BATAAN TECH PARK TO HOST SCIENTIFIC MEET

MANILA, January 20, 2004 (STAR) In line with its commitment to the sustainable development of the country’s biological resources, the Bataan Technology Park (BTP) is hosting an international forum on biodiversity and sustainable utilization of bio-resources on Saturday.

Co-organized by scientists from the University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine and the UP Marine Science Institute, the forum will feature speakers and discussants from the state university as well as the Michigan State University (MSU), non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations, the religious sector and industry.

The government will be represented by participants from such agencies as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health.

The forum is part of a series of activities aimed at providing a framework for a multi-disciplinary research management structure and a basis for a pilot project, possibly to be based at the BTP, that will explore the biodiversity of the Bataan National Park with the help of local communities.

Occupying the 365-hectare former site of the Philippine Refugee Processing Center (PRPC), the BTP is being developed by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) into a special economic zone that will host high-tech agriculture and aquaculture ventures.

The BTP master plan also calls for the establishment of a world-class agri-aqua research and development center.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this very important scientific forum," said BCDA executive vice president and BTP president Isaac Puno III.

"We, in the BTP, are only too willing to be a part of this undertaking because we recognize that it is imperative that we take measures to explore and conserve endangered species, especially those found within the BTP premises and the contiguous Bataan National Park, before it is too late," he added.

Earlier, the forum organizers cited the area’s mega-diversity and warned that its extraordinary terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity is greatly endangered by the continuous destruction of natural resources.

The Philippines is among the top five high-priority conservation "hot spots" in the world.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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