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DIWPA: DIVERSITAS in the Western Pacific and Asia

DIWPA is an international network for promoting cooperative studies and information exchange on biodiversity, in the region of Western Pacific and Asia, under a close cooperation with its mother programme, DIVERSITAS.

The first proposal of DIWPA was discussed in the International Symposium of "Ecological Perspective of Biodiversity" held in Kyoto in December 1-5, 1993, and approved in the final discussion on December 5. At that time the Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, was requested to become the planning office. The chairperson of the planning office was Prof. Hiroya Kawanabe. In this proposal, DIWPA intended to cover only the inventory and monitoring of biodiversity.

On September 6, 1994, DIWPA had the second planning at UNESCO, Paris. More than two dozens of scientists from ten countries attended to the meeting. The proposal was accepted after the following changes; (1) not exclude subjects other than inventory and monitoring, (2) include marine biodiversity, and (3) include the Polynesian region.

Subsequently, DIWPA had the third planning meeting in Beijing for one day during the Pacific Science Congress, June 5-12, 1995. The start-up conference was held in the fall of 1995 in Kyoto, Japan. Throughout these meetings, the concept of BOY (Biodiversity Observation Year, later renamed as IBOY) was refined. After a thorough preparation phase, the coordinated biodiversity observation was conducted as IBOY (International Biodiversity Observation Year) in the Western Pacific and Asia including Polynesia in 2001-2002.

On December 20, 2003, 2 important post-IBOY projects are approved in DIWPA Steering Committee Meeting. One is “Carbon and Biodiversity” which will be conducted by Prof. Kanehiro Kitayama and the other is “Landscape-change and Biodiversity” which will be led by Prof. Tohru Nakashizuka. Prof. Tohru Nakashizuka was elected as the new chairperson to succeed Prof. Hiroya Kawanabe and Prof. Kanehiro Kitayama was elected to continue to be the Secretary General.

The present secretariat consists of six people: Chairperson, Prof. Yoshitaka Tsubaki; Secretary General, Prof. Shin-ichi Nakano; Vice Secretary General, Prof. Atsushi Ishida; secretary members, Prof. Shigeo Yachi, Prof. Takashi Osono and Ms. Yuka Ikoma. Two Steering Committee Meetings have been held in Nagoya under the new secretariat in July 2009 and October 2010. To date DIWPA has received supporting letters from 16 countries and regions including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Finland and the USA, and later from 44 countries and regions, with 518 memberships. We have published 24 issues of News Letter (one or two issues a year) and five books since 1995.

We have revised our aims and main functions in October 2009 as follows:


DIWPA aims to connect existing networks of people working on biodiversity and research projects in Asia and the Western Pacific. DIWPA is not an overarching organization; it is instead a flexible network of networks.

Main functions

1. promotion of research projects and science on biodiversity in  the Western Pacific and Asia;

2. promotion of governmental and nongovernmental activities for the conservation and utilization of biodiversity;

3. facilitation of information sharing and research cooperation on biodiversity;

4. capacity building of scientists in particular young scientists from developing countries.

In May 2009, Japanese scientists have successfully organized J-BON, Japanese Biodiversity Observation Network. The aim of the J-BON was to have the network of research and/or monitoring of ecosystem and/or biodiversity in Japan and to establish a cooperative framework for building a robust research network. In addition, the Asia-Pacific BON has successfully launched in July 2009, and its second meeting was held in December 2009 in Tokyo. Until today, two J-BON workshops have been held in Tokyo, and three AP-BON workshops in Tokyo, Bali and Nagoya. DIWPA attended all those workshops, treated as one of the most important key partners of AP-BON.

In addition, DIWPA has been providing the information about biodiversity observation site since April 2011 on DIWPA website. We hope the information would be of help for the people who collect biodiversity information in Asian countries/regions.

More information on : http://diwpa.ecology.kyoto-u.ac.jp/index.html

DIWPA Publications




Prof. Shin-ichi Nakano, Secretary General of DIWPA, Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Japan

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