Pioneer Batch of AFoCO STEP Program Participants

AFoCO kick-started its Science & Technology Exchange Partnership (STEP) Program with an orientation session on 17 September 2019. The 2019 STEP Program is a month-long training course targeted at technical-level researchers with at least a year’s experience in the field of forest plant biodiversity.


(L to R) – Ms. Nurul Hazlina Binti Haji Zaini (Botanical Research Centre of Univ., Brunei Darussalam); Mr. Kencho Rigzin (Dept. of Forests and Park Services, Bhutan); Ms. Swe Swe Win (Forest Research Institute, Myanmar); Ms. Trieu Thi Thu Ha (Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences, Viet Nam); Mr. Meng Loth (Forest Resource Social, Economic and Environmental Impact Assessment Center, Cambodia)


The theme for the 2019 STEP Program training course is “The Role of Arboretums in the Conservation of Forest Plant Biodiversity”, and the course is jointly organized with the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum (BDNA), the second largest arboretum in the world. Located in Bonghwa County in North Gyeongsang Province of Korea,  BDNA is also home to the first underground tunnel-type seed storage facility. This year’s program at the BDNA will aim to share comprehensive knowledge and skills about plant conservation such as the classification of forest plants, seed collection, seed management, tissue culture, seed viability test and propagation; and 2) improve the capacity of officials by providing hands-on experiences related to landscape design, construction and operation of arboretums.

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