Workshop Addresses Importance of Forests In Mitigating Climate Change

Workshop Addresses Importance of Forests In Mitigating Climate Change

Date
Monday, 07 April 2008

"CARBON AND FORESTS" SYMPOSIUM ON MONDAY, 7 APRIL 2008, 9.00AM AT LECTURE THEATRE 5, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, 1 NANYANG WALK, SINGAPORE 637616

The National Institute of Education (NIE) together with the Center for Tropical Forest Science, a centre of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University will host a three-day workshop entitled "Carbon and Functional Traits in Asian Forests" on the monitoring of carbon uptake and release by forests.

The workshop, which begins on 7 April 2008, aims to address questions such as "What role do forests play in mitigating climate change?", "Do different types of forests contribute equally in absorbing carbon dioxide?", "Does forest soil play a role in this process?" and "Can we put a dollar value on the climate-related phenomena that forests play?"

A half-day public symposium entitled "Carbon and Forests" on 7 April 2008 (see Annexe A) will kick-start discussions among forest and environmental scientists on climate change, carbon-oriented research and policy issues in Singapore and the region.

The symposium and ensuing workshop sessions (see Annexe B) will be led by STRI senior scientists viz Dr Joseph Wright, Dr Helene Muller-Landau and Dr Ben Turner.

NIE Director Prof Lee Sing Kong highlights how teacher education can instil a sense of purpose in tackling environment-related concerns in schools, "As a teacher education institute, we invariably explore creative ways to imbibe in our student teachers and in turn their young charges, values of responsible corporate citizenry. In terms of environmental conservation, this event will arouse a consciousness among the wider community beyond NIE and the shores of Singapore."

"We are indeed privileged to welcome such a distinguished panel of scientists and forest researchers as participants at this workshop," Prof Lee added.

ABOUT THE SMITHSONIAN TROPICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) is the world's premier research institute for basic science in the tropics, dedicated to increasing understanding of the past, present and future of life in the tropics, and its relevance to human welfare. Research at STRI is conducted by an international staff of 40 scientists, and approximately 500 visiting scientists and students each year. STRI concentrates on basic research, principally in tropical forests and coral reefs, and its research addresses the relationships of organisms to their environment (ecology), and how organisms, communities, and species came to be in the forms we find them today (evolution). STRI maintains modern research facilities at its headquarters in the Republic of Panama, with a comprehensive library on tropical sciences; a network of research stations in the American tropics and Kenya that are protected under international treaties and are equipped for sophisticated studies; a 96-foot research vessel; and two construction-crane canopy access systems.

For more information, visit: www.stri.org

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR TROPICAL FOREST SCIENCE

The Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) is an administrative unit of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute that joins together - through formal memoranda - a voluntary association of natural and social scientists and institutions around the world. The centre's mission is to promote and coordinate long-term biological and socio-economic research within tropical forests and forest-dependent communities, and translate this information into result relevant to forest management, conservation, and natural resource policies. To achieve its objectives, natural and social scientists associated with CTFS work with foreign collaborators in forestry departments and universities to develop a network of long-term forest research sites. The primary involvement of CTFS is to coordinate and standardise research at different sites. CTFS also provides technical assistance and training to the extent needed at each site. The consortium of researchers and institutions collaborating with CTFS has established a pantropical network of 17 large-scale (50 ha) permanent plots in 14 countries representing the diversity of tropical forests in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The information and research infrastructure available through the CTFS programme provides a wealth of opportunities for local and international scientists to conduct research, and unparalleled opportunities for the education and training of students at all stages.

For more information, visit: http://www.ctfs.si.edu/

ABOUT THE ARNOLD ARBORETUM

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a key partner for the Asia plots housing the Center for Tropical Forest Science-Arnold Arboretum Asia Program. This international group of researchers seeks to explain how tropical forests became so bio-diverse, and conducts experiments to reveal how best to conserve forest habitat and restore degraded land in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Founded in 1872, the Arnold Arboretum is the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world's leading centres for the study of plants.

For more information, visit: http://arboretum.harvard.edu/

Annexe A

"Carbon And Forests" Symposium

Programme

9.00am
Arrival of guests

Welcome remarks by Prof Leo Tan, Natural Sciences and Science Education, National Institute of Education, Singapore

9.20am
Introductory comments by Dr Stuart Davies, Director, Center for Tropical Forest Science-Arnold Arboretum

9.35am
Climate Change Issues - a Singaporean Perspective by Mr Ong Seng Eng, National Environment Agency, Singapore

9.50am
Climate Change in Asia - a Regional Perspective by Prof Raman Sukumar, Indian Institute of Science

10.15am
Tea break

10.35am
Global Change and Forest Carbon Budgets by Dr Helene Muller-Landau, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

11.00am
Climate Change and Plant Functional Traits by Dr Joseph Wright, STRI

11.25am
Soil Carbon and Global Climate Change by Dr Ben Turner, STRI

11.50am
Discussion / Question & Answer

12.15pm
Lunch

1.30pm
End of programme

Annexe B

Highlights of "Carbon And Functional Traits In Asian Forests" Workshop

7 April 2008

9.00am-1.30pm: "Carbon and Forests" Symposium

8 April 2008

9.00am-5.00pm: Field Trip to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Participants are senior scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and visiting South-east Asian researchers. Besides learning how to accurately measure and monitor carbon uptake by forests, they will investigate the role that forests play in absorbing carbon and the implications for forest management and climate change policy. This session seeks to reveal how scientists attempt to quantify the carbon-absorbing capacities of forests and provide a better profile to those who will be tasked with implementing a large-scale monitoring programme with the methods employed.

9 April 2008

9.00am-5.00pm: National Institute of Education

The final day will be dedicated to data interpretation and analysis by participants.