Developing and maintaining taxonomic skills in Asia
'Taxonomy' is the scientific process of naming, describing and classifying organisms, and also involves skills in field collection methods and specimen preservation. 'Systematics' goes further by using taxonomic information to understand evolutionary relationships and relate these to environmental adaptation. Taxonomy is at the very heart of conservation and resource management from local to global scales. It provides the basis for species/habitat inventories, distribution mapping (species' areas of extent and occupancy, biodiversity hotspots, etc), the monitoring and understanding of environmental change, and the evaluation of management impacts on species diversity, numbers and distribution. Developing and maintaining the skills and infrastructure required to support taxonomic needs is therefore essential to regional conservation efforts. Indeed a lack of wider taxonomic capacity has been cited as a major obstacle to meeting the aims of the CBD and the Millennium Goals. In Asia, like many parts of the world, it has proved difficult to develop and maintain an even distribution of high level of taxonomic skills across the sector. This workshop will therefore identify current taxonomic gaps and needs throughout the Asia region, and formulate a range of potential solutions and actions (building on examples from a number of ongoing initiatives).
Conservation science: building capacity to really use our species and habitat data for conservation action
Many conservation agencies and organisations across the Asia region have been collecting enormous amounts of information about species and habitats for many years. This includes data derived from specific field surveys, dedicated monitoring schemes, animal tracking activities, specimen collecting, and habitat classification/mapping. But how much of this vast information resource actually gets converted into evidence-based action? Achieving better use of our data requires capacity building in a number of core areas related to the broad discipline of 'conservation science'. These include skills, methods and infrastructure for the collection, management, storage, and analysis of data, as well as the translation of findings into specific conservation activities (e.g. land management, community education, policy development, etc). This workshop will identify specific needs in conservation science for the Asian region, articulate barriers to capacity building in this area, and develop a range of potential actions to address the key issues.
Learning from leaders: lessons in achieving organisational goals from five Asian conservation leaders
Strong leadership is essential within organisations to achieve stated conservation goals, engender appropriate management (budgets, staff, resources, infrastructure, etc), and ensure that the institution is fit-for-purpose. But leadership is also about inspiration, experience and learning from mistakes. This workshop will have presentations from five Asian conservation leaders who will share their experiences in taking conservation forward in different parts of the region. This will be done is an completely open and frank way (showing both the good and the bad), followed by discussions about the key lessons for us all.
Is it working - how can we evaluate the impact of our capacity building efforts?
Chaired by Jamie Copsey (Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) and Kay Farmer (University of Stirling)
With limited resources for building capacity to meet their conservation aims, organisations need to use capacity building methods where there is evidence of their efficacy and impact, and measure the resultant change in capacity. This workshop will introduce and discuss a range of cutting-edge methods for capacity building impact evaluation.
WORKSHOP 5 (evening session)
Developing a community of practice in Asia
A core aim of the conference is to lead to the creation of an informal ‘Community of Practice’ (network). This would focus on sharing experiences and identifying useful collaborative actions to build strong and effective conservation organisations in Asia. This evening plenary workshop will therefore provide the basis of a draft plan to develop (and fund) such a network as a potential outcome of the conference. The ideas and actions identified in the discussions from the workshop will provide a starting point to launch the Community of Practice
WORKSHOP 6 Details here...
The conservation 'tool market': a day of opportunities to try a wide range of FREE conservation tools and learning experiences
Activities on this day of the conference will be in the form of a 'Conservation Tool Market'. Delegates will move between short demonstration and training sessions that will provide and overview and experience of a particular 'tool'. These will include: Technical Tools (e.g. tracking devices, field kit, drones, GPS, mobile GIS, new APPS, etc); Process Tools (e.g. analytical software, GIS, data analysis, using satellite data, taxonomy & keys, etc); Management Tools (e.g. project management, leadership, marketing & fundraising, planning and prioritisation, etc); Education Tools (e.g. communication, community engagement, anti-poaching, staff CPD methods, etc).