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Report on the III Symposium of the Iberian-Macaronesian Association of Botanic Gardens
Volume 2 Number 6 - June 1996
Margarita Clemente Muñoz
The III Symposium of the Iberian-Macaronesian Association of Botanic Gardens was held in Horta, Faial (Azores) from 11-16 September, 1994. It was organized by the Regional Tourist and Environmental Secretariat-Regional Environmental Agency and the Botanic Garden of Faial and supported by the Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, National Board of Technological and Scientific Research and the British Council. Interesting field visits were made to the Islands of Pico, San Jorge and Faial.
The following institutions were represented in the Symposium:
Jardim Botânico da Madeira
The Botanic Gardens of Coimbra and Oporto were represented by the Museum, Laboratory and Botanic Garden of Lisbon.
The following conclusions were approved unanimously as a result of the discussions:
1. Botanic Gardens
1.1 To congratulate Dr Irene Alves Pereira from the Regional Environmental Agency for coordinating the Symposium and Eng. Mario Alves Gómes of the Faial Gardens for his hospitality and organization of the meeting and for his achievements in the Botanic Garden of Faial. The participants also recognize the support given by the Regional Tourist and Environmental Secretariat for the development of the Botanic Garden of Faial and in particular for the acquisition of 6 ha of land to extend the Botanic Garden.
1.2 To encourage the collaboration amongst the Iberian-Macaronesian botanic gardens, in order to help the botanic gardens of the Portuguese Islands, especially those of Faial and Funchal (Madeira).
1.3 To make the botanic gardens of the Association aware of their international responsibility for the conservation of biodiversity. They must support actions directed to in situ conservation of habitats and species as a means to palliate the detrimental effects of agricultural, forest and urban development.
1.4 To encourage collaboration amongst botanic gardens, universities and management authorities involved in these conservation programmes.
1,5 To promote the botanic gardens of the Association and to give their support and scientific advice to international agreements and conventions (CITES, Berne Convention and Community Directives). Botanic gardens are also requested to observe the rules and code of behaviour described in the "CITES Manual for Botanic Gardens", prepared by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), with the collaboration of WWF, ICONA (Spain) and the C¢rdoba Botanic Garden for the elaboration of its English and Spanish editions. The traditional procedures for exchange of materials should be adapted to international law.
2. Ex situ Conservation
2.1 To encourage research and methodologies in order to improve ex situ conservation programmes as a complement to in situ conservation, giving special priority to the conservation of ecosystems.
2.2 To promote the creation of a recording system for the genetic material conserved ex situ and for its subsequent publication.
2.3 Need to establish guidelines and criteria for the inclusion of the most appropriate areas in conservation programmes, so as to restrict the erosion and genetic contamination that could be derived from ex situ conservation actions.
3.1 To determine the value and importance of biodiversity, by promoting actions intended to protect the genetic diversity either in situ or ex situ.
3.2 To promote studies on distribution, ecology and reproductive strategies, so that the conservation measures proposed should have a scientific basis.
3.3 To promote and develop joint actions in cooperation with the rural communities, to make them aware of the patrimonial value of the endemic species of the region.
3.4 To emphasize the importance of the conservation of populations (of non-threatened species) located at the limit of their geographical area, given their importance in genetic evolution and dynamics.
3.5 To make the authorities of the island regions aware of the high scientific, pedagogical and social value of their flora and vegetation and of their responsibility for its conservation. The following are particularly important: conservation of the habitats in the "misterios" area (recent outflows of lava) and lakes, restrictive action to avoid the extension of pastures at high altitudes, conservation of especially sensitive habitats such as the Fajas of San Jorge Island and the littoral of Pico Island.
4. Genetic Contamination
4.1 To stress the need to establish control measures on new introductions and face the already existing invaders (as a consequence of the free circulation of plant material in the European Union).
4.2 Need to adapt the international law to the national and regional legislation (especially in the islands due to their greater sensitivity).
4.3 To spread the international law relative to the exchange of living material direct to Customs officers and similar institutions and promote training of specialized personnel for its application.
4.4 To consider the possible danger derived from the use of endemic species as ornamental plants, because this could cause a deterioration of the genetic heritage of the different populations.
Resolutions Derived From The Operation Of The IMABG