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BGCI Travel Scholarship Programme 2004/05

As part of the HSBC Investing in Nature programme, BGCI travel scholarships are being offered to botanic garden staff from Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR in 2003-2006.

The travel scholarships are intended to support closer working relations and linkages between mainland China and Hong Kong SAR botanic gardens. It is envisaged that the placement of staff in botanic gardens outside of their region will promote the sharing of knowledge and lead to collaborative projects to further improve botanic gardens efforts to conserve plants in Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR.

2004/05 BGCI Travel Scholarship Programme

1. Concepts and Techniques for Native Plant Conservation in Hong Kong

Training Location: Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong SAR (KFBG)
Training Course Period: 27 Feb - 20 March, 2005 

(1) Scholarship candidate: Liu Ru, Wuhan Botanical Garden

  • During this learning period, both seminars on theories and field surveys were offered. I had a thorough understanding of KFBG's efforts in native tree species conservation, orchid conservation, seed bank, herbarium and public education. I visited the Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Park, the Mai Po Nature Reserve, the Hong Kong Herbarium, the Hong Kong History Museum and other places. I learned a lot.
  • At KFBG, I can really feel that everyone has a deep understanding on the concepts of environmental conservation and sustainable development. Whether it is the wastewater treatment system, organic composting or the usage of essential oils in the herbarium for pest control, all programmes and staff members show respect to nature.
  • This training gives me a lot of insights, as I work in the scientific education department in Wuhan Botanic Garden. In my future work, I will share this learning experience with my colleagues, reinforce the communication between my department and other departments, improve the illustration and sign system in Wuhan Botanic Garden, organise more educational activities that will education people about plant conservation, encourage more communications between scientific researchers and younger students, and further develop more work on scientific education.

(2) Scholarship candidate: Kang Ming, Wuhan Botanical Garden

  • We are happy to have a systematic understanding of biodiversity conservation and the status of flora and fauna conservation in Hong Kong.
Learning techniques involved in population genetics at the University of Hong Kong Learning techniques involved in population genetics at the University of Hong Kong

(3) Scholarship candidate: Cai Xi'an, South China Botanical Garden

  • We have a lot to learn about the attitude, concept and method of environmental conservation in Hong Kong. The government departments, private organisations, local communities and even schools in Hong Kong have been working hard to try various new ways to increase the awareness of plant conservation.
  • In the second stage of the training, with assistance from a few mentors, I successfully completed a project titled "Restoring eco-forests in Hong Kong and Other South China Regions Using the Framework Species Method". It is hoped that this project can receive further joint research by the Heshan Hilly Land Interdisciplinary Experimental Station, CAS, and Hong Kong in the near future.
  • I believe SCBG and KFBG will have more in-depth cooperation and exchange on many levels in future.
Learning from an education report from KFBG Learning from an education report from KFBG

(4) Scholarship candidate: Yin Jian Tao, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

  • With theories and practical learning at KFBG, I understood more about the harmonious development between man and nature and the importance of a sustainable lifestyle. Although I have learned these before, I had problems when carrying out these concepts at that time. For example, I now learn that when collecting plant specimens and conducting plant introduction, I should consider factors of more aspects.
  • KFBG uses native tree species in vegetation recovery, because they put the higher ecological value of these species into consideration. For example, native tree species can serve a better role in providing food and habitats for native fauna. KFBG also conduct studies on the suitability of using native tree species in landscaping. I learned a lot from this.

(5) Scholarship candidate: Duan Qi Wu, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

  • The concepts of plant conservation and scientific education are integrated in the setup of the garden and landscaping at KFBG. Different plant exhibition areas are setup according to specific education goal. The scientific education function exists in all garden zones.
  • Since I am engaged in scientific education work, my professional skills have improved because of the learning and sharing experience in this training.
Inspecting interpretation signs at KFBG Inspecting interpretation signs at KFBG

(6) Scholarship candidate: Li Hong, Shangri-la Botanic Garden

  • Considering the contents of the training, I am most interested in native tree species conservation. The second topic is orchid conservation. Since native tree species conservation and environmental conservation work are closely related, native tree conservation can help improve the environment on which human relies for survival. In particular, our garden is located at a high altitude but low latitude. Considering that our garden has been conducting vegetation recovery work, we must use local plant species due to their higher survival rate during ex-situ conservation.

2. Education Programmes, Interpretation & Living Collections Management

Training Location: Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Hong Kong SAR (HKZBG)
Training Course Period: 10-22 Jan, 2005

Scholarship candidate: Sun Xianfeng, Kunming Botanical Garden

  • I observed three times of the HKZBG interpretation service for primary students at the HKZBG greenhouse. I learned a lot of valuable experience from this interpretation service.
Observing HKZBG guided interpretation for primary school children Observing HKZBG guided interpretation for primary school children
  • On the plant labels in HKZBG, not only plant information was provided, one of the plant flowers was also attached at the bottom right corner of the label. This is a great method. I should recommend this to our garden. There are many reasons why visitors can't see flowers: some trees are too tall, the flowers are to small, or it's not the flowering period during the visit. Attaching the flower onto the plant label enhances the experience of visiting the HKZBG.
  • I obtained a copy of the "Old Trees Worthy of Promotion in HKZBG" leaflet. It concisely introduced the feature of some old trees and their locations within the HKZBG. I am very interested in this idea. Our garden also has many famous and old trees. We should group them into a specific topic and let people know about it. I've really learned much from this leaflet!

3. Restoration Ecology and Botanical Garden Planning

Training Location: South China Botanical Garden
Training Course Period: 6-16 December, 2004

(1) Scholarship candidate: Terry Fung, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

  • SCBG has a huge number of plants that cannot be found in Hong Kong. This is a very good experiment and change for us to learn both ornamental and protective flora in the garden.
Visiting the South China Botanical Garden Herbarium Visiting the South China Botanical Garden Herbarium

(2) Scholarship candidate: Karen Hung, Kowloon Park

  • As a whole, this program provides a golden chance for all the people of the industry to upgrade their knowledge on conservation, ecosystem and environmental protection.

4. Research on Ethnobotany in China and Application of Indigenous and Sustainable Use of Plant Diversity

Training Location: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
Training Course Period: 6-16 December, 2004

(1) Scholarship candidate: Joanne Loi, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

  • A presentation was made at XTBG to summarise what I learnt in Xishuangbanna.
Observing ethnobotanical activity Observing ethnobotanical activity

(2) Scholarship candidate: Ming-hung Lam, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Garden

  • The course saw close interactions between the tutors and the learners. Active participations from both sides eased up the adventure of many subjects throughout the training process. The exploration would surely buttress the learners' experience in their greening work in futurehe course saw close interactions between the tutors and the learners. Active participations from both sides eased up the adventure of many subjects throughout the training process. The exploration would surely buttress the learners' experience in their greening work in future. The open learning process enhanced greatly the participants’ interests and knowledge on indigenous plants which are invaluable to strengthen their ability in greening work.