Even as the registrar for the symposium, I'd say I didn't quite expect people to sign up for it 9 hours before the event. I slept 11 hours before the event. Get what I mean..
Anyway, the symposium was what I imagined it would be. Talks by various people which had to it the theme of climate change and the importance of taxonomy in their speeches. Some topics were quite dry while some were hilarious. The guest of honor Tommy Koh's speech was light and I guess best suited for such an early morning. I didn't manage to catch all of what the first few speakers said; having to shuttle late comers in and assuring them that seats in front won't have spotlights above.
I met Airani finally, previously known to me as the caterer for the symposium. Helping alongside were Oi Yee, Gwynne and Wei Song. They were all in toddycats t-shirt which makes me wonder what you must have been through to officially be a toddycat.
Back to the talk, some interesting points still fresh in my mind was how critical the environmental situation is. Everybody had an underlying message of conserving and reaching more people to increase awareness of the impending demise of inhabitants on Earth.
Prof Ng (director of RMBR a.k.a the crabby man) pointedly uncovered the selfish truth behind these conventions. And that's to save our skins. Not the ecosystems, diverse animals and plants we so fondly talk of conserving but our plain old skins. Referring to how dinosaurs were wiped out and Mother Earth hurt but still surviving really threw me a whole new perspective.
Like the saying truth hurts; it kind of stung me and my conscience that he's right. The bid to save the other ecosystems is indeed a desperate attempt to save ourselves. Humans are powerful, we wield technology like a whip on a horse. Yet if we had no horse, the whip would be useless. So, humans aren't infallible and indestructible. Ingenious as we think ourselves to be, we actually depend on the Earth and interactions of other inhabitants to get to where we are today.
Another accurate spot Prof Ng touched on was "Anything that can go wrong, WILL (not may) go wrong." It was surreal to see it happening as rain poured into botanic gardens. Refusing to belief the day would go wrong with rain, the food were left in the open area. I guess Prof Ng's talk held a huge amount of truth.
It was quite an experience to attend such a major function. At least I know that such talks are held in Singapore. A misconception I had was that people fly over to other countries for such talk. Well, I for now, know that we have ambassadors from Sweden for the symposium. I guess more misconceptions regarding the biodiversity circle will be uncovered further into internship.
Adapted from the otterman's blog on 23rd May 2007. More can be found in his blog.