Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are now a major global concern as they directly contribute to biodiversity loss and also bring substantial negative socioeconomic impacts to humans. In Southeast Asia, the invasion effect is becoming alarming in the forest ecosystem in terms of losses in habitats, species, and production capacity as millions of people in the region depend on forests for food, energy, and other sources of livelihood. This provided the rationale for BIOTROP to implement its Third Regional Training Course on the Management of Invasive Alien Plant Species in the Framework of Forest Restoration on 18-23 March 2013 at its headquarter in Bogor, Indonesia.
The training course was generally aimed at providing the participants with recent concepts and global legal frameworks in managing IAS and developing their skills in coming up with a more integrated approach in restoring forests degraded by IAS. Twenty-six researchers and lecturers representing various government and nongovernmental agencies and academic institutions from Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Timor Leste completed the said training course.
The Centre was fortunate to have Dr. Junko Shimura, Program Officer (Invasive Alien Species, Global Taxonomy Initiative) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat in Canada, as one of the resource persons for the training course. During the opening program, Dr. Junko conveyed the message of CBD’s executive secretary which highlighted the important roles of biodiversity experts and educators in providing accurate information and raising public awareness on the risks and impacts of IAS. She also lectured on CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 with 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, specifically Target 9, and other international binding agreements, standards and guidance related to the prevention and management of IAS. Dr. Junko’s participation in the training course was made possible through the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan under its Expert Exchange Program.
Other resource persons during the training course were Dr. Samedi from the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia; Dr. Iwan Hilwan from Bogor Agriculture University; Prof. Dr. Suryohardiwinoto from University of Gadjah Mada; Ir Ardi Andono from Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park; and Dr. Jess C. Fernandez, Dr. Sri Sudarmiyati, Dr. Sukisman, Drs. Imam Mawardi, Mr. Setiabudi, and Mr. Saiful Bachri, all from BIOTROP.
Aside from classroom lecture-discussions and exercises, the participants undertook a field work on IAS identification and vegetation analysis, and in the process observed IAS experimental plots at Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park and Cibodas Botanical Garden.
The training course was coordinated by Dr. Sri Sudarmiyati.