Spearheaded by the University of the Philippines Los Baños Museum of Natural History and in partnership with the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, Day 1 of the first ever CLADES: The Philippine Natural History Museums and Collections Summit was held yesterday, 27 September 2017 at the SEAMO-SEARCA, College, Laguna.
UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez Jr. and UPLB Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension lauded the UPLB-MNH for successfully staging CLADES or Culture + Learning, Art + Design, Environment + Science. Both officials also recognized the importance of the Summit as it fostered exchanges of ideas and built networks between organizations. SEARCA Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. echoed the same praises and exp\ressed gratitude as he looks forward to the establishment of their own Agrimuseum.
Keynote Speaker Ms. Marivine R. Manuel-Santos, Head of the Zoology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines allowed the participants to take a peek at the proposed Philippines’ National Museum of Natural History which will be fully operational in April 2018. Ms. Manuel-Santos also said that the National Museum of the Philippines had hoped to reorient the position of “man and his environment” in the Museum.
Four Plenary Speakers immediately followed as they each tackled equally important contributions. Mr. Amado R. Alvarez, Head of the National Committee on Museums of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) advocated looking at better ways to collaborate through specimen, data, and scientific paper exchanges while Dr. Graham Charles George Argent of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburg shared various modern techniques in herbarium management.
Dr. Filiberto A. Pollisco Jr., Programme Specialist for Conservation Policy and Research of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) presented efforts in addressing global taxonomic impediment as identified by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD). He also expressed hope that the next steps for CLADES will be based on the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) Regional Action Plan for 2017-2025.
The last Plenary Speaker was Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, Director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (BMB-DENR). She highlighted the various laws and regulations currently in place to ensure responsible collection and utilization of biological resources.
The second half of Day 1 witnessed 17 oral presentations under three themes. Theme 1 presentations focused on the status of six academe-based and private natural history museums and collections while Theme 2 presentations discussed various best practices in collections management in the Philippine setting. Understanding interactions between natural history museums and the public was the subject for Theme 3. In addition, 23 poster presentations spread across the three themes are also available for viewing.
Over 150 key players in natural history museums and collections attended the event. Day 2 promises to be another productive session as participants look forward to more Plenary Speeches and Workshop Sessions.