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11th Flora Malesiana Symposium


11th Flora Malesiana Symposium

UBD Hosts 11th Flora Malesiana, First in Borneo

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) hosted the 11th Flora Malesiana Symposium, a triennial event hosted between European and Asian universities with Botanic Gardens.

During the opening ceremony of the Flora Malesiana Symposium, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism pointed out that Brunei Darussalam’s conservation efforts have led to the sustainable use of resources, highlighting the importance of biodiversity.

The 2017 Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific of the Asian Development Bank ranks the Sultanate at second place in Southeast Asia with 72.1 percent forest cover. “We believe that the output of this gathering would influence our capacities in identifying areas that has economic potential,” he said. Sharing with participants that Brunei Darussalam has been a strong advocate for biodiversity conservation, he also highlighted the importance of protecting our natural heritage. “This could be the appropriate time to take the bold step and identify alternative economic potentials of our conservative actions.”

“We have identified and studied rare, threatened, and special plants in the past,” he added. “It would be logical to continue its propagations, both in-situ and ex-situ, and gain some economic returns to further its development.” Yang Berhormat Dato Haji Ali Apong further acknowledged the support and cooperation from participants. “Let us consider this symposium as a venue for more opportunities in forging new partnership, collective actions, development of gallant initiatives, and economic opportunities without compromising our ecosystem.

Held in Borneo for the first time, this symposium is jointly organised by the Environmental and Life Sciences Program of the Faculty of Science (FOS) and the Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER) at UBD.

The Flora Malesiana Symposium emphasizes the exchange of horticultural knowledge, competencies, and action for plant conservation among Botanic Gardens via the sharing of cutting edge research and results, thus creating a network of knowledge that can assist in both utilizing and appreciating the rich flora of the Malesian region (Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Timor East, Papua New Guinea).

The five-day symposium, which was attended by participants from 22 different countries, focused on the themes of taxonomy, ecology, and conservation. It featured a total of 173 oral presenters and 70 poster presenters. Amongst the renowned speakers at the symposium were Dr Jun Wen, Dr Max MJ Van Balgooy, Professor Peter Daniel Wilf, Professor Tetsukazu Yahara, and Professor Pieter Baas from Botanical Gardens all around the world. In addition to the main themes of conservation, the symposium also invited speakers on evolutionary biology, e-Taxonomy, systematics, and environmental education among others.

It is hoped that the symposium will help foster future collaborations amongst botanists both locally and internationally, and will further serve as a global platform to showcase Brunei’s commitment to the conservation of her natural resources.

In addition to Biodiversity as a research thrust, UBD recently added Herbal Medicine as one of its latest research clusters. The UBD Botanical Research Centre provides researchers and students the opportunity to study trees and plants that are endemic to Brunei Darussalam and Borneo, facilitating the study of their pharmaceutical and economic potential.

The 11th Flora Malesiana was attended by participants from 22 different countries, focused on the themes of taxonomy, ecology, and conservation.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali Apong (L), Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism presents a token of appreciation to one of the sponsors of the 11th Flora Malesiana.

Source: RTB News

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