We are pleased to publish the proceedings of our Second International Conference on Tropical Biology held on 12 - 13 October, 2015 in Bogor, West Java Province, Indonesia. The conference theme, “Ecological Restoration in Southeast Asia: Challenges, Gains, and Future Directions”, was in response to the severe environmental degradation that the region is recently experiencing as well as in recognition of the increasing importance of the science and practice of ecological restoration as a way to regain the integrity of ecosystems while simultaneously enhancing human welfare. We believe that there are several past ecological restoration schemes by governments and non-governmental organizations that have been successful. Lessons learned from these experiences are critical for redefining environmental policies, determining and prioritizing research needs, and charting concerted efforts from all sectors of society towards a sustainable and integrated development of the ASEAN region.
We were fortunate to convene 131 scientists and practitioners from nine countries during the conference to share useful lessons, address challenges, and generate commitments to strengthen policy decisions and work collaboratively towards ecological restoration for sustainable and integrated regional development is Southeast Asia along global biodiversity and other conservation goals.
This volume of our conference proceedings contains the full papers and abstracts of the keynote addresses, panel discussion, and parallel session oral and poster presentations. The keynote addresses attempt to illustrate the gains and general status of ecological restoration in the region. The panel discussion focuses on the challenges and future directions of ecological restoration in the region. The parallel session papers provide actual experiences on the four conference sub-themes, namely: (1) Approaches, Techniques and Innovations in Ecological Restoration; (2) Socio-economic, Cultural and Ethical Dimensions of Ecological Restoration; (3) Ecological Restoration, Biodiversity, and Climate Change; and (4) Ecological restoration policies and other legal frameworks. As much as we would have wanted full papers included in this publication, we respect the presenters’ decision to just submit the abstracts of their presentations. We thank all of them for their contributions in making this publication possible. We hope that the papers and abstracts, much more the synthesis and recommendations generated from the conference, could spark new and continuing efforts to pursue ecological restoration in the region.
We sincerely acknowledge the financial support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as our conference major partner in sponsoring a number of participants. Our deepest appreciation also goes to our technical partners, namely: International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO), Biotropica Australia, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Forest Research Restoration Unit (FORRU) of Chiangmai University, Institut Pertanian Bogor (Bogor Agricultural University/IPB), Bangor University, British Council and Australian National University for lending their expertise as our keynote speakers and panel discussants. We highly value the time and effort of the Scientific Committee members for reviewing all the submitted abstracts and helping us finalize the list of paper and poster presenters. We recognize the valuable contributions of SEAMEO BIOTROP staff members for ensuring the smooth implementation of the conference and in packaging this publication.
We look forward to our Third International Conference on Tropical Biology in 2017.
Conference Coordinators and Proceedings Editors