RDG Conference Report of Inocencio E. Buot Jr.

Write up about the Conference

The aim of the conference was to develop forward-looking perspectives for the botanical profession in the twenty-first century. The conference will provide a platform for exchange and dialogue to:

  • Take stock of global, regional and national issues and challenges that botany can contribute to mitigating:
  • Review the state of the art for the study and practice of botany; and
  • Identify actionable elements for re-orienting the discipline to make the essential innovative scientific and technological contributions needed for current and future generations.

The conference focused on tropical and temperate botanical issues, identifying skills to be maintained or developed and training needs. It will also define ways to interact with other disciplines and improve. communication with the general public and policy-makers.

The conference brought together 250 participants from 67 countries of the world with a particular interest in the plant  kingdom. Participants will include representatives from various sectors, including education, science, academia, policy, NGOs, communities and business, as well as development partners. Simultaneous translation in English and French will be provided.

Feedback on paper presented


Parts of my proposal for botanists in the 21st century were adopted such as the use of ICT and web technologies in reaching the communities and my proposal that botany in the 21st century should be interdisciplinary and intergenerational.

Future directions of research presented

I am planning to study the details of the succession process in a heavily distributed landscape as ours in the Philippines. And also study the details of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Online Courses (OOCs) using Open Educational Resources (OER) on biodiversity education for kids, youth and adults alike whick the colleagues in the conference put up already with Creative Commons license.

Potential foreign collaborators

I am hoping o collaborate with the Museum of Natural History of France and have already made initial discussions with the Herbarium Bogoriense in Bogor, Indonesia for our future collaborative endeavors.

Other important contacts and insights

I met several potential contracts from Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburg, UK and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Madagascar.

Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)

Dr. Inocencio Buot Jr, a professor of botany and ecology at the Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, UP Los Baños and concurrent Dean of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies, UP Open University, presented the paper, Vegetation zonation along altitudinal gradient in selected Philippine Mountain Forests: Insights and Research Directions for Plant and Ecosystem Conservation of the 21st Century at the 2014 international conference, “Botanists of the Twenty-first Century: Roles, Challenges and Opportunities” 2014,22-25 September 2014, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

Dr. Buot highlighted the patterns he observed on the altitudinal vegetation zonation in selected mountain ecosystems (Mount Pulag, Mount Akiki, Mount Mayon and Mount Makiling all of Luzon Island, Philippines). Dominants of the lower elevation were observed encroaching to upper altitudes when there is destruction of the upper slopes due to human activities or even natural calamity and hence, change in agro-climatic conditions. It is yet to be confirmed whether this is plain succession or due to climate fluctuations and changes. If the trend is not plain succession, then there is danger of losing biodiversity. It was proposed to have detailed succession studies in a heavenly disturbed landscape. Also it ws emphasized to have botany education exploring e-learning with the advances in web 2.0 like offering Massive Open online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Online Courses(OOCs) using Open Educational Resources (OER) and databases that botanists had been putting up. The paper emphasized that botanists in the 21st century should be interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and intergenerational.

The paper was part of the public forum presentation under the theme, Botanists and the environmental challenge of the 21st century: What knowledge is needed to better understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, the destruction of the environment, the extinction of species, and rapid and uncontrolled urbanization?