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The history of CETAF dates back to December 1st, 1996 when ten European
natural history museums and botanic gardens signed a Memorandum of
Understanding for the establishment of the Consortium of European
Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF). Thirteen years later, in spring 2009, 27
taxonomic institutions took the step to form a legal body. Now, in 2012,

has officially been registered as an international non-profit-making
associatio, a legal entity under Belgian law (association international
sans but lucrative, AISBL) that will encourage and strengthen ist
position, bot internally and towards other stakeholders, collaborators
and funders. Currently, CETAF has more than thirty HYPERLINK
"" members
from 18 different European countries and comprising major European
institutions related to scientific research and collections management.

National Botanic gardens, Natural History and Natural Sciences museums,
Zoological museums, and centres of research on nature, biodiversity and
environment strongly work together by summing their efforts and
resources to constitute the larger international association working on
taxonomy, collections management and related matters while covering all
natural sciences fields of research, from Botany to Archeology, from
Zoology to Mineralogy and Anthropology. A huge, diverse and vaste
heritage which undoubtless is scientifically priceless and therefore, a
treasure that is kept, managed, improved and developed by the CETAF
members all over Europe. To give an idea of its importance, only five
institution members of CETAF (Natural History Museum of London, Museum
National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, Museum fuer Naturkunde, in
Berlin, Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna and the Royal Belgian
Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels ) house together more than 120
Million of specimen of Insects, and such impressive data just refers to
one of the sections covered by the Collections storaged and preserved in
these institutions.


Among the permanent activities organised by CETAF there are workshops on
relevant topics held in different hosting institutions, open for CETAF
Members but also to other institutions and agencies. Forthcoming will be
a Workshop on "Legal aspects of shipping preserved animals and tissues"
in Berlin (27th November) and Brussels (12th-13th December). This
workshop gives detailed information on relevant regulations & laws aimed
to reduce currently import problems of biological materials which have
high potential to endanger biodiversity research by disrupting material
exchanges to Europe. Main topics of this workshop are access to genetic
resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from
their utilization (ABS), now under discussion at EU Commission level,
application laws on CITES (Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), International Air Transport
Association (IATA) special provisions for transportation of biological

The Workshop will be conducted by Dirk Neumann, Collection Manager of
theSection of Ichthyology / DNA-Lab, Bavarian Natural History
Collections, in Munich. Additionally, special presentations will be
given by EU Policy Officer who will attend the Worshop in Brussels,
hosted by the CETAF member Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Mr Matjaz Klemencic from DG SANCO, Health and Consumers, at the DDG2.G
of Trade and Zootechnics Unit, will address, among others, the
importance of product legislation and border inspection checks with
regards to animal and human health.

Mr Matthias Buck, from DG ENV, Environment, at the DGENV.E.2
(Multilateral environmental agreements, processes and trade issues) will
transmit to the audience the latest news on the implementation of the
Nagoya Protocol and the ABS approval process, still going on, which will
have special implications for collections and therefore, for the
institutions that harboured them.

Attendants from Spain (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural), The
Netherlands (Naturalis Biodiversity Center), Germany (Zoologisches
Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig), France (Museo Nationalle d'Histoire
Naturelle),United Kingdom (Natural History Museum) even from the United
States (Smithsonian Institution) will join Belgian participants (Royal
Museum for Central Africa, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)
in Brussels, while the Berlin workshop attracts participants from
Austria (Naturhistorisches Museum), France (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle),
Spain (Instituto de Ciencias Marinas), Sweden (Goeteborgs
Naturhistoriska Museum and Naturhistoriska RiksMuseet of Stockholm),
United Kingdom (Natural History Museum), Israel (Beit Margolin
Collections) and, of course, Germany (Botanic Garden and Botanical
Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koening
Bonn, Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt and Zoological Museum Hamburg).
.Both Workshops are jointly organized by Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin,
Zoologischen Staatssammlung Muenchen, Munich, and the Royal Belgian
Institute of Natural Sciences.