On 5 April 2011, three agencies under Ministry of Science and Technology, namely the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA); Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR) and National Science Museum (NSM) entered into a memorandum of understanding aiming to strengthen biodiversity R&D in Thailand.
Under the MOU, three parties will integrate their information on biodiversity resources. Each party will provide the requisite resources, depending on their own expertise and background to implement this agreement. BIOTEC/NSTDA specializes in the study to survey and form an inventory of microorganisms isolated from natural environments in Thailand as well as comprehensive research program on microbial utilization. BIOTEC Culture Collection (BCC) currently contains over 44,000 microbial samples. TISTR has its strength in the study of algae and plant for renewable alternative energy, food and agricultural production and plant nutrient. NSM Natural History Museum houses two big collections of plant and animal reference collection and holotype specimens, the first specimen of a species.
The integration of the three organizations on biodiversity resources will result in a massive collection of plants, animals and microorganism, estimated over 100,000 strains in database. Databases will contain all kinds of information about organisms, including their characteristics, economic importance, conservation and management that were evaluated, grouped and categorized by their structure, source and geography. The database will help to facilitate the distribution of biodiversity information to general public and will enable the users to easily find and access data. This database will be utilized and served various activities such as community based ecotourism, preservation of natural environment, research and geographic references. It will also support the Ministry of Science and Technology to formulate a biodiversity action plan and align the plan with those of other ministries. The database, to be developed by BIOTEC Information Systems Laboratory, is expected to be complete by September 2011.
Posted on 7 April 2011.