The third workshop of the project was held between 15th and 19th of January, 2007 at CIRAD in Montpellier, France. This five day meeting was basically to discuss the database and progress of the work pertaining to the identikit formulation.
On first day, the inaugural session of the workshop was presided over by Dr. Edelin. He explained the scope of the workshop with following three main objectives: (1) to take stock of the results obtained on the trees of the Western Ghats, (2) to discuss on the identikit proposal and (3) to prepare the drawings of the morphological characters.
Dr. Ramesh presented the results of the work carried out in the Western Ghats part of the project. He mentioned that out of the 637 species considered for the Western Ghats, database on character states (based on the format decided during Pondicherry meeting in 2006) and botanical descriptions for 415 species are readily available; photographs of various morphological characters covering 216 species are so far taken. Further fieldworks have been planned till the commencement of the southwest monsoon (June).
Drs. Kessler and Ridsdale expressed the concern about the slow progress of work in Laos and explained the apathy of getting official clearance. Due to these bottlenecks they have yet to decide the target list of species. For the species already collected, database on character states and description is underway.
After general discussion about the project, Dr. Ayyappan drew attentions of all the participants about the reevaluation of characters and character states, which was decided on the earlier workshop held at IFP during January 2006. Initially, he proposed 8 modifications in the character states of which 3 were accepted as such and the remaining were accepted after a brief discussion and also considering the Laos plants. Subsequently all the participants decided to review the list of characters and character states one by one along with the illustrations, which are central to the building of identity kit.
Translation of the botanical descriptions into local languages is another commitment of the project. Especially for the Western Ghats, translation has to be done in three languages viz. Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil. At this point of discussion, Dr. Ramesh suggested to translate only abstract of the species description instead of entire text. He also mentioned that for the translation work in South Indian languages, botanist cum linguist would be hired.
Discussion of character and character states was continued till the last day of the workshop. In the process, some characters, which are not feasible, and some others too technical were knocked out of the list and few characters which are unique to some Laos species were added. At the end, 61 characters with 251 character states were finalized. Parallel to the review of database on character states, Drs. Edelin and Prosperi worked on depiction of character states in the form of graphics in consultation with other members. According to Dr. Prosperi, out of 251 characters states listed, 88 (which are made for others projects) are ready in the computer. Remaining illustrations would be prepared and send to other members for evaluation. Apart from the drawings, glossary is also to be added in the identity kit. As this work would take more time, other members offered their help to Dr. Prosperi in preparation of the glossary. Dr. Grard also demonstrated the proposed layout of the 'opening window of the identity kit'. Other members opined that this design would probably suit the requirement of BIOTIK with multiple species and characters.