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ABCDNet Working Group Meeting held in Xishuangbanna

On March 27-29, Asia Biodiversity Conservation and Database Network (ABCDNet) Working Group Meeting, as a parallel workshop during the ATBC Asia-Pacific Chapter Meeting 2017, which was held in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province. The meeting was organized by Biodiversity Committee, Chinese Academy of Sciences (BC-CAS), 18 participants from Bangladesh, India, Indonesian, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and China attended the meeting. One of the Co-Chairs of ABCDNet, Prof. Keping Ma, the Secretary General of BC-CAS, chaired the workshop.

Drs. Bo Liu, Hongfeng Wang, Wenjun Li and Qinwen Lin introduced the progress of Mapping Asia Plants in different parts of Asia including Southeast Asia (SEA), Northeast and North Asia, Central Asia and South Asia respectively. The current statistics of herbaria, specimen records and data of flora books for each sub-part of Asia were documented. This workshop provided a significant basis for integrating plant checklists and associated distribution information in South Asia for the next step. Dr. Zheping Xu introduced the progress, data sources and data statistics of SEADiv. The progress of assessment of top 100 most threatened plants in Asia and associated background, materials and methods were reported at the meeting.

The working group meeting

Participants from different countries shared the progress of plant biodiversity research in their countries, such as floras or checklists, specimens in herbaria, database developments through presentations as follows: Mapping of plants of vegetation and ecosystems in Kazakhstan by Dr. Liliya Dimeyeva; Ex situ conservation and cryopreservation (and DNA barcoding) of plants in Korea by Prof. Eun-Shik Kim; Plant diversity in tropical Indonesia by Prof. Dedy Darnaedi; Introduction of ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) by Mr. Christian Bolneo Elloran; Mapping plants of India by Dr. Ramanan Uma Shankar; Diversity in the flora of Bangladesh: A review by Prof. Moniruzzaman Khondker.

ABCDNet working group planned to publish a book namely Biodiversity Informatics in Asia: Status, Challenges and Opportunities. At the meeting, the participants discussed the outline. Delegate from Bangladesh and others expressed their interests in this project. The participants agreed to complete the first draft of book chapters in October and finalize the manuscript in December of this year. Prof. Keping Ma is interacting with San Diego Office of Elsevier for the possible publisher to publish the book.

Group picture of the working group meeting by BC-CAS

A draft document for the By-Laws of ABCDNet was discussed at the meeting. The participants made a number of comments and suggestions which will be incooperated into the document. Further comments and suggestions are appreciated.

As an organizer of the session in ATBC Asia-Pacific Chapter Meeting 2017, which named “Mapping Asia's Biodiversity for Conservation Planning”, Prof. Keping Ma was invited to give a keynote speech and 10 speakers gave oral presentations including species monitoring, conservation tools, case studies of species conservation and so on. Prof. Keping Ma introduced the background, mission, goals, progress and plans of Mapping Asia Plants (MAP), and associated global projects, such as Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Plant List, Map of Life, sPlot, Botanical Information and Ecology Network (BIEN) and so on. MAP was first proposed and discussed during the 2015 ABCDNet Working Group Meeting. Prof. Ma summarized the progress of Southeast Asia Plant Biodiversity Information Infrastructure (SEADiv), which is a pilot project of MAP, 120,000 scientific names, 1,310,000 occurrence data, 52,000 literatures and 135 datasets were collected. Besides, progress in collecting floras and checklists for each country in Asia were also presented. Efforts in mapping China’s plant diversity were highlighted, such as Catalogue of Life-China, digitalization of specimens, occurrence data from observations and literatures, mapping data based research in China.

After the workshop, participants visited Xishuangbanna Tropical Garden, which helped them understanding of plant biodiversity in Xishuangbanna.

With the active participation and critical contribution of the participants, the ABCDNet working group meeting and the ATBC chapter session went well and achieved the expected goals.

Group picture during the field trip by Prof. Eun-Shik Kim