This has been an exciting year for the SCB Asia Section. From just one Chapter last year (China), we now have seven Chapters registered in the Asia region (Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand). In the past few months, the Malaysia, Korea and Indonesia Chapters were launched and hosted their first public meetings. The Malaysia Chapter maintains an active WhatsApp group comprising nearly 150 Malaysian conservationists from across various sectors and organisations where conservation updates and problems are discussed. As part of a first public event, the Korea Chapter hosted an afternoon seminar on marine mammal conservation issues, including talks from local specialists, and attracting non-SCB members.
The Korea Chapter has already produced two policy statements on local wildlife issues. The Indonesia Chapter held its first training workshop, involving an interactive workshop on practical conservation tools and held for passionate tertiary students. In August, there was also an information session on SCB Chapters held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, organized by the Section's communications officer Shermin de Silva and its newly-elected President, Tony Lynam, with support from the conservation nonprofit Trunks & Leaves. It was attended by university students from throughout the country, so we hope there will be at least one more SCB Chapter added in the future!
The past few months also saw the start of detailed planning for our next exciting congress: Conservation Asia 2018. Conservation Asia 2018 will be held in the city of Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, in Central Asia from 6th to 10th August 2018. We are excited to be co-organising this congress with our colleagues at the American University of Central Asia and expanding our work to the Central Asian region. This will be the first large conservation meeting of its kind in Central Asia, and will also be the first bilingual Asia Section meeting to encourage participation from Russian-speaking scientists. We anticipate an invigorating congress with fascinating research and intriguing conservation issues. Come and stay in a yurt with the friendly Kyrgyz people and go trekking in the breathtaking Kyrgyz countryside! Visit conservationasia2018.org!