The Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) has been established by prominent taxonomists and other international partners during the EU funded project European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT, www.e-taxonomy.eu, 1 March 2006 – 1 March 2011). The major aim of DEST is to transfer knowledge between current and future generations of taxonomists by providing high quality education and prepare students for future taxonomic careers.
Overall, DEST involves a network of around 100 training providers from 60 institutions. Within the framework of the EDIT project, DEST organised training sessions in 30 European institutions for 185 students from all over the world (116 of which EDIT-granted). Since March 2011, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences remains responsible for the continued management of DEST, organization of courses and related logistical matters. During the academic year 2011-2012, DEST provided training to 100 students through 16 courses.