ANPC National Conference:
Plant Conservation: the
Challenges of Change
26 September to 1 October 2005 in Adelaide, South Australia.
The very successful National Conference
Plant Conservation: The Challenges of Change was hosted jointly
with the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage and the
Botanic Gardens of Adelaide.
Although the number of participants
(just over 100) was slightly less than expected, their areas of interest were
broad and covered the spectrum of activities relating to plant conservation.
This ANPC National Conference is really the only venue of its kind in that it
brings together the on-ground practitioners together with researchers and policy
makers, and certainly stimulates thoughtful debate and discussion. The
opportunity for networking and learning from others was outstanding and members
and non-members capitalised on the chance to raise issues and concerns from
The program of presentations on the
first two days provided a diverse range of papers around the four themes: (1)
Extreme policy changes, (2) Urban ecology, (3) Using revegetation to achieve
ecological outcomes, and (4) Indigenous interests in conservation; several of
these papers are summarized in this issue of APC. A keynote address by a
prominent leader in the field opened up each theme and set the scene for the
contributions which followed. In most cases the keynote speaker aroused some
controversies and provoked healthy debate.
The third day saw the majority of
participants take part in a field trip to the Adelaide Hills and particularly to
Scott Creek Conservation Park where they were able to view first hand and to
learn from the results of volunteers driving a major restoration effort.
Friday September 29 supported a number
of concurrent workshops covering different issues associated with plant
conservation, including analysis of techniques for assessing vegetation, grass
identification, weed risk assessment, managing small patches in urban areas and
effective communication strategies. By all accounts participants found this
format of short targeted workshops led by experts to be extremely rewarding and
helpful for their own circumstances.
On the final day of the conference ANPC
ran another of the Translocation for Threatened Plants workshops. The real
examples and scenario considerations seem to be a proven format to successfully
have practitioners consider the issues of translocation and to assess the
feasibility of success and options that may be pursued to reach positive
Extract from Judy West’s President’s
Report published in Australasian Plant Conservation Vol 14 (2) Sept-Nov