The World Conservation Society of the Philippines (WCSP) together with Fauna and Flora International and Philippine National Museum hosted the 21st Annual Philippine Biodiversity Symposium, opened at Philippine National Museum and continued at Dasmariñas campus of De La Salle University. With a theme "Forests Sustaining Life", the society - which is a professional organization of wildlife researchers, managers, scientists, and conservationists - structured the symposium with a focus on forests, forested watersheds, their biodiversity, and the services they provide to human communities.
As an organization which promotes research and development on various and evolving issues surrounding natural resources management including biodiversity planning and conservation in the Philippines, ICRAF-Philippines together with Mabuwaya Foundation joined in celebrating the 21st annual symposium by having organized a parallel session/workshop on "The use of geo-referenced biodiversity data and species distribution modeling in Climate Change impact studies".
Three ongoing studies were presented as part of an ICRAF-Philippines, USAID-funded project. The workshop explored the possibilities of the use of species distribution models in climate change related biodiversity studies. The goal was further to discuss the setup of a national database of geo-referenced biodiversity data, preferably online and with unrestricted access.
Dr. Merlijn van Weerd of Mabuwaya Foundation and Leiden University presented his research effort on Climate Change Impacts on Birds in the Northern Sierra Madre. This was followed by presentations from ICRAF researchers, Mr. Alfie Torres on Compiling a Georeferenced Database of Forest Tree Species in the Philippines and Ms. Kristine Garcia on Maximum Entropy Modelling of Threatened Forest Tree Species Distribution to Climate Change.
Many useful feedbacks and comments were received by the presenters to further improve their researches. It is hoped that the outputs of the studies will help in mainstreaming climate change in biodiversity planning and conservation in the Philippines as a whole.
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