Empowering Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach in Congo Basin Forests

Friday, February 12, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Hoover (Marriott Wardman Park)
Congo Basin forests are among the most important centers of biological diversity in the world, harboring roughly 20% of known plant and animal species. The region is undergoing rapid socioeconomic transformation, placing these forests and their wildlife under increasing pressure from habitat conversion, deforestation, and uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources. Global climate change is also expected to significantly transform Congo Basin ecosystems. Internationally-engaged African experts are urgently needed to develop and implement sustainable solutions to these environmental problems. Yet many African universities face significant infrastructure and funding challenges, leaving few opportunities for training and advancement in biodiversity and environmental sciences. This symposium will focus on challenges, opportunities, and existing efforts underway to train the next generation of internationally-engaged African experts to address these sweeping environmental issues. The speakers describe transformative international biodiversity research and education programs in three Congo Basin countries: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.
Mary Katherine Gonder, Drexel University
Thomas Smith, University of California at Los Angeles
Mary Katherine Gonder, Drexel University
Nicola Anthony, University of New Orleans and Eric Benjaminson, University of Oregon
Stephan Ntie, University of Science and Technology in Masuku
Caballiance: Training a New Generation of Biodiversity Scientists
Maximilliano Fero, National University of Equatorial Guinea
International Research and Education Opportunities on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea