The Department of Biological Sciences of the UST College of Science co-organized and hosted the 5th International Symposium of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc.(PNPCSI) with the theme “Fighting for Philippine Flora: Victories, challenges and future directions.” The event was held at the auditorium of the Central Laboratory Building, UST, from November 13 to 15, 2019.
College of Science faculty member Dr. Richard Thomas B. Pavia, Jr., delivered a plenary lecture on “The Nepenthes trade in the Philippines.” Pavia, a marine biologist by training, is a self-confessed “Nepenthaholic.”
Nepenthes khasiana, according to the website, is a protected species, classified as endangered. The threats include habitat destruction, acid mine drainage associated with coal mining, and collection for medicinal and ornamental uses. The genus Nepenthes is mostly found within the Malay Archipelago, with the greatest biodiversity found on Borneo, Sumatra, and the Philippines, especially in the Borneo montane rain forests.
The other plenary lectures were delivered by Dr. Junichi Fujinuma of the University of the Ryukyus, Japan (“Beta diversity of vascular plants in east Asian tropics and temperate insular biotas: conservation perspectives of highly endemic Philippine flora”); UST bio alumnus Dr. Nikki Dagamac of the University of Greifswald, Germany (“Mapping Potential Species Distribution Using Ecological Niche Modeling: The Hows and So Whats?”); Dr. Rosario Rubite of the University of the Philippines-Manila (“Philippine flora too many but Filipino taxonomists too few?”); and Dr. Ming-Jou Wu of the National Dong Hwa Univeristy, Taiwan (“Fighting for a revision of Malesian Phyllantas: Victories, Challenges and Future Directions”).
The keynote lecture was delivered by Dr. Filiberto Pollisco, Jr. on behalf of Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity.
UST Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cecilia Banag-Moran is the Vice President of PNPCSI. She served as chair of the local organizing committee.