Addressing the global biodiversity crisis requires a deeper understanding of the diversity of life on Earth than we currently have. Despite centuries of research, an estimated 80% of the world’s multicellular species still await scientific discovery and description. Even for described species, telling them apart is often difficult, and knowledge of their distributions, variation, properties, inter-dependencies and conservation status remains patchy and incomplete.
Genomics can provide crucial new tools to answer these questions, but despite ground-breaking developments in both DNA barcoding and full-genome sequencing, there remains a critical need to develop and strengthen functioning communities of practice, and to build capacity and complementarity across activities and borders.
Pete Hollingsworth, BGE Deputy Director and DNA-Barcoding Stream Leader, explains