About the symposium

In 1997, three individuals, Ng Bee Choo, Shawn Lum and Wang Luan Keng, decided to hold a local meeting to bring together local workers in biodiversity. Held at what was then the Bukit Timah campus of NIE, it was informative and inspiring. We met many people we had heard about, established contacts, and made new friends. The meeting was certainly a useful one to biodiversity workers.

Since then, Singapore has witnessed many changes, both in land use and in the new agencies, programmes, ideas and individuals which have burst into the scene of biodiversity research, management, education and conservation.

This time around, three partners once again have come together to organise a symposium: Nature's Niche (Botanic Gardens Shop), Singapore Institute of Biology and the NUS DBS Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research. We are supported by the Lee Foundation, Swarovski and Asian Geographic.

It has been six years since the last session, we decided to use this opportunity to first update ourselves with each other - hence the simple theme, "Biodiversity of Singapore - What's Up". The relaxed theme is meant to see us enjoy the camaraderie and free exchange like we did during the first meeting.

It was a pity that we had to limit the number of speakers in each session but we alsso hope this is just the beginning of a series of meetings that will provide us with opportunities to interact and understand efforts, techniques, ideas and motivations.

Registration fees were introduced to help defray costs of the four teas that will be provided over the two days. With SARS precautions in place, the registration team will setup their booths very early. You can enjoy a warm drink and chat with friends while you get your temperature taken, so so come early! Use these opportunities to interact, as they can prove to be most fruitful!

The session will begin with some ceremony as the Minister of State for National Development, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has kindly agreed to open the session. Additionally, he will launch the long awaited Chek Jawa Guidebook. The book will be on sale at a 20% discount to symposium participants and as a special gesture, the publisher will donate all proceeds from the sale of this book towards the volunteer CJ guides programme.

Hope to see you there!


N. Sivasothi
On behalf of the organising committee
Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium 2003