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Australasian Plant Conservation

Originally published in Australasian Plant Conservation 13(2), September - November 2004

President's Report

Judy West
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry

In late September Bendigo hosted the most recent translocation workshop where several of ANPC's dedicated members again presented a variety of material relating to translocation programs. This workshop was attended by 60 participants from a range of organisations including officers from the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, VicRoads, Parks Victoria, Trust for Nature, Melbourne Water and Greening Australia.   From the evaluation feedback received it would appear that those participating found the variety of the day very helpful and were impressed with the input and the professional nature of the material.  As with previous workshops, attendees judged the 'case study presentations [to be] particularly useful' and were pleasantly surprised with the 'take-home resources'.  We are very grateful to our sponsors, the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and North Central Catchment Management Authority, for joining us in hosting this workshop.

Given the high demand for information about translocation processes ANPC will provide opportunity for interested practitioners or anyone wanting to know how or what to do, in both Western Australia and south-east Queensland to attend translocation workshops before the end of the year.  The WA workshop will be held in Perth on Tuesday 23 November at the CALM Training Centre, Hayman Rd, Kensington, and for Queensland in Brisbane on 3 December 2004 at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Auditorium, Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong.  See information in this issue or the website for details.

ANPC is also running two rehabilitation workshops in November/December in south-east Queensland with support provided by Qld Envirofund and the Queensland Herbarium.  These workshops will have a strong focus on techniques for assessing a remnant vegetation site (condition, ecosystem function, threats, biodiversity values), assessing the task ahead and planning the rehabilitation project, building in practical and informative monitoring from the earliest planning stages, and monitoring and adaptive management into the future.  The programs have been specifically tailored for the region, incorporating local case studies and drawing on practical experience and scientific investigation. 

This issue of APC includes a number of articles relating to various aspects of conservation of our plant biodiversity, from information on threatening processes to practical tips on revegetation programs.  I have just returned from the Philippines and Taiwan where I attended a conference and participated in a systematics capacity building symposium.  Those of you who have visited these countries will be aware there is much to consider when formulating programs and policies for conservation of precious biodiversity.  At a time when Australia is addressing issues such as land clearing, salinity, invasive species, land degradation and changes in landscape structure as major influences shaping the future of our environment, we should be mindful of the increased complications in small countries like Taiwan with a human population almost the same as that of Australia.  The contrasts made me feel we have an impelling responsibility to do more to promote and implement much of the scientific research that is providing some hopeful solutions.

As an executive group managing and leading this association, the ANPC National Committee makes judgements about the directions and activities to pursue.  Our current formula concentrating on linking scientific outputs with on-ground landscape management through training workshops is producing some very positive outcomes for ANPC, and builds on a vast investment we have made in the past.  It would be helpful to hear from members if you have ideas or suggestions of directions that the ANPC might take.  Or you may wish to suggest a topic for a special issue of APC along the lines of the last one dealing with urban plant conservation. Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts.