Bengkulu, 23 Dzulqa’dah 1436/8 September 2015 (MINA) – The Bengkulu provincial administration, in cooperation with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), will host the International Symposium on Rafflesia and Amorphophallus on September 14-16, 2015, in Bengkulu city.

“The preparations are 99 percent complete, and we are now awaiting confirmation from the participants,” Head of the Research and Development Agency of Bengkulu Iriansyah noted here, Monday.

He revealed that representatives from countries, especially those endowed with tropical forests, will be attending the symposium. Antara quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Earlier, the Research and Development Agency, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and LIPI had formulated a strategic plan to protect the rare Rafflesia and Amorphophallus flowers.

Bengkulu gained eminence in the botanical world since Thomas Stamford Raffles and Joseph Arnold conducted a botanical expedition in the forests of Sumatra in Bengkulu in 1818.

The flower Rafflesia arnoldii, which has become the mascot of Bengkulu province, is named after Thomas Raffles and Joseph Arnold.

According to Iriansyah, the symposium will be held to discuss the potential of biodiversity and sustainable development policies to preserve the diverse flora and fauna of Bengkulu.

The uniqueness of Rafflesia and Amorphophallus has continued to appeal to the scientific communities and has attracted several tourists from around the world.

Rafflesia researcher from LIPI Sofi Mursidawati remarked that the speakers at the symposium are botanical experts from six countries.

The main program in this symposium is to review the research and conservation efforts undertaken by Indonesian researchers and practitioners around the world for protecting Rafflesia and Amorphophallus flowers.

The experts hail from various institutions around the world from 10 countries in Asia, Europe, and America.

“Approximately 150 to 200 people are participating in the event, and English will be the preferred medium of communication for conducting all activities,” Sofi added. (T/P008/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)


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