A public forum on Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity was organised by UTAR in conjunction with International Conference on Tropical Biodiversity at Tower Regency Hotel. Three speakers spoke on different aspects of conservation.

First speaker, scientist Dr Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 5th Earl of Cranbrook, recipient of the Merdeka Award, had worked in Malaya in 1956. He was a civil servant in UK and shared his experience on how to get the government to implement conservation policies. He added that the ministers have power and authority to implement laws, but they do not like to be advised. You have to speak their language to convince them and when the minister comes up with a policy you must praise him for his brilliant idea.

Second speaker Dr Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus is a conservation ecologist. He informed the attendees on how elephants and other animals play their role in conservation of the forest and are not destructive as portrayed.

Third speaker Dr Chan Jin Hooi, Senior Lecturer, University of Greenwich, UK explained how Virtual Reality can be used to preserve biodiversity and gave an example of how the technology was used to stop building a dam in Brazil.

Students from Tenby International School were invited to the forum. The younger generation were told the importance of preserving biodiversity. Our survival depends on it.

A. Jeyaraj