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Activities > Regional Workshop on Conservation Priorities for Asian Tree Species and Their Genetic Resources


Regional Workshop on Conservation Priorities for Asian Tree Species and Their Genetic Resources

18-21 March 2019
Colombo, Sri Lanka


The workshop was jointly organized by the Asia Pacific Forest Genetic Resources Programme (APFORGEN), APAFRI, Bioversity International and Forest Department Sri Lanka, funded by the National Institute of Forest Science of the Republic of Korea, and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. The workshop held at the Renuka City Hotel, Colombo was attended by 34 invited participants from 16 countries.

A research project on APFORGIS, funded by the German Government, is coordinated by APFORGEN from December 2017 until December 2019. The project aims to develop dynamic distribution maps for at least 50 Asian tree species, based on available information from governments and research institutions, to enable spatially defining conservation priorities. APFORGIS will also develop decision support tools for the establishment of Gene Conservation Units (GCU) for different species; and develop a Road Map for establishing an Asian network of GCUs for ecologically and economically important tree species. The project was introduced by Dr. Riina Jalonen during the APFORGEN Workshop in Kunming, China in March 2018, which was also co-organized by APAFRI. Soon after that, APFORGEN had organized the Inception Workshop on APFORGIS in Putrajaya, Malaysia, in April 2018.

This workshop reported the progress of the APFORGIS project. The up-to-date maps on the modelled distributions of over 50 native Asian tree species had been produced based on the information supplied by more than 40 organizations and individuals from 12 Asian countries. During this workshop, all participating experts were required to:

• Review and validate the distribution and threat maps for the species
• Identify regional priorities for conserving the species and their genetic diversity
• Agree on a shared definition for genetic conservation units, building on existing approaches in Asian countries
• Identify main capacity needs for establishing a regional network of conservation units to protect the species’ genetic diversity for restoration and sustainable use across their ranges

Forest Department Sri Lanka had arranged a one-day-trip for all participants to explore the wonderful ecosystem diversity of Sri Lanka. Participants experienced a nice boat trip around the Maduganga sanctuary and mangrove islets which harboured a total of 303 species of plants. Based on the extent of occurrence, mangroves and mixed swamps are the dominant wetland vegetation types in Maduganga. The next visit was to the Dombagaskanda Forest Reserve, a low land rain forest, located at the wet zone of Sri Lanka. The forest, declared as a Reserved Forest in 2014, covering a small mountain range with four main peaks. This was followed by a short visit to the Labugama Kalatuwawa Forest Reserve which protects two reservoirs that are the source of water supply to the capital Colombo. The forest type is classified as tropical rain forest and the floristic composition is quite similar to the Dombagaskanda forest.

Updated on 1 April 2019

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