international online community for dna barcoding professionals

The barcoding community consists of individuals, projects, global initiatives, labs, institutions, national networks and other components.  If the community decides to create an International Society for the Barcode of Life (ISBOL) or another type of coordinating organization, what would you like it to do for the community?

What should be its:

  • Mission?
  • Goals?
  • Outputs?
  • Activities?

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There are many kinds of such communities, for example, Society for Conservation Biology. It is absolutely necessary to form such a society and establish branches in every country if the barcoders in that country wish to.

The international society of barcode of life offers services to its members by providing information in this field, publish research papers, organize international meetings, raising money to support researches on specific problems, etc. Individual member needs to pay a minimum of year fee and enjoys discount for the activities mentioned above.

An interval of 2 years of international conference is too frequent, 4 years will be better. In between, regional activity could be organized by local members every 2 years because most of barcoders would't have chances to attend international conferences far away.


Dear David

A few comments on  The International Society for the Barcode of Life (ISBOL)


Working groups:

The society should propose a few thrust areas for research and documentation, including biodiversity and human health and biomonitoring and restoration of biodiversity and link it with the ongoing barcoding initiatives.


Looking at the huge barcoding gap areas (eg: almost all invertebrate and few vertebrate marine phyla in and around India and Indian ocean) and major biodiversity hotspots (eg. Westen ghats, one of the hottest hotspots located in India and Sri Lanka), the proposals should be prioritised so that the information gap can be filled in next one decade. Asian and African countries should get priority in this arena.


Since export of specimens and tissues may be an issue from developing countries, especially taking into account Nagoya Protocol, efforts should be made to propose more collaborative programmes and strengthening capacity building in areas where there are information gaps.


In order to maintain continuity travel support and project support can be given to those who are regular in the barcode conferences contribute DNA barcode data on exponential scale, so that the community linkages can be established.


Barcode education can be strengthened and it can be linked with popular citizen science programme and a separate education portal for this purpose would be ideal.  There can be online education and ICT programmes. The rate of online DNA barcoding course of University of Guelph may be much higher and unaffordable for the students of developing countries and therefore the packages can be cost effective and the possibility of running such courses in association with UNESCO and/or UNEP could be explored. Develop better leaflets on the scope of DNA barcoding, which can be integrated into the curricula of various countries and such COPY LEFT materials should be freely translated into regional languages of other countries. Let us also explore the possibility of a parallel session for the kids in the next conference of a programme Barcode for Youth programme. Few programmes for local communities involved in conservation at grass roots also would help receiving more societal support for the programmes.


Barcoding Economics for Conservation: While hearing Dr Paul Hebert in his lecture, I think linking barcoding and its economics would help convincing policy makers and politicians towards extensive use of barcoding towards conservation.


Policy: Mainstreaming with CBD policies and 2020 strategy action plan, ABS and Nagoya Protocol

Membership fee can be individual (nominal) and institutional (higher depending on GDP of countries)



Dr. A. Biju Kumar
Assocaite Professor and Head, Dept. of Aquatic Biology & Fisheries
University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram 695 581
Kerala, INDIA
E mail:

Can there be a provision in the society to directly interact with  the funding agencies at developing countires 



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