CMU hosts a webinar to commemorate the international day for biodiversity

The Center for Biodiversity Research and Extension in Mindanao (CEBREM), in partnership with the Department of Biology and the CMU Research Office, organized a webinar on Coleoptera Identification, Curation, and Updates, in celebration of the International Day for Biodiversity on May 23, 2022.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Florfe M. Acma, Director of CEBREM, pointed out the significance of the celebration through the webinar and emphasized its goal to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. “Coleoptera, the weevils, and the beetles are an integral part of our funnel biodiversity, which we should protect and utilize sustainably,” she added. 

Dr. Acma further stated, “We hope to gain more knowledge, skills, and appreciation for these creatures, which are an important component of this beloved mother Earth.”

Four plenary speakers from the Czech Republic were invited to share their experiences and encourage participants to appreciate biodiversity. The first speaker was Magister Dominik Vondráček, a researcher from the Department of Entomology, National Museum in Prague. He highlighted the 2015 partnership between Central Mindanao University through Dr. Alma Mohagan and the National Museum. 

The said partnerships’ goal is to accumulate basic research data on the island’s biodiversity, allowing additional scientists, students, and institutions to use them in the future. Also, the data could be used by institutions for nature conservation, assisting them in protecting Mindanao’s natural resources. In his talk, Magister Vondráček also emphasized the objective of the collaboration: “We hope, of course, that this data can be later used by you, by other institutions in Mindanao to protect nature for nature conservation and so on,” he added.

The second speaker, Dr. Jiří Hájek, a Research Scientist from the Department of Entomology, National Museum, and Natural History Museum, discussed his research on water beetles with a special focus on Philippine fauna. He believed that there were various unknown species of water beetle in the Philippine archipelago, particularly in Mindanao. He said, “I am pretty sure that here in Mindanao, there will be several hundred undescribed taxa from various families of water beetles which need to be discovered, described, and optimally protected.” In addition, water beetles are also worth studying because they are one of the most well-known insects, according to Dr. Hájek.

Dr. Lukáš Sekerka, Chairperson of the Department of Entomology, National Museum in Prague, presented the third topic, Cassidinae. In his introduction, he listed the cassidinae species that had been identified and expressed interest in exploring cassidinae in the Philippines. “What is also surprising, the biology of the endemic species in the Philippines is completely unknown,” he asserted.

Lastly, Professor Vít Lukáš, a faculty from the Department of Zoology, Charles University, Prague, shared the exciting part of wildlife conservation and photography. He presented photos and techniques related to photography and his experiences in documenting wildlife. He also believes that artistic photography is essential in promoting a topic, especially in this present social media environment.

Overall, the commemoration of International Day for Biodiversity by hosting a webinar on Coleoptera Identification, Curation, and Updates informs, educates, and encourages ways to appreciate and protect biodiversity, especially in the Philippines. [Mary Jane Desalia Bravo]

Check Also

Dr. Cecilia O. Bucayong 3rd place winner for Outstanding Government-Funded Creative Research

[#CMUpride] Congratulations Dr. Cecilia O. Bucayong, 3rd place winner in the Likha Award for Outstanding …