SAFRINET is the SADC (Southern African Development Community) network of BioNET-INTERNATIONAL. It was established in Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho, by decision of the SADC Council of Ministers, during 21-22 August 1996, and operates under the auspices of the Southern African Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Training (SACCAR). SAFRINET is therefore an official SADC project.

BioNET-INTERNATIONAL is a global technical cooperation network for building realistic self-reliance in taxonomy (= biosystematic) in developing countries. It comprises a number of inter-linked sub-regional knowledge networks or LOOPs (Locally Organized and Operated Networks).

‘Taxonomy is the science dedicated to discovering, identifying, naming and placing organisms in their correct position in the evolutionary spectrum of biodiversity. It is the science that gives unique names to individual species of organisms. The name of an organism is the key to all that is known about it and gives access to knowledge on how to conserve it if it is beneficial, or control it if it is a pest. Taxonomy underpins all other biological sciences, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, breeding, genetics, bioprospecting, biotechnology, ecology and conservation.’ (BioNET-INTERNATIONAL, The Business Plan, July 1999).

SAFRINET, as a taxonomic capacity building network, is concerned with living organisms, the identification of the pollinators, species that enhance soil fertility, biocontrol organisms, pests and diseases to name a few of the more important groups .

Updated: 1 December 2000.