MIRI, SARAWAK: The inaugural National Hornbill Conference 2015 has been hailed as a viable platform for those undertaking researches and conservation efforts dedicated on hornbills.

The three-day event, which concluded here on Thursday, hosted 23 speakers and 73 other delegates from around the world. Renowned expert Prof Emeritus Dr Pillai Poonswad from Hornbill Research Foundation under Faculty of Science of Mahidol University Bangkok, was the key speaker.

He was aided by conference’s co-organising chairmen Prof Andrew Alek Tuen from Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas); Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) deputy general manager (protected areas and biodiversity cooperation) Oswald Braken Tisen; director and professor of zoology at University of the Philippines, Dr Juan Carlos T Gonzalez; and international coordinator of Hornbill Research Foundation at Mahido University in Thailand, Ng Bee Choo.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome of this inaugural conference, where 14 resolutions were reached following extensive deliberations over the last three days. This augurs well for the next 2017 International Hornbill Conference in Sarawak,” Braken told The Borneo Post here, adding that the resolutions would be further discussed and presented to the state government for further action.

One of the resolutions passed is the collaboration with other South East Asian countries on the study of the biology of the bird species, with particular emphasis on morphometrics and genetics.

It also called for the establishment of captive management and research facilities for hornbills in the state, slated for safeguarding threatened and endemic populations.

A post-conference tour brought delegates to the Piasau Nature Reserve (PNR) – home of its iconic female hornbills, Faridah and Juliet.

The delegation was accompanied by PNR warden Samantha Kuan, as well as several members of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Miri Chapter and Piasau Camp Miri Nature Park Society (PCMNPS).

Some 100 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka attended the conference, organised by SFC, Unimas, Sarawak Convention Bureau and Cat City Holidays.

Originally published in the Borneo Post (http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/08/15/maiden-conference-on-hornbills-hailed/)


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