The first version of the National Strategy for Natural History Collections, based on a questionnaire that was sent to collection-holding institutions, was drafted by a sub-group of the Board of Experts. This document lists several strategic priorities such as standardized management practices, databasing and digitisation of specimens, unifying digital specimen data, giving physical and virtual access to biological and geological specimens, increasing the scientific use of natural history collections, enhancing the collections, developing training, education and societal impact, fostering collaborations, supporting networking between institutions, consolidating and managing funding and strengthening international connectivity.
This first version will be discussed and developed in close collaboration with the collection-holding institutions and other stakeholders, such as representatives from research institutions, representatives of higher education as well as representatives of science funding bodies. Several workshops will be run in order to refine the strategy, before being reviewed and commented by the Swiss natural history institutions.
The goal is to have a final draft of the document by 2024, ready for endorsement by the participating institutions and for the first steps of its implementation.