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  • Association Affairs
  • Pacific Science Association


PSA is a Sponsor of a Meeting on 'Environmental Challenges for the Pacific Basin in the 21st Century' in September 2005

The Pacific Science Association will be one of the sponsors of a meeting convened by the Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health Services, to be held September 4-8, 2005 at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Two days of training sessions will follow the meeting. The plenary sessions will focus on: Hazardous Wastes (management models/approaches, technical advances in remediation technology, and global transport of hazardous chemicals); Human and Ecological Health Effects of Environmental Contaminants (observable health effects among populations exposed to hazardous wastes, pollution effects on coral reefs and ocean health, mercury levels in fish); and Global Climate Change (political aspects, technical uncertainties, potential costs, and technical solutions). Other topics such as new technologies for measuring or anticipating environmental health effects, children's environmental health, groundwater arsenic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in ground and surface waters are also being considered as additional topics. For more details on the meeting visit the Pacific Basin Consortium website at, or contact: for more information.

Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum Update

The Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum (PBIF), established under the auspices of the PSA to provide a forum for sharing biodiversity information in the Asia-Pacific region, was formally accepted as an Associate Participant Organization to the Global Biodiversity Information Forum in September 2004. PBIF also held a leadership meeting from 8-9 October, 2004 in Wellington, New Zealand, in conjunction with the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) meeting. This was the fourth in a series of workshops, and was convened in order to gain approval for formulation of the node under the framework and procedures developed by the interim organizing committee at the previous PBIF meeting in Oaxaca.

Among the steps taken at the meeting were to establish an interim organizing committee to guide PBIF during the formal formulation process. The interim organizing committee will eventually be replaced by an elected organizing committee as PBIF becomes more formalized. A gateway node ( was established to serve at the primary organizational and public interface for PBIF and to coordinate collaborations with partners from the region. [End Page 315] Representatives at the Wellington workshop expressed strong interest in joining PBIF, and while membership is open to legitimate regional scientific organizations, members wishing to function as nodes must be able to support their activities through internal or external funding sources.

The meeting also was geared to identify specific taxonomic and other projects that PBIF might facilitate. Representatives offered a list of potential projects and themes for consideration. The main themes that were identified as priorities are taxonomic and technical capacity-building, education and outreach, identification of knowledge gaps and development of projects to fill them, and forging links between Western science and traditional knowledge. Results of the workshop discussions were to recommend two specific projects to the GTI: "Inventory, Evaluation and Monitoring of Agricultural Diversity in the East and Southeast Asian Region: Regional Capacity and Institution-Building Network", and "Building National and Regional Taxonomic and Biodiversity Informatics Capacity for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Pacific Islands". At the request of the GTI, all projects identified at the PBIF meeting were submitted to the GTI for consideration.

The date and venue for the next PBIF meeting has yet to be set, but a target date of summer 2005 is being considered. For more information about PBIF please visit the website or contact Mark Fornwall at

The PSA's association with the 10th ICRS is part of our mission to promote science within the region and also reflects PSA's long history of involvement in coral reef studies. [End Page 316]