Document Type


Publication Date

July 2003


The enormous taxonomic scope of the Flora Malesiana Project is exacerbated by the extremely short supply of trained researchers and taxonomic experts available to undertake this task. The vast number of indigenous botanical experts resident in Malesia represents a potentially valuable, yet largely unrecognised and untapped, resource. By engaging in collaborative research with indigenous parataxonomists, Flora Malesiana researchers can develop field methodologies that enable a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of the botanical resources of the region while simultaneously enrolling local communities in the sustainable, long-term conservation of native biocultural diversity. This paper outlines a number of projects involving indigenous research associates, discusses the advantages of developing a network of parataxonomists, and details ways in which botanists and ecologists can incorporate indigenous expertise into biological inventory and conservation.


This article was originally published in Telopea, volume 10, issue 1, 2003. ©2003 National Herbarium of New South Wales, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust