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International team of scientists to meet in Panama to discuss future of the world's forests
Date:2/28/2010

Leading researchers from around the world will meet in March at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama to discuss the first outputs from a global research program supported by the HSBC Climate Partnership1 to study the impact of climate change on the world's forests.

The conference, 'Taking Stock', co-hosted by STRI and the Earthwatch Institute, marks the mid-point of a five-year partnership which employs a unique participatory 'citizen science' model: HSBC employees are working alongside scientists to collect data from five distinct forest sites around the world (US, UK, Brazil, China, India).

At the conference researchers will describe findings that will directly contribute to the global understanding of forest ecosystems and the management of watersheds to quantify the environmental serviceslike water provision, carbon storage, and biodiversity maintenancethat tropical forests provide. The research is built on protocols that have been in place for more than 30 years and the latest analytical and technological advances.

WHEN: Media Day on March 1

WHO: Speakers from Earthwatch Institute, STRI, HSBC, Oxford University and more for full event program visit http://www.stri.org/

WHERE: The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Earl S. Tupper Research and Conference Center, Panama City, Panama

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Link to a live webcast of the conference starting 1 March from http://www.stri.org
  • Debut of a new film from STRI highlighting this unique NGO-corporate partnership
  • Q and A Panel discussion and opportunity for one to one interviews with researchers

Since the launch of the HSBC Climate Partnership in 2007, over 900 HSBC 'climate champions' have worked alongside experts from Earthwatch, STRI and local research partners, at forest plots around the world. This contribution is equivalent to 30 years of a scientist's time in the field. By the end of the partnership, over 2000 HSBC employees will have gone through the climate champion programme, helping to advance scientific knowledge and developing skills and knowledge to address the challenges of climate change in their business.

Dr. Dan Bebber, Head of Climate Change Research at Earthwatch says, "We are engaging thousands of HSBC employees in hands-on data collection alongside scientists from leading research institutes, to provide decision-makers with the information they need to manage our natural resources in the face of climate change."

STRI's Center for Tropical Forest Science, coordinates research efforts at 34 independent forest dynamics research plots worldwide. Director, Stuart Davies says, "To understand how global forests respond to climate change requires enormous datasets from on-the-ground measurements and observations from forests around the world. Aided by the enthusiasm of HSBC climate champions, our global network of forest-research plots is generating the crucial scientific data needed to predict forest response to climate change."

Francis Sullivan, Adviser on the Environment for HSBC Holdings plc says: "Through the HSBC Climate Partnership, we have deepened our understanding of the impacts of climate change across the world and have begun to address our own business response whilst working with our customers to realise the opportunities of the new green economy."


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Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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