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PHL to host international conference on bees

The Philippines will play host to Madhu Duniya 2019, the premier conference on forest and honeybees in Asia, which will tackle the benefits of forest honey and the urgent need to save bees from extinction.

The conference was organized by Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Program (NTFP-EP), the Philippine Forest Honey Network and its regional partners with funding support provided by the Swiss Development Council, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, International Union for the Conservation of Nature-Netherlands, and Forest Foundation Philippines.

The events from October 21 to 24 in Rizal, Quezon and Metro Manila will gather representatives from non-government organizations, producer groups, the academe and private sector from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. From Sanskrit Madhu (Honey) and Arabic Duniya (World), the conference this year is themed “Conservation and Characterization: Asian Bees Unique and Threatened” as a response to the threats faced by bee populations around the world.

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 40 percent of pollinator species (such as bees) are threatened with extinction due to human activity. The same report says wild bees are more prolific pollinators than domesticated bees, but are significantly more vulnerable to loss of habitat, such as forests.

“The loss Asian forests do not only mean loss of oxygen needed for human life, nor the loss of plant diversity, but it also means loss of habitat and nectar sources for native bees crucial to pollination of food crops and other plants,” Crissy Guerrero, senior advisor for strategic programmes of NTFP-EP Asia said in a statement.

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