ECO-SEA: The Ethnobotanical Conservation Organization for South East Asia
Conservation Education

ECO-SEA mounts exhibits on endemic, rare and endangered Southeast Asian flora at local, national and international events and presents slide shows and videos to plant societies, botanical institutions, university affiliates, civic clubs and public events. Call us if you would like one of our staff to give a presentation in your area.

Publications available through ECO-SEA includeStrategies for Flora Conservation in Asia (Suhirman et al., 1994),Wild Orchids of Indonesia (Pfeiffer, 1994), and theAnnotated Ethnobotanical Bibliography on Malesian Flora (Wibawa, 1999).

Ethnobotanical Research
Durian fruit

ECO-SEA supports collaborative ethnobotanical research projects in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim relating to the conservation of native plants and associated traditions.

In 1999 ECO-SEA initiated a long-term, multidisciplinary  research project in Nusa Tenggara (Eastern Indonesia) with national counterparts and local community members to survey and document native biodiversity and related cultural traditions. Now in its fifth year, the project has resulted in documenting over 600 traditions associated with some two hundred plant species, established an on-site ethnobotanical museum, resource library and and herbarium, and completed several volumes detailing traditional ceremonies, narratives, songs, recipes and handicrafts.

Institutional Strengthening

Our Directors have worked in partnership with Southeast Asian and international researchers for over five years. ECO-SEA has developed close ties with government institutions, NGOs, individual scholars and indigenous communities.

Following the study tour/visit of the Director of the Eka Karya Bali Botanic Gardens in 1998 (part of a collaboration with the Strybing Arboretum (San Francisco), ECO-SEA plans to coordinate visits of other Southeast Asian researchers and scholars to the United States. Institutions interested in participating in a future exchanges are encouraged to contact our Executive Director.

Cooperative Projects

Our cooperative partnership with the University of California-Davis Botanical Conservatory (pictured here sporting their 1998 parade entry) produced a conservation audit of threatened Malesian species in their ex situ conservation collections, a rainforest trek through the Conservatory greenhouses, and an interactive ethnobotanical interpretive kit for grades K-12 and other visitors to the Conservatory.

ECO-SEA is in the process of developing Biodiversity Conservation Internships with Northern California universities and botanical institutions: please let us know if you are interested in participating as an instructor, host, or intern.