The partnership between NTU and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) was initiated in 2015. It is aimed to foster collaboration in research and education in the Southeast Asian region, and is focused on biodiversity, forest ecology, climate and global change, platforms for observing long-term ecosystem change, and other areas of mutual interest as may emerge. The aims of this partnership include to:
- Conduct research on the ecology and biodiversity of forest ecosystems to better understand factors driving their origins, current functioning and future dynamics.
- Conduct research on the impact of global environmental change on forest ecosystems.
- Contribute to the building of predictive models for the future dynamics of forest ecosystems in the region and beyond, as well as their capacity to deliver essential ecosystem services.
- Expand and develop the Asian School of the Environment as a major scientific hub for the Smithsonian’s ForestGEO program in the region with the necessary laboratory and field infrastructure.
- Exchange scientific staff and expertise to advance the core scientific missions of the Partnership, including hosting of regular workshops and related activities, and hosting a visitors program.
- Training of the next generation of ecologists and environmental scientists, with particular focus on forest ecology and dynamics.