The first Philippine Magnolia Network Meeting was held on June 28th during the 8th Southeast Asia Botanic Gardens (SEABG) Network Conference and Meeting. The following participants represented 7 institutions at the meeting: Ms. Serica Joy Compendio, Visayas State University (Leyte); Mr. Jay Torrefiel, University of the Philippines Tacloban (Samar); Mr. Ronald Achacoso, Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Inc. and Pinto Arboretum; Dr. Edwino Fernando and Ms. Leilani Castillo, University of the Philippines Los Baños (Luzon); Dr. Michael Calaramo, Northwestern University Ecological Park and Botanic Gardens (Luzon); Dr. Esperanza Maribel Agoo, De La Salle University (NCR), and Mr. Apolinario Cariño and Annelies Andringa, Siit Arboretum Botanical Garden Inc. Not in the meeting physically, but committing their membership to the network were Dr. Victor Amoroso and Dr. Fulgent Coritico of Central Mindanao University.
During the meeting Pol presented the “Summary of Magnolia Conservation in the Philippines” which was also presented during the South & Southeast Asia GCCM virtual zoom meeting on April 25, 2023 along with Dr. Michael Calaramo’s in situ and ex situ initiatives at NUEBG. An initial survey result from field work on Dinagat Island resulting in the discovery of an unidentified Magnolia species was reported by Dr. Victor Amoroso and Dr. Fulgent Coritico’s Team at Central Mindanao University – Center for Biodiversity Research and Extension in Mindanao (CEBREM). Then an initial networking discussion with Dr. Esperanza Maribel Agoo of De La Salle University and advice from Dr. Domingo Madulid was also presented. Dr. Michael Calaramo and Pol Cariño also shared some opportunities for research funding and the links to the GCCM network that may be of help for the group.
Finally, the entire group agreed on implementing activities in a collaborative manner along with getting funding to help one another’s initiatives. Here are some of the initial thoughts that the network proposed for the Philippine Magnolia Conservation Project that will be written in full detail as a proposal by the network:
Phase 1, is to conduct expeditions in our respective areas, conduct basic taxonomy and herbarium collection.
Phase 2, is to conduct IUCN Red List assessments of the species reported in the country, publish results and findings of the assessments and implement conservation initiatives for the species in the country.
Phase 3, is to implement appropriate reintroduction programs when needed.
Overall, these initial activities for the implementation of the Philippine Magnolia Conservation Project require support and the participants are soliciting ideas and opportunities for these activities to be supported and for collaboration between the partner institutions of the newly established network. It is one of the groups objectives to institutionalize the network and this will be discussed further at future formal meetings. More updates on the development of the Philippine Magnolia network will be shared via the GCCM.