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Shenzhen Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, BGCI and IPSN Workshop

1 April 2015

The IPSN workshop on ‘The Identification and Diagnosis of Longhorn Beetles in China and nearby Countries’ was successfully held in the beautiful Shenzhen Fairy Lake Botanical Garden & Chinese Academy of Sciences, on March 26-27, 2015. The course was hosted by Botanical Garden Conservation International (BGCI) and organized by Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen & Chinese Academy of Sciences (FLBG) as part of the International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN).

The workshop brought together 24 participants from 17 institutions, including staff from botanical gardens, students from universities and government officials from Shenzhen Quarantine Bureau and Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. It was managed by three experts; Dr Chris  Malumphy (Senior Entomologist and Collections Manager, Fera, UK), Dr Huanhuan Wan (CABI, China), and Dr Hui Dong (FLBG).

The two day workshop gave participants an in-depth introduction to monitoring and surveying techniques used for the identification of damaging plant pests and pathogens. The workshop focused particularly on increasing knowledge of the longhorn beetle family in the South China area. The workshop included information about key identification skills, including demonstrating the use of the IPSN Plant Health Checker; a standard form for recording change in any species of plant. 

The first day comprised a number of lectures introducing the workshop and exploring the longhorn beetles family. The second day was held outside where participants were able to search for, and with the help of trainers, identify pests within the garden. The participants also practiced recognising signs and symptoms of damage, and longhorn beetle management and trapping techniques in the beautiful Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens.

Dr Hui Dong, from Fairy Lakes Botanical Gardens, said 'It’s our great pleasure to host the BGCI and IPSN workshop. This event brought together the plant protection researchers in the Chinese botanic gardens community for the first time. It’s a excellent opportunity for us to share plant conservation and protection knowledge and perspective.'

The workshop not only trained the participants in skills surrounding the identification of longhorn beetles, but also provided the valuable opportunity for networking. Attendees were able to exchange their experiences of pest management in their gardens, and to discuss the future of plant protection in botanical garden communities. Many participants really appreciated and cherished this workshop which brought people working within botanic gardens in the plant protection area together, a first within China. A QQ group (chatting tool) has been created to provide a platform for continued communication. It is hoped this workshop could lead to similar events in the future.

Special thanks go to the fantastic organisers and hosts of the workshop; Dr Xiaoming Wang, Dr Shouzhou Zhang,  Dr Hui Dong and her team at Fairy Lakes Botanical Gardens for holding such a successful workshop. With thanks also to Dr Chris Malumphy and Dr Huanhuan Wan for their presentations and hard work throughout the workshop, and Xiangying Wen from BGCI for all her help and support.

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