In the Asia-Pacific region many young researchers working on biodiversity conservation and related sustainable development issues have limited opportunities to obtain quality field-based training or exposure to modern analytical techniques. The problem is self-reinforcing because faculty in regional developing country institutes have rarely received adequate training themselves, and thus lack the knowledge to teach advanced courses. Through this project we strove to break this negative feedback cycle by giving junior faculty and researchers high-level training in biological field research and data analysis. We taught a six-week field course, a six-day experimental design and data analysis course, and a one day scientific paper writing course. In addition, we established a website for future management of the program (http://www.pfs-tropasia.org) and a web-based alumni network so that opportunities of future collaboration and scientific exchange are realised.
The project successfully ran the training activities as described in the proposal and therefore met its primary aim, namely to teach advanced courses on topics related to environmental resource management through training junior faculty (and researchers) in modern field research methods and data analysis, and to increase the capacity of institutions in regional developing countries to conduct research on environmental issues.