ATBC-AP 2019 Conference: Bridging the elements of biodiversity conservation: Save, Study, Use | Sunday Observer

ATBC-AP 2019 Conference: Bridging the elements of biodiversity conservation: Save, Study, Use

The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) founded in 1963, is the world’s largest and oldest academic society dedicated to the study and conservation of tropical ecosystems. The society is international in scope, with as many as 65 countries partnering in its activities. The Asia-Pacific Chapter of the ATBC specifically assists in the conservation of biodiversity in the region by promoting scientific activities and providing training to address region-specific issues pertaining to conservation. This year, Sri Lanka will be the host of the Asia-Pacific Chapter - ATBC (ATBC-AP 2019) scheduled for September 10-13, 2019, at MAS Athena, Thulhiriya. This is the first ATBC conference to be held in the country.

The expanding human population worldwide has exacerbated forest loss and fragmentation, particularly, in the tropical region, imposing considerable threats to the planet’s biodiversity. The urgent need to plan for the sustainable management and conservation of our biological resources, cannot therefore be overemphasized. The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services approved at the seventh session of the IPBES Plenary, April 29 – May 4, 2019 further reiterates this fact. This global assessment report which is the first comprehensive look in 15 years at the state of the planet’s biodiversity, importantly, sheds light on the fact that biodiversity can be salvaged and restored, if sustainable means for using and saving ecosystems are implemented at both local and global levels.

In this backdrop, the theme for ATBC-APC 2019 focusing on “Bridging the elements of biodiversity conservation: Save, Study, Use” is a timely reminder of the critical roles of conservationists and resource users. It recognizes the imminent threats imposed on tropical biodiversity and seeks to address some of the most critical issues related to the use and misuse of tropical biological resources.

ATBC-AP2019 conference strives to bring together to a common platform both, resource users and conservation practitioners, to share their knowledge and experiences to (i) devise more feasible and sustainable means of resource utilization and conservation, (ii) develop innovative and effective ridge to reef conservation practices, (iii) initiate and implement conservation financing and planning and (iv) strengthen public-private partnerships.

The program will comprise plenary talks, technical sessions and discussions. Prof Emeritus C.M. Maddumabandara (University of Peradeniya) and Dr. Sejal Worah (Program Director, World Wildlife Fund, India) will deliver keynote addresses at the event. Distinguished plenary speakers include; Prof Emeritus Savitri Gunatilleke (University of Peradeniya), Prof Emeritus Peter Ashton (Harvard University), Prof Vojtech Novotny (Czech Academy of Sciences), Prof Edward Webb (National University of Singapore) and Prof Madhu Verma (Indian Institute of Forest Management). Over 30 symposia will be included within the conference, covering diverse areas related to saving, using and studying biodiversity. The program also includes field and laboratory workshops led by local and international experts.

Aimed at nurturing the next generation of conservation biologists and ecologists in the Asia-Pacific region, the conference offers a golden opportunity for young researchers to present their research in this area. Abstracts for technical sessions will be accepted till May 30, 2019.

The organizing committee consisting of both local and international academics and professionals, is led by Dr. Enoka Kudavidanage, Sabaragamuwa University (Conference Chair and ATBC country representative) and Dr. Sampath Seneviratne, University of Colombo (Conference Co-chair).

Further details are available at (http://atbcap2019.org/index.html). Please write to [email protected] for any clarifications. 

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