The Bird’s Head Seascape is a treasure trove of still-undescribed species. To effectively manage this biodiversity, we must fully understand it. Much of the research that has already been done in the area has relied upon international expertise, but we strongly believe that developing local expertise in the fields of biodiversity science and taxonomy is a top priority.
Marine Taxonomy Training Launches
The Indonesian Institute of Sciences launched its intensive marine taxonomy training program using Blue Auction funding in late June 2008. The first round of trainings were conducted between July and September at four of eastern Indonesia’s top universities, including Hasanuddin University in Makassar, Sam Ratulangi University in Manado, Pattimura University in Ambon, and the State University of Papua in Manokwari (at the center of the Bird’s Head Seascape).
ON VIDEO: Explore the underwater diversity that is benefiting from the Blue Auction.
|An aspiring Indonesian coral taxonomist examining freshly collected specimens. © CI/Photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
The trainings were conducted by a team of five of Indonesia’s most respected senior taxonomists. The 122 participants consisted of both senior university students and junior faculty members from the four universities.
Intensive Training Planned for Most Promising Participants
Those participants who score the highest on exams at the end of the first round of trainings will be invited to participate in a more intensive set of capacity-building workshops in Jakarta in November. And those who show the most promise and enthusiasm in these workshops will then be eligible to apply for a series of fellowships with the world’s top taxonomists at leading museums around the world.
IN PHOTOS: Blue Auction Touches Young Lives
||An aspiring Indonesian coral taxonomist at work with the microscope. © Lynn Devantier|
Related upcoming events include a course in reef fish taxonomy and paleobiogeography to be conducted at the State University of Papua in November by CI consultants Dr. Gerald Allen of the Western Australian Museum and Dr. Dan Polhemus of the Bishop Museum in Hawaii.
Additionally, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, CI, and the Ministry of Research and Technology are co-sponsoring a rapid marine biodiversity assessment of the Nusa Penida Islands in Bali in late November that will pair a number of junior Indonesian taxonomists with renowned international taxonomists, including Dr. Allen, an expert on fishes, and Drs. Lyndon Devantier and Emre Turak, who are experts on hard corals.
You can also read an update on the Marine Enforcement Initiative. >>