|ACB launches taxonomy publications, opens ASEAN Heritage Parks exhibit|
The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), in cooperation with the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs and the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, launched new publications on taxonomy and opened an exhibit about ASEAN’s Heritage Parks on October 14, 2013 at the UP Diliman Main Library. The events were part of the celebration of the 46th founding anniversary of the ASEAN.
The new publications include: Field Guide on Selected Monocot Plants of Northern Thailand and Southeast Asia; Training Manual on Freshwater and Brackish Water Fish Taxonomy; Training Manual on Biodiversity Data Organization and Mapping of Taxonomic Information; Training Manual on Taxonomy of Terrestrial Plants; and Training Manual on Corals Taxonomy in Southeast Asia.
The publications are products of training workshops on taxonomy facilitated by ACB and funded by the ASEAN-Japan Integration Fund. The books were published under the Taxonomic Capacity Building and Governance for Conservation and the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity Project in partnership with the East and Southeast Asia Biodiversity Information Initiative (ESABII) and Japan’s Ministry of Environment.
Atty. Roberto V. Oliva, executive director of ACB, said the new publications hope to contribute to boost the dying profession of taxonomy. He emphasized the importance of taxonomy in conservation efforts in the ASEAN region: “There is a dire need to revive interest in taxonomy. The diminishing status of this science and profession is crippling the ASEAN Member States’ and other Asian countries’ capacity to effectively catalogue their biological resources. We are all aware that without knowledge and understanding of species, it would be difficult to plan and implement biodiversity conservation efforts. What we don’t know, we can’t protect.”
Mr. Kentaro Yamane, Second Secretary of the Economic Section, Embassy of Japan to the Philippines, affirmed that Japan will continue to support biodiversity-related initiatives not just in the ASEAN region, but in many parts of the world as well.
Copies of the new publications were turned over to UP Diliman and UP Los Banos to make them accessible to taxonomists, students, teachers, researchers, scientists, and experts.
The exhibit features the 33 ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHPs), which are protected areas of high conservation importance, preserving a total a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the ASEAN region. These areas are regarded as such to generate awareness, pride, appreciation, and conservation of ASEAN’s rich natural heritage through a regional network of representative protected areas.
UP Los Banos Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz lauded ACB for its communication efforts leaned in the protection of AHPs. He said the university will continue doing its part to protect Mount Makiling and other AHPs.
UP Los Banos is home to the recently declared AHP, the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve.
Meanwhile, Director Julius Flores of the Department of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed their support to the projects and programmes of ACB. “We share the hope of the ACB that members of the ASEAN will contribute more to protect biodiversity,” he said.
Representatives from the Embassies of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, and Singapore to the Philippines also graced the book launching and opening of exhibit.