International Conference: Arboreta Around the World
TopicServices for Botanic Gardens
On the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Forestry Institute and Experimental Arboreta in Vallombrosa, the Carabinieri Biodiversity Group (the current managing authority) wishes to celebrate, with a 2-day conference, the historical and conservation value of arboreta at the global level. The Congress will also provide an opportunity to debate the benefits of networking and partnerships and discuss future challenges, providing a forum to exchange best practices in management, conservation and education. The celebrations will take place in Firenze, and in Vallombrosa (35 km east of Firenze), the birthplace of Italian Forestry School, in the historical Benedictine Abbey. A unique setting and opportunity to share the experience and science in Vallombrosa Arboreta, a favourite place through the years for many of researchers and scholars in Forestry and Tree Heritage.
The conference will include of a series of Panels focussing on different aspects of the work of arboreta. Each panel will include a number of invited speakers to address the panel theme.
Panel 1: Botanic gardens and arboreta through time
Botanic gardens and arboreta are places of excellence for the study of plants, traditionally linked to medicinal plants and to the assessment of the potential use of new plants to be introduced into cultivation. In the current global context a new important focus is on ex-situ conservation of threatened species. Environmental education is also a contemporary task for arboreta, aiming at raising awareness of biodiversity and sustainability.
Panel 2: Management of tree collections
Arboreta include mature specimens of trees that strike visitors with their size, age and shape. While striving to preserve such specimens, it is important to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff. The frequent occurrence of extreme weather phenomena poses a serious threat to their conservation and requires urgent coordination and careful planning to put in place effective approaches for the assessment of mature trees and the reduction of the related risks.
Panel 3: Networking and partnerships
A well-organized national network and a wider global network are key features of working together in partnership to optimise resources and maximise results for the benefit of trees and plant conservation. Modern technologies allow easy connection and networking, to facilitate the coordination, exchange and sharing of expertise and development of common approaches among key institutions managing plant collections.
Environmental education and outreach: The history of botanic gardens and arboreta is linked to the desire to share knowledge and reach out to a wider public. Over time, tree collections have matured and became increasingly important for the study of plant diversity.
Panel 4: In situ and ex situ conservation
Arboreta contribute to plant conservation with a special focus on threatened trees, producing and updating red lists and safeguarding their genetic diversity with carefully selected collections. An integrated in situ / ex situ approach making use of nurseries and plant propagation and micropropagation facilities can act and protect where most needed.
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