Overviews and Perspective of the East Asia-Pacific Regional Network
Division of Watershed Management, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Taipei, Taiwan
There are five countries which have formal Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) programs and 40 existing LTER sites in our region, among which 2 are in Australia, 29 in China, 3 in Korea, 2 in Mongolia and 5 in Taiwan. Many countries, such as Japan, are developing their LTER networks, establishing research sites and conducting on-going long term projects in ecology. Still others, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, have expressed intensive interest in developing networks of LTER sites. They also have conducted long term ecological studies in their permanent plots. Today we have 12 scientists representing LTER communities of our region to attend the third East Asia-Pacific regional LTER meeting and conference. The majority of them have actively participated in the regional as well as international LTER activities since the establishing of the regional network in 1995. I have no intention to detail the LTER activities that each country has carried out since they have been reported during this conference.
The awareness of the degradation of physical environment and the loss of biodiversity of our living habits forces us to rethink the capacity that the ecosystems of the earth can hold. Ecological and environmental studies of longer term and broader scale are better ways to understand the values and services that the natural ecosystems can provide. We do expect the number of LTER sites in our region to increase in the next few years as more nations establish their own LTER network programs.
Our Regional LTER Network Steering Committee was formed in 1995 and biannual committee meetings and conferences along with many activities have been held since. To function as a regional network the LTER scientists should address and resolve ecological and environmental problems on regional, and to some extent global level, that face them. To hold workshops and collaborate research projects are most effective ways to exchange ideas and share the results of common ecological issues among scientists. Therefore I have called upon holding workshops addressing regional ecological core research topics and establishing collaborative research projects in our region for the next two years to come.