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Australasian Plant Conservation

Originally published in Australasian Plant Conservation 13(4), March - May 2005

President's Report

Judy West
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry

Amongst the most severe current threats to global biodiversity are human-induced processes such as land use change and invasive species.  Fragmentation of habitat, being one of the consequences of these processes, is often recognised as the number one threat to biodiversity and as such has attracted considerable research effort.  The field of restoration ecology is rapidly developing principles and practices to address these major issues.

The strength of ANPC is in the effective transfer and exchange of skills linking the outcomes of  scientific research to on-ground practitioners.  This has recently been recognised by the NSW Environmental Trust through additional support to enable ANPC to run the Translocation of Threatened Plants Workshop in three regional areas of NSW this year. The first of these will be held in Queanbeyan on Wednesday 18th May followed by Newcastle in July and Coffs Harbour in August. See page 32 of this issue for additional information.

Staff of the ANPC office are also currently developing programs for another three workshops to be held in regional NSW during the remainder of 2005, largely funded by the NSW Environmental Trust. These workshops on rehabilitation of disturbed native vegetation are scheduled for Armidale, Wagga Wagga and Dubbo. An additional grass identification workshop will be offered in Dubbo. Details of these workshops can be found on the ANPC website.

Plans for the National Conference on Plant Conservation: The Challenges of Change are progressing well.  This year's conference will be held in Adelaide from 26th September to 1st October, hosted jointly with the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage and the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide.  Four sub-themes have been recognised to tease out the challenges we are facing in plant conservation into the future -

  1. Extreme policy changes
  2. Urban ecology
  3. Using revegetation to achieve ecological outcomes
  4. Indigenous interests in conservation

Abstracts for papers are due June 17 - see www.plevin.com.au/ANPC2005  

See the back cover of this issue for further information.

The conference will include two days of scientific program, a field day and two days of workshops, several of which arose from suggestions made in the evaluation forms submitted by participants in last year's South East Queensland workshops. 

I would like to remind you that subscriptions to ANPC for 2005 are now overdue.  Several members, both renewing and new, have taken up our new 3-year membership offer (for the price of 2.5 years membership). However, many members have not yet renewed for 2005. We urge you to renew your membership if you have not yet done so - members are vital to the organisation's future.

The recent announcement that the Australian Government is proposing to discontinue its support for environmental and community groups is very disappointing.  The Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations (GVEHO) have played a significant role in supporting the infrastructure of many NGOs carrying out diverse activities and functions in the community.  It has always seemed to represent an enlightened program with the government essentially funding conservation and environment groups to keep an eye on them and to lobby about conservation issues. 

I hope this special edition of APC on "Pathogens and Plant Conservation" is a stimulus to many of you and results in increased recognition of the role of pathogens in the ecosystem.  The ANPC greatly appreciates the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust's sponsorship towards this issue of Australasian Plant Conservation.