CETAF Events

CETAF, its Members and the worldwide taxonomic community are active players who organise many events of international relevance, in very wide variety of platforms and formats, including from conferences and lectures, seminars, workshops and training courses.

In addition, and complementing the range of events geared towards specialist scientists and policy makers, natural science, exhibitions of natural history and botany are keystone events that help disseminate science and knowledge of nature among the general public. In fact, exhibitions underline the necessity for the global society to commit and engage with science .

The Events presented here are classified into three different categories:

1. Exhibitions, which focus on current relevant issues, that are of interest and aim to motivate the general audience to get increasingly involved with the scientific process, and act upon its discoveries.

2. Trainings, that comprise all actions under which capacity and expertise are built, including seminars and workshops, among others.

3. Conferences, a generic identifier for all types of public sessions and meetings, on a certain subject, either accessible to an open audience, or restricted to a certain number of registered participants.

A fourth category of events, the General Assembly of CETAF, takes place twice per year and is exclusively restricted to CETAF Members and their staff.

The events below highlight the importance of our scientific work and its connection and synergies with other related fields. Please find below the event of your interest, in chronological order, within the field of taxonomy, systematic biology, and related disciplines.


  • Workshop Basic Collection Techniques

    25th Nov, 2019 to 29th Nov, 2019
    Event type 


    The training Basic Collection Techniques is an introductory module on care and management of natural history collections aimed at persons that have limited experience with collection work or those who wish to update their knowledge in this field.
    This training will consist of three main types of content: a block on preventive conservation, a block on documentation, digitization and labelling and an introduction to collection types including aspects of dry and wet collections with their specific requirements.
    This training will provide a brief insight into the most essential topics of basic collection care and management, including aspects of preservation and preventive conservation.

    Shipping workshop:
    The training Basic Collection Techniques is followed by a one-day training on shipping specimens internationally. This is an introduction to sending out collection objects in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements. Basic Collection Techniques and Shipping Workshop can be combined to a whole week of training in Berlin.

    The Shipping Workshop on November 29 can be booked separately.

    No registration fee. Please register here.

    You can find the program as PDF here.

    A workshop of the Centre of Collections at the Museum für Naturkunde, part of the Aktionsplan Leibniz Research Museums, Cultural Heritage.



    Museum für Naturkunde
    Invalidenstraße 43
  • Dead or Alive: Towards a Sustainable Wildlife Trade

    03rd Dec, 2019 to 04th Dec, 2019
    Event type 
    Register by 
    Monday, 25 November, 2019



    The Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment and the Belgian Biodiversity Platform are co-organising a two-day
    One World One Health Conference on 3-4 December 2019 on the impacts of wildlife trade at global and local level

    Given the broad scale of the issue, the conference will focus on two specific trades occuring in Belgium:
    DAY 1: the bushmeat trade (3 Dec. 2019)
    DAY 2: the trade in exotic reptiles and in amphibians (4 Dec. 2019)


    The objectives of the conference are:

    • to provide scientific information on the impacts of the bushmeat trade and the trade in exotic reptiles and amphibians
    • to discuss recommendations for further actions at Belgian and European level in a view of reaching a more sustainable trade of wildlife


    One World One Health recognises the interconnection between humans, non-human animals and ecosystems. Given the need for a multidisciplinary, coherent and coordinated approach of various fields of expertise, we invite the following stakeholders to participate in this conference:

    • researchers
    • international and European institutions
    • policy-makers
    • law-makers
    • control borders officials
    • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
    • hobbyists
    • federation of veterinarians
    • businesses


    • DAY 1: bushmeat trade
    • DAY 2: trade in exotic reptiles and amphibians

    Access the provisional programme in more details

    The conference will be in English. A translation into French and Dutch will be provided but during the morning session only. 


    The conference is free of charge but requires registration by 25 November 2019. 
    A buffet lunch will be proposed.



    Residence Palace
    Rue de la Loi/ Wetstraat, 155
  • Empowering Biodiversity Research

    14th May, 2020 to 15th May, 2020
    Logo Belgian Biodiversity Platform
    Event type 



    Five years after the "Empowering Biodiversity Research" conference that we organised in May 2015, we would like to invite you for a new journey into the world of biodiversity data standards and tools. Projects that started five years ago are about to deliver what was promised and many new biodiversity informatics related projects were launched since then. Concepts such as Open Data, Open Access and Open Science are now increasingly known across disciplines and are changing the way science is being conducted. The time to find out what happened since our last conference has come! Let's also look together at what will happen next in the world of Biodiversity Informatics! Be ready for this fascinating conference which will take place at the AfricaMuseum on 14 and 15 May 2020.



    -Explore and discuss the opportunities and strengths related to Biodiversity Informatics and Open Data
    -Learn about Belgian research projects using biodiversity informatics tools to enhance their results



    The programme will soon be available on this website. 
    Note that a series of workshops will be organised before and after the conference. 



    The registration will soon be open. 



    This conference is co-organised by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform, the AfricaMuseum, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), the Meise Botanic Garden (Meise), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Université of Liège (ULiège), the VIB and the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo). 




    Our partners are CETAFDiSSCoELIXIR, GBIF, and Lifewatch






    The Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference 2 will take place at the Africa Museum - Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium. 
    Please refer to the Venue page for more information on access options. 


    Royal Museum for Central Africa
    Leuvensesteenweg 13

    07th Jun, 2020 to 13th Jun, 2020
    Event type 


    SPNHC and ICOM

    RBGE and NMS are jointly hosting a conference from the 7th – 13th June 2020 of two major Natural History Collection organisations, SPNHC and ICOM NATHIST. Information relating to these organisations is provided below.
    The conference will be held over several days and is expected to attract approximately 700 participants in total. The main venue will be the McEwan Hall in the centre of Edinburgh, with Evening events held within NMS and RBGE.
    Conference planning committee:
        NMS: Sankurie Pye (Chair), Nick Fraser, Chanté St Clair Inglis
        RBGE: Suzanne Cubey, Elspeth Haston, Rob Cubey
    The additional organising committees comprises members of staff, students an volunteers from both RBGE and NMS.

    The legacy for RBGE and NMS following the conference would include:
    • Stronger collaboration between NMS and RBGE.
    • NMS/RBGE recognition as ‘Centres of Excellence’ for collections & research.
    • Academic publications (including a special edition of a journal).
    • Increased use of the collections (from an international perspective).
    • Keeping up with advances in best practice in natural science collections.
    • Information gathered on how to make processes relating to collections more environmentally sustainable.
    • Building relationships with key partners and sponsors.

    Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC)

    RBGE and NMS are currently members of SPNHC.

    The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) is an international society whose mission is to improve the preservation, conservation and management of natural history collections to ensure their continuing value to society. These include not just specimens, but also supporting documentation, such as audio-visual materials, labels, library materials, field data and similar archives.

    SPNHC was formed in 1985 and is recognized as a non-profit organization {501(c)(3)} in the United States. The Society’s objectives are:
      •  To provide and maintain an international association of persons who study and care for natural history collections
      •  To encourage research on the essential requirements for preserving, storing, studying and displaying natural history collections
      •  To publish a professional journal, Collection Forum, and encourage the dissemination of information about natural history collections
      •  To hold annual meetings and sponsor symposia and workshops to foster the exchange of ideas and information

    The Society hosts annual meetings and maintains an active roster of publications, including Collection Forum, a journal that accepts submissions on all aspects of natural history collections management and conservation, a bi-annual Newsletter, and books that examine various aspects of natural history collections care, development and management. SPNHC is led by a talented group of individuals who are elected by the membership. Much of the work is accomplished through committees, which form the backbone of the Society.
    There are currently over 600 members worldwide.

     International Council of Museums (ICOM)

     NMS is a member of ICOM.

     An organisation created in 1946 by and for museum professionals.
    • A unique network of more than 37,000 members and museum professionals who represent the global museum community.
    • A diplomatic forum made up of experts from 141 countries and territories to respond to the challenges museums face worldwide.
    • A consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
    • 115 National Committees and 30 International Committees dedicated to various museum specialties.
    • A leading force in ethical matters.
    • One of the founding members of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS).
    • A Public Interest Organisation.
    • 3 official languages: English, French and Spanish.

    International Committee for Museums and Collections of Natural History (NATHIST)

    NATHIST is concerned with the conservation of biological diversity in museums collections as well as in the natural environment, the scientific study of the world’s natural heritage and the education of the wider public through museum displays, conferences, field trips, etc. A newsletter ensures contacts between members of the committee which should be increasingly called upon considering the ever-increasing interest in nature and its protection
    Registration for the event will open on 28 October 2019
    National Museums Scotland / Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh