The SADC sub-region is deficient in taxonomic capacity. Within the sub-region there are several outstanding taxonomic institution, such as the museums in Bulawayo, Windhoek, Pretoria and Cape Town, institutions that have extremely valuable collections that urgently need rehabilitation, such as the museum in Maputo, and countries with virtually no taxonomic infrastructure, such as Swaziland. This disparity in taxonomic capacity is unavoidable because countries differ in their resources and priorities with regard to the development and sustenance of taxonomic capacity, and SAFRINET will only develop capacity that can be sustained by national funds. Thus the requirements of each country for capacity building differ, and the pace of development will also differ. Sufficient knowledge exists in SADC to recognize areas where capacity is needed, develop outline capacity building programmes and set priorities. Outside assistance is needed for project development and implementation. In most cases the required capacity is the further development of the embryonic capacity that already exists. This clearly indicates priority and national commitment to sustain the capacity, because these are areas in which governments have already invested from their limited resources.

This project is to enable SADC technicians and scientists concerned with biological organisms to operate more efficiently and effectively in existing organisations to enable SADC countries to inter alia  improve agricultural production and fulfil their obligations to the Convention on Biological Diversity using national resources. SAFRINET, in this respect, is particularly concerned with the elimination of poverty.

Capacity development is a three dimensional process:

  • Acquisition of information (capacity building resources),  and the provision of the necessary tools, such as specimen collections.
  • Human resource development and the generation of knowledge. 
  • Implementation, i.e., a taxonomic services network to meet the needs of the countries.

Therefore all SAFRINET activities are directed towards the ultimate goal, provision of an effective taxonomic services. These include the identification of organisms and provision of information acquired by taxonomists in their course of duty. These are needed inter alia for:

  • Enforcement of quarantine regulations without undue hindrance to trade.
  • Increase trade and industry.
  • Implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems.
  • Identification and use of indicator organisms (bioindicators) for land-use decision making.
  • Full implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other international conventions.
  • Implementation of individual government policies with regard to biological diversity.
  • Sustainable management of ecosystems.
  • Conservation of essential ecosystem services, such as pollination, soil fertility and biological control.
  • Enable research on biodiversity, bioprospecting, biotechnology, pollination and the development of new products .
The beneficiaries are those who:
  • Require taxonomic services to fulfil the tasks listed above.
  • Benefit from these tasks.
  • Stakeholders in research and in its implementation.
Updated: 1 December 2000.