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  • Association AffairsPacific Science Association

20th Pacific Science Congress

The 20th Pacific Science Congress was successfully completed, and short reports from some of the session's organizers are included below. The Congress approved a number of Resolutions; some were for expressions of appreciation and acknowledgment of organization.


Whereas the Asia Pacific region is undergoing rapid and unprecedented urbanization, industrialization, and intensified agricultural development; and

Whereas this may lead to changes in the monsoon system, the global and regional carbon and hydrological cycles, and air quality; and

Whereas these may have grave consequences for the global and regional life support systems; and

Building upon previous contributions of the PSA Task Force on Global Environmental Change and other ICSU-affiliated international science programs;

Now be it therefore resolved that the Pacific Science Association encourages the development and implementation of integrated studies of monsoon Asia and the Pacific that will examine in a holistic manner the coupled human-biophysical system, contribute to a quantitative understanding of global and regional linkages, and help provide the scientific underpinnings necessary for sustainable development of the region.

Congress Reports

Summary Report on Recent Activities of the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) Network—Dieter Mueller-Dombois, PABITRA Coordinator and Chair, PSA Ecosystem Division

During the 20th Pacific Science Congress (PSC) in Bangkok, March 2003, the PABITRA Network held a symposium with the theme, "Island Landscapes under Global Change". Seventeen papers were presented. The first six were invited contributions presented by Fiji scientists and post-graduate students. They all focused on the PABITRA Gateway Transect established on Viti Levu in 2002. Other contributions dealt with PABITRA biodiversity studies in Samoa, Micronesia, Eastern Polynesia, and Hawaii. Most of these papers have been prepared for publication in Pacific Science and are under review. [End Page 479]

During the PSC, a PABITRA workshop was held with focus on establishing broad sea-to-mountain transects for biodiversity research in Samoa. About 30 people attended, including conservation professionals from Samoa, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands. Also in Bangkok, the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) announced funding for the Samoa Project. Subsequently, from June 9 to 16, 2003, an Initial Synthesis Meeting was held at the National University of Samoa (NUS) in Apia, with a subsequent reconnaissance trip to Savai'i. A follow-up Joint Analysis Workshop is now being planned for November 24 to December 5, 2003. This will be mostly in the field with students and faculty from NUS and other local government and NGO members and several invited overseas collaborators from the PABITRA and its sister network DIVERSITAS in the Western Pacific and Asia (DIWPA).

Plant Biodiversity and Agricultural Productivity—Chang-Hung Chou, Chair, PSA Botany Division

Under the auspices of the PSA, a symposium on "Plant Biodiversity and Agricultural Productivity" was held in Session 3.2 of the 20th PSC. The symposium was chaired by Dr. Chang-Hung Chou (Taiwan) and Prof. Sutat Sriwatanapongse (Thailand). Approximately 50 participants attended the meeting, and 14 papers were presented by plant scientists from Fiji, Thailand, China, Taiwan, and U.S.A. The subject covers wide interdisciplinaries from molecular level to ecosystem and from theoretical basis to applied ecology. In addition to the oral presentations, scientists presented 12 posters from Japan, U.S.A., and Thailand. Overall, the symposium was successful and fruitful.

Symposium on Mangrove Invertebrates—Neal Evenhuis, Chair, PSA Entomology Division and Symposium Co-Moderator

A symposium entitled "Mangrove Invertebrates: Ecosystem Engineers and Quality Indicators" was co-moderated by Neal Evenhuis (USA), Patrick Grootaert (Belgium), Nittharatana Paphavasit (Thailand), Saowapa Angsupanich (Thailand), and Ajcharaporn Piumsomboon (Thailand) was held on the first day of the Congress in Bangkok. Eight papers were presented and two posters were exhibited as an adjunct to the symposium. Most of the talks dealt with mangrove crab research, while one dealt with mangrove flies (Dolochopididae).

The purpose of the symposium was to bring together mangrove invertebrate workers to present the results of recent research in the hope of stimulating interest in the subject, networking with other workers, and discussing potential funding potential for future research in this important area. The symposium was extremely well attended and successful from the standpoint of garnering the interest of a good...


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