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Regional Taxonomy Training Courses

The ASEAN region is noted to have a relatively low number of trained taxonomists vis-à-vis its enormously abundant natural resources. The weakness of taxonomic and systematic skills in the region is recognized as a serious handicap to the efficient inventory, monitoring and management of biological resources and conservation of biological diversity. Thus, the majority of previous and current taxonomic studies in the region are undertaken by foreign scientists from Europe, US and Japan. The need for ASEAN to develop and train its local scientists especially in the field of taxonomy and systematics has prompted ARCBC, in collaboration with the Research Centre for Biology, The Indonesian Institute of Sciences and the National Natuurhistorisch Museum, Leiden University to conduct two short-term regional training courses in taxonomy in Bogor, Indonesia. These training courses were designed to improve knowledge on plant and invertebrate taxonomy among young scientists in the ASEAN; promote greater awareness for the need of biodiversity inventory and ecosystem conservation in the region; develop the capacity of the scientists in the region to be able to enhance taxonomy research in protected areas; review and discuss recent advances on different taxonomic tools, methods, approaches, botanical exploration and herbarium management among others (for plant taxonomy); and strengthen regional network and collaboration among scientists, universities, research institutions and nongovernment organizations in Southeast Asia in terms of biological data sharing and exchange for conservation purposes.

Participants: young qualified researchers/scientists from ASEAN member countries

Result:

A total of 39 participants from 9 ASEAN member countries have completed the Regional Training Courses. The number of participants per country was as follows: Invertebrate Taxonomy with Special Reference to Less Well-Known Groups (17 participants) Brunei 2 Indonesia 4 Cambodia 2 Philippines 2 Lao PDR 1 Thailand 2 Malaysia 2 Vietnam 2 Aspects of Plant Taxonomy on Biodiversity Inventory and Conservation of Protected Ecosystems in Southeast Asia (22 participants) Brunei 2 Philippines 2 Cambodia 2 Singapore 2 Lao PDR 1 Thailand 2 Malaysia 2 Vietnam 2 Indonesia 4

Recommendation:

A committee of lecturers, training coordinators and the board of directors evaluated the performance of each participant. The outstanding performers will have an opportunity to gain a Masters scholarship grant from Leiden University. As recommended, each country had a slot in the scholarship. The following participants qualified for the grant, provided they meet the language and other requirements of Leiden University: Brunei - Rodzay Bin Hj. Abd. Wahab (Invertebrate) Cambodia - Eang Hourt Khou (Plant) Indonesia - Eka Aditya Putri Iskandar (Plant) Lao PDR - Khamseng Nanthavong (Plant) Malaysia - Margarita Naming (Invertebrate) Philippines - Jim Padim Singapore - Chua Yeng Kheng (Plant) Thailand - Weejayat Jaitrong (Invertebrate) Vietnam - Cang Le Phung (Invertebrate)