Summary Report on Recent Activities of the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) Network
Dieter Mueller-Dombois, PABITRA Coordinator
The PABITRA Network held a symposium with the theme “Island Landscapes under Global Change” during the 20th Pacific Science Congress (PSC) in Bangkok, March 2003. Seventeen papers were presented. The first six were invited contributions presented by Fiji scientists and post-graduate students. They all focused on the PABITRA Gateway Transect established on Viti Levu in 2002. Other contributions dealt with PABITRA biodiversity studies in Samoa, Micronesia, Eastern Polynesia, and Hawai`i. Most of these papers have been prepared for publication in Pacific Science and are now under review.
A PABITRA workshop was held during the PSC in Bangkok with focus on establishing broad sea-to-mountain transects for biodiversity research in Samoa. About 30 people attended this workshop including conservation professionals from Samoa, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands. Also in Bangkok, APN (the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research) announced funding for the Samoa Project. Subsequently, from June 9 to 16, 2003, an Initial Synthesis Meeting was held at NUS (the National University of Samoa) in Apia, with a subsequent reconnaissance trip to Savai`i. A follow-up Joint Analysis Workshop is now being planned for November 24 to December 5, 2003. This will be mostly in the field with students and faculty from NUS and other local government and NGO members and several invited overseas collaborators from the PABITRA and its sister network DIWPA (DIVERSITAS in the Western Pacific and Asia).