|WCSP holds 21st Annual Philippine Biodiversity Symposium|
|Wednesday, 28 March 2012|
The 21st Annual Philippine Biodiversity Symposium of the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Philippines (WCSP) with the theme "Forests Sustaining Life" will be held from 17 to 20 April 2012 at the Philippine National Museum and De La Salle University-Dasmariņas. Fauna and Flora International (FFI) is co-hosting the event.
Dr Tony Whitten, FFI Asia Pacific Director is invited to talk about forests sustaining life and Professor Greg Bankoff, environmental historian at the University of Hull, UK will give the keynote address on "Deep forestry: Shapers of the Philippine forests."
A memorandum of agreement for Philippine bat conservation between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Bat Conservation International will also be launched, along with a video presentation on saving Philippine cave bats. ESSC contributed to this initiative by developing the map templates and adapting the web-based application that integrate the obtained cave bat information from various groups.
High school and undergraduate presentations, meetings, workshops, and scientific paper presentations will be undertaken during the four-day event. Emmanuel Sambale, ESSC Geomatics Associate, is part of a team facilitating on 19 April a hands-on workshop on species distribution modeling using free and open source geospatial tools.
The WCSP is a professional organization of wildlife researchers, managers, scientists, and conservationists formed to advance wildlife research and conservation in the Philippines through promoting collaborative research, providing technical assistance and training and increasing public awareness. Since 1992, wildlife biologists and conservationists from throughout the country have been meeting at different venues around the Philippines every April and the proceedings from most of these annual meetings were published.
WCSP symposia have focused on terrestrial biodiversity and conservation but these efforts have much to learn from coastal and marine conservation experiences especially those that work with local communities and local government units and include community research and education. The WCSP definition of "wildlife" includes all indigenous terrestrial organisms (including plants, freshwater fishes, and terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates) in the natural environment, the ecosystems they comprise, and marine mammals and marine turtles. The 2012 WCSP symposium will have a particular emphasis on forests, forested watersheds, their biodiversity, and the services they provide to human communities.