Write up about the Conference
This is a gathering of scientists, researchers and students from Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Pacific Island Countries and Asia (only two representatives- Korea and the Philippines). Scientists recognize that human activities have great negative impacts on ecosystems. Therefore efforts must be done to bring back ecological services that may have been impaired with degradation of the natural ecosystems – terrestrial and marine coastal ecosystems.
Keynote speakers discussed varied topics which include concepts and challenges of achieving scale in restoration, restoration principles and standards, management of invasive species, ad ecosystems conversation, ecosystem service site-based assessment, ecological resilience, seed technologies for the restoration of biodiverse landscapes, restoration strategy in New Caledonia mining, environments and sea grass restoration. Although most of the topics discussed were in the context of developed countries, there were four papers that are most relevant to the realities of the 3rd world countries. These are the topics on: (a) management of invasive species. (b) ecological restoration in mining environment in New Caledonia, (c) ecosystem-based assessment in Fiji Island and (d) goals in restoration in the context of developing countries where restoration efforts must have direct immediate economic benefits to local communities.
The lessons learned from the different papers presented include: 1) concepts of ecological restoration are the same in all countries: 2) goals and objectives of restoration must be adaptive to the realities country – socio-economic and political situations of the country; 3) restoration strategy for both advanced and developing countries may be the same – such as giving priority to bringing back functioning of the ecosystem function; 4) how to implement the strategy must be anchored on the local conditions.
Feedback on paper presented
Good set of data; at least two members of the audience personally congratulated me for my data set
Future directions of research presented
New research proposal for testing of the remediation process developed in this research paper on other agricultural lands similarly affected by mine tailings.
Potential foreign collaborators
Augustine Doronila – Univ. of Melbourne, Australia
Other important contacts and insights
Nicholas Dickinson, Professor of Ecology, Lincoln University, New Zealand; potential Professor of a UPLB IBS Faculty taking up Ph D (Plant Ecology)
Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)
Dr. Virginia C. Cuevas, Professor, Environmental Biology Division of the Institute of Biological Sciences, Cas, UPLB and an Affiliate Faculty of the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), UPLB, attended the 2nd International Conference of SERA (Societies for Ecological Restoration Australasia) at Nouvata Parc, Noumea, New Caledonia on November 17-21, 2014. The conference was attended by scientists, researchers and students from Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Pacific Island Countries and Asia. Topics discussed in the conference include concepts and challenges of achieving scale in restoration, restoration principles and standards, management of invasive species, ecosystem conservation, ecosystem service site-based assessment, ecological resilience, seed technologies for the restoration of biodiverse landscapes, restoration strategies of mined areas and restoration of coastal marine ecosystems.
Dr. Cuevas presented a paper on “Restoration of Rice Agroecosystem Productivity in Cu-Contaminated Paddy Fields with Compost Amendment in Mankayan, Benguet, Northern Philippines” in the conference under topic on “Managing metal toxicity in soils”. Her research work showed that rice compost applied of 1-2 kg m-2 reduced available soil copper, increased rice yield and decrease the brown spot disease incidence. She concluded that use of rice straw compost is a promising remediation strategy to alleviate the toxic effects of heavy metals in soil.