In 2021, PacBat hosted their very first Pacific Island Bat Forum in collaboration with the Australasian Bat Society and a number of regional partners.
The 1st Pacific Islands Bat Forum was a free virtual event that brought bat conservationists and key stakeholders together from across the Pacific and the wider Oceania region. The aim of the forum was to facilitate the sharing of knowledge between community organisations, researchers, and policymakers and to provide a collaborative environment to identify conservation and research priorities for Oceania bats.
The first three days of the forum were dedicated to key threat, conservation and research workshops for Pacific Island bats, with each workshop preceded by relevant talks that provide examples of key threats and the conservation work occurring in the region. The fourth day featured a range of technical workshops including grant writing, field genomics, and acoustic recording and analysis. On the final morning of the forum, the Australasian Bat Society Financial Annual General Meeting was held.
To increase accessibility to the forum and promote discussion around bat conservation, a number of "Local Hubs" were hosted in Pacific Island nations/territories, including Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, American Samoa, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Northern Mariana Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Check out our story in The Conversation!