The PACINET Program
PACINET is a subregional partnership affiliated with the “BioNET-International” global network for taxonomy, a not-for-profit initiative to promote taxonomy “in the biodiversity rich but economically poorer countries of the world.” BioNET’s overall objective is to raise awareness of the relevance of taxonomy to tackling conservation and sustainable development. PACINET works within this framework but focuses on Pacific Island priorities. Therefore, PACINET is part of a worldwide network of people and institutions dedicated to pooling, sharing and enhancing the world’s taxonomic resources. PACINET was established in February 1996 by a formal agreement among twenty-one Pacific Island member countries and operates like other BioNET-International sub-regions (e.g. ASEANET and SACNET) in having a steering committee made up of Locally Organised and Operated Partnerships (LOOP).
The University of the South Pacific (USP) in partnership with the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), and the Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum (PBIF) are the core supporting PACINET LOOP institutions. The program operates under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and will contribute to achievement of the objectives of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum (PBIF), and the Global Taxonomic Initiative (GTI).
Overall, PACINET aims to further develop the Pacific Island’s capability to identify, name and understand the roles and relationships of the organisms that constitute its biodiversity. In the next year it will focus on providing coordinated access to existing taxonomic information and increasing taxonomic capacity in the region. The program also hopes to facilitate and strengthen links between modern (scientific) taxonomy and local (vernacular or traditional) taxonomy as a foundation for improving the conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits of biodiversity in the Pacific region.