Arusha to host global tropical biology meeting

(Daily News)OVER 600 participants from 60 countries are expected to meet for the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) to be held in Arusha next week.

The global gathering will also be held jointly with the second Regional Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology’s Africa Section.

A statement released by three leading Tanzanian institutes in Research, Science and Conservation: the University of Dar es Salaam, Botany Department, the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), said the annual meeting is held in Africa for more than a century.

“The location of this meeting and the coalition between ATBC and SCB mark important milestones in ongoing efforts to improve participation and contribution of Africans in Regional and International gatherings for tropical biologists, conservation scientists, conservation practitioners and African students in these fields,” it noted ATBC and SCB, which are the largest professional societies dedicated to tropical biology and conservation.

Together, they have more than 15,000 members, 500- 1500 of who meet annually in different parts of the world to exchange ideas, share recent discoveries and to share experiences and information on current efforts in the field.

The conference theme for Arusha 2011 is: “Adaptability to Climate Change and Attaining the Millennium Development Goals for Tropical Ecosystems,” a theme that is particularly relevant to Tanzania, African nations and developing countries globally. The meeting will feature more than 400 presentations and over a 100 posters.

The statement informed that the meeting will provide scholarly exchanges and dissemination of scientific knowledge and policy considerations to local and regional biologists, as well as to the general public.

“One major intended objective of this conference is to facilitate new collaborations and interactions of young scientists with international experts, so that they will be able to make informed decisions and help impact society,” it noted.

It expressed optimism that greater collaboration and research activities would have strong positive effects on education and conservation and will help Tanzania and other developing tropical countries face the impending crisis of biodiversity conservation in the face of development, poverty and climate change.

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