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Welcoming Notes

The International Biology Olympiad was organized for the purposes of raising the interest of secondary school students in biological sciences, expanding their talents, cultivating their career as a scientist, and promoting exchange of knowledge in biology education between countries. Since the first meeting held at Olomouc, Czechoslovakia in 1960, the annual meeting has been held in all parts of the world with approximately 60 participating countries. Japan has been sending participants since 2005.

The features of this Olympiad include challenging problems which are above the world's standard level, theoretical and practical exams of 5 hours duration that requires perseverance, and gold medals awarded to the top 10% of the participants. The meeting also offers opportunities for the participants to nurture new friendships by participating receptions, lectures, and excursions. Such experiences are anticipated to help the students to make relationships in the future.

The 20th International Biology Olympiad will be held in Tsukuba Science City in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture from July 12-19, 2009. 2009 is the year of 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin and the 150th year since the publication of "Origin of Species", and so it is a great opportunity to raise interest in biology. Moreover, through this meeting, we hope for rapid progress in Japan's biology education.

Furthermore, His Highness Prince Akishinonomiya, who is active in environment research activities and international exchange activities among young people, is our Honorary President for IBO 2009.

As the organizing committee, we would like to ask for your understanding and support in order to prepare for the meeting and to raise interest in biology.

The 20th International Biology Olympiad Organizing Committee
Dr. Hiroo Imura, Chairperson