The increase in the human population worldwide has exacerbated forest loss and fragmentation, particularly in the tropics, imposing considerable threats to the planet’s biodiversity. The urgent need to plan for the sustainable management and conservation of our biological wealth, could not therefore be overemphasized. In this backdrop, the theme for ATBC-APC 2019 focusing on “Bridging the elements of biodiversity conservation: Save, Study, Use” is a timely reminder of the critical roles of both conservationists and resource users.
The ATBC-APC Sri Lanka will create a platform to bring together researchers, conservation practitioners and business professionals to address through scientific discourse, critical conservation issues facing the Asia-Pacific region. This encompasses activities such as addressing knowledge gaps and facilitating information sharing, which would in turn lead to sustainable trade-offs between the environment and industry, approaching public-private partnerships in a sustainable manner when using natural capital, initiating innovative conservation financing and strengthening nature-culture linkages to reduce environmental crime.
Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) is a scientific professional society formed in 1963. The ATBC is global in scope, membership, and objectives, functioning as an international body to promote research, education, conservation, and communication of tropical biology. ATBC consists of students, researchers, educators, and conservation practitioners concerned with issues of science, conservation, development, and environmental policy in the tropics.
Asia in particular is a focal point for tropical biodiversity, biodiversity loss, deforestation, and the environmental issues associate with its high human density. ATBC Asia-Pacific Chapter has been actively working to increase the engagement of ATBC in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sri Lanka is a tropical continental island located in the Northern Indian Ocean with a long geologic history dating back to Gondwanaland. The unique bio-geographical setting of the island supports diverse ecosystems where a reef to ridge experience is possible within a space of one day cutting across sandy coastal beaches, dry-mixed forests, lowland rainforests and the humid cloud forests in the central highlands. The southwestern region supporting the rainforests has the highest biodiversity. Among these are over 3000 species of flowering plants, over a 100 species each of mammals and amphibians and 500 species of birds, each with a high level of endemism. The island provides a living laboratory for scientists and naturalists.
Sri Lanka has a vibrant cultural heritage and the country has six archaeological World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO. The island also boast of having some of the most spectacular beaches of the world. Nature enthusiasts will be treated to the sight of the largest aquatic and terrestrial mammals in the world and this is just one of the many tourist attractions the island has to offer.
Sri Lanka has been listed as one of the countries in the world to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet.
“Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived”
- Lonely Planet author Ethan Gelber in the Best in Travel 2019 book.
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