Yearly symposium on biodiversity research to be launched

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

October 12, 2018, 6:32 am


MANILA — The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) will present key funded projects on flora and fauna to stakeholders in Manila on Oct. 12.

The presentation, NRCP's second Basic Research Symposium, will be the first time that the Council will focus on presenting projects related to flora and fauna.

"We want to communicate to the public about new research-based knowledge on biodiversity. There are many completed projects that are not yet presented to the public, especially students, budding researchers, technologists etc.," Maria Elena Talingdan, NRCP chief Science Research Specialist, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

She added that there are only a few researches about biodiversity and the Council decided to present these at the symposium, which it plans to do yearly.

Participants in the symposium include key stakeholders from national government agencies, private organizations, academe, researchers, teachers of Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM), and Congress Committee on Public Health and Natural Resources.

Talingdan said apart from communicating the results of six NRCP-funded projects on biodiversity, the Council expects to formulate policy recommendations and or technology application and further research in the following areas:

Endemic coffee shrubs, Argostemma species;
Anti-hyperuricemic extracts of selected Philippine plants;
Probiotic and Nutraceutical compounds of indigenous plants and lactic acid bacteria; Taxonomical illustration of Philippine beetle;
Ecological significance of pulmonate snail and small non-volant mammals of Mt. Banahaw.

There are three projects on Philippine flora.

The first one is about the Phylogeny of Argostemma species (Rubiaceae). This project examined the genetic make-up of the Philippine endemic coffee shrubs. According to NRCP, the results of this project may be used to review the species ecology, evolution, biogeography, and conservation status.

The other two projects focused on the chemical diversity and drug potentials of Philippine indigenous plants.

“The results of one project showed potentials of certain species of plant as anti-hyperuricemic (gout), while the results of the other project showed the probabilities of various plants extracts and a certain strand of lactic acid bacteria as probiotics and neutraceuticals," NRCP said.

Three projects on fauna will also be presented.

First is the results of the study on the Philippine beetle. NRCP expects these results to enrich the country’s taxonomical records on the fauna of phylum Arthropods.

The other studies are about the roles of two species of faunas on phyla Mollusca and Chordata, in the ecosystem they live in.

“The research-based information from these projects may be useful in coming up with scientific solutions on the overpopulation of the species and or strengthening others in the food web to sustain balance in the ecosystem," the NRCP said in a statement. (PNA)