FOURTH ANNUAL GBIF SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM INCLUDING PRESENTATION OF THE 2006
The conference was held in Cape Town from the 5-6 April 2006 in the BMW Pavilion. There were presenters from different countries presenting different topics. The presenters were drawn from both spheres of the globe, that is the Northern and Southern hemisphere. Although there were different topics, the main theme of the conference was conservation of the biodiversity.
The conference was opened by the newly elected director of Science and Technology, honourable Dr Philemon Mjwara. Dr Mjwara was emphasizing the importance of science and encouraged the participants to co-operate with one another when coming to the conservation of the biodiversity and data sharing. On behalf of the Government, Mjwara continued by saying that the Government is prepared to do anything possible when coming to the provision of funds towards the research. This will also encourage young researchers the opportunities to develop their interests in research.
Then after the presentation by the director of Science and Technology, different presenters followed with their different topics. All the presenters were stressing the fact that data need to be shared among the researchers. The data which need to be shared might be that of climate change, ecological information, impacts of global warming and both terrestrial and aquatic. The inclusion of the information about the soil must also be included.
The audience were also introduced to the Ebbe Nielsens life and the prize by David Penman. He described the prize as named after the memory of Ebbe Schmidt Nielsen, who was an inspirational leader in the fields of biosystematics and biodiversity informatics. This prize is awarded to a promising researcher in the early stage of his/her career who is combining biosystematics and biodiversity informatics research in an exciting and novel way. The prize worth US$35,000.
Dr Mjwara on behalf of the Science and Technology minister honourable Mosibudi Mangena presented the award to the winner by the name of Dr John Wieczorek. Dr Wieczorek was awarded the reward because of his outstanding research in South America, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. He was also asked what he would do with his prize, Dr Wieczorek responded by saying that he would continue with his research in the above mentioned countries, because he has already created a good relationship with the people in those countries.
Overall the conference was about the status of biodiversity, sharing the information, and how the present status of biodiversity can be maintained. Participants also agreed with each other that the solution need to be found to rehabilitate the already depleted biodiversity.
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