budget of $2-3 billion/year for the entire enterprise for the entire world. This taxonomic organization (and much of the world’s biodiversity inventory) can be done with the technology, administrative skills and human resources at hand or that can be generated through processes of training and planning already known and tried in society at large. And if this elimination of roadblocks is not performed, virtually all of our plans and efforts in sustainable tropical biodiversity R & D are going to yield woefully incomplete and confusing results. The global and national taxonomic edifice is constructed of Conservation Areas, the user community, libraries and mental deposits of information, question-specific biodiversity research and development projects, the taxasphere - a community of international taxonomists, synoptic collections in the taxasphere, an emerging network of INBio-like processes, an emerging network of “All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory” projects, and an Internet-like process and full computerization of the processes occurring in these nine elements. These elements work together to discover new biodiversity information and move it out into society both electronically and through hard copy. Simultaneously, they collate and repackage old and new information into new products and formats as new uses and users are discovered. However, for this to occur the taxonomic community requires not only a substantial investment of financial resources and global political support, but also needs to reassess its protocols for allocating its time and human resources so that they become more sensitive to policy- and user-driven needs for taxonomic research and services. es_CR
dc.language.iso en es_CR
dc.title Taxonomy: universal and essential infrastructure for development and management of tropical wildland biodiversity. es_CR
dc.type Article es_CR

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