Keep the forests keep the forests keep the forests! The Kepong Round Table Conference on Dipterocarps
”Look, these are the modern trees”, Kostermans remarked, pointing to some concrete piles lying near the Forest Research Institute. None of the participants could have missed the sad impression of a moonscape around Kuala Lumpur, which tells of the construction boom in Malaya. ”In Thailand, timber production is nose-diving”, said the Director General of Forestry over the dinner table, ”in the Philippines, nose-diving!” In Malaya, where in the mid-1960’s the government decided to convert the carefully managed forests into oil palm plantation, it has been discovered that no more timber may have been left by the mid-1980’s. So it was none too soon to amass and review the available knowledge on Dipterocarpaceae with an eye on management of the timber resource. Naturally conservation, although not on the agenda, lurched constantly in the background and popped up at all sorts of points in the discussion. The International Working Group on Dipterocarpaceae, which held its first Round Table conference at Paris in June 1977 (see the account in Flora Malesiana Bulletin 31, p. 3041-3047. 1978), assembled again from 27 June to 3 July 1980; organizers were Francis S.P. Ng and S.K. Yap. Participants numbered 56, from 8 countries; those from abroad were accommodated in the low-price FRI-hostel at Kepong, Selangor. Ms. Ming Anthony sent her regrets from Strasbourg, where she was about to take her Ph.D. on a thesis about galls in this family; they occur only in Red meranti Shoreas. There were 11 more apologies, several from Japanese workers who had liked to come; Mr. Gen Arihara was there anyway as an observer from the FAO Bangkok office. Several were enabled to come thanks to a UNESCO travel grant; without this, we would have missed some excellent contributions. Twenty-seven papers were delivered in 3 days, followed by 3 days of excursions. The organization was good; no one would have suspected that this was the FRI’s first international meeting. It was opened by the Minister of Primary Industries, H.E. Dato Paul Leong Khee Seong, under whom Forestry resorts. Thereafter business started. Like in Paris, each session had a different chairman; that’s why it was called a Round Table, although the large table in the conference room was actually U-shaped.
|Journal||Flora Malesiana Bulletin|
|Rights||Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License|
Jacobs, M. (1981). Keep the forests keep the forests keep the forests! The Kepong Round Table Conference on Dipterocarps. Flora Malesiana Bulletin, 34(1), 3588–3599.