Smithsonian Institution Convenes Experts To Discuss Cocoa's Future

March 25, 1998

The Smithsonian Institution will bring together ecologists, cocoa production experts, cocoa industry representatives and other experts interested in the economics of and the variety of life around small family cocoa farms for a "Sustainable Cocoa Workshop." The meeting, which is funded by Mars Incorporated, will be held March 29 through April 2 at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)in Panama. A diverse group of people will address the positive role traditional cocoa farming plays in the tropics, and the issues, opportunities and research needed to ensure the future of ecologically sustainable cocoa production.

"As the developing world faces an alarming decrease in forests, some traditional shade-covered agroforest systems, including cocoa, which is a rainforest tree traditionally grown under a canopy, provide ecologists with hope," said Thomas Lovejoy, a noted environmentalist and director of the Institute for Conservation Biology at Smithsonian. "The success of traditional cocoa farms may be critical for maintaining biological diversity and providing sustainable incomes for small family farmers in the tropics."

Three divisions at the Smithsonian, all concerned with conservation, are involved in this effort, including the recently formed Smithsonian Institute for Conservation Biology. Other non-Smithsonian participants include representatives from The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, the MacArthur Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, USAID, World Bank, the American Cocoa Research Institute and the cocoa and chocolate industry.

The workshop was developed by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, a leader in examining the relationship between human land management and biological conservation, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, which has promoted basic and original research in tropical marine and terrestrial organisms and human ecology for more than half a century.
-end-
For more information about this conference, visit the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Web site http://www.si.edu/smbc

Media only:
In Washington, DC - Ruth Stolk 202-633-9799
In Panama - Georgina de Alba 507-227-6022, ext. 2275



Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Related Conservation Articles from Brightsurf:

New guide on using drones for conservation
Drones are a powerful tool for conservation - but they should only be used after careful consideration and planning, according to a new report.

Elephant genetics guide conservation
A large-scale study of African elephant genetics in Tanzania reveals the history of elephant populations, how they interact, and what areas may be critical to conserve in order to preserve genetic diversity of the species.

Measuring the true cost of conservation
BU Professor created the first high-resolution map of land value in the United states.

Environmental groups moving beyond conservation
Although non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have become powerful voices in world environmental politics, little is known of the global picture of this sector.

Hunting for the next generation of conservation stewards
Wildlife ecology students become the professionals responsible for managing the biodiversity of natural systems for species conservation.

Conservation research on lynx
Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (Leibniz-FMP) discovered that selected anti-oxidative enzymes, especially the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD2), may play an important role to maintain the unusual longevity of the corpus luteum in lynxes.

New 'umbrella' species would massively improve conservation
The protection of Australia's threatened species could be improved by a factor of seven, if more efficient 'umbrella' species were prioritised for protection, according to University of Queensland research.

Trashed farmland could be a conservation treasure
Low-productivity agricultural land could be transformed into millions of hectares of conservation reserve across the world, according to University of Queensland-led research.

Bats in attics might be necessary for conservation
Researchers investigate and describe the conservation importance of buildings relative to natural, alternative roosts for little brown bats in Yellowstone National Park.

Applying biodiversity conservation research in practice
One million species are threatened with extinction, many of them already in the coming decades.

Read More: Conservation News and Conservation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.