Monitoring biodiversity and the environment is extremely challenging, especially in the tropics. Brazil’s Center for Biological Research’s (CENBam) PPBio program is a novel, versatile and extremely ambitious approach to enhance the study of biodiversity in the tropics. The program presents a systematic approach to sampling that was first deployed across the Amazon basin. It now is also found in other Brazilian biomes, and in Australia, Argentina and Liberia. This may well be the largest systematically organized biodiversity research effort in the world. PPBio has been operating without funding for the last few years, because of this it is in danger of collapsing. The Brazilian tendency, and that of funders as well, is to reinvent the wheel and come up with a new system each time. Efforts should focus instead of consolidating existing, proven systems like PPBio and leveraging the significant investments those systems have already received.