International Gardens Session and Dinner

Plants and People Create Paths of Progress

Monday May 20, 2013  (5:30pm – 9:30pm)

Sponsored by the Jerusalem Botanical Garden

Gardens are unique places that bring people, plants, and places together. Through collaboration, challenges to public/botanic gardens worldwide such as plant conservation across boundaries, stimulation of international visitation to gardens, greater professional development of staff, and a great forging of ties with governmental and non-governmental partners are accomplished.

Spanning work in the Middle East North America, Asia, and Europe, this session will focus on the forging of personal and professional ties that have occurred through successful collaborations. Attendees will see several collaborations in various stages of evolution, encouraging them to pursue similar arrangements. Because of the conference location, special attention will be paid to relationships and plant conservation from in Arid Regions.

Plant Conservation in Arid Lands (30 minutes)

Speakers:  Dr. Ori Fragman, Head Scientist, The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens; and Tariq Abu Taleb, Executive Director, Royal Botanic Garden, Jordan. 

Mutual discussions about work conducted at both gardens and the information shared. Growing tips, plant rescues, horticultural introductions, and Jerusalem’s “Adopt a Plant” project. Information on Jordan’s National Strategy for Plant Conservation will also be presented.

Protecting Plants and Wildlife in Belarus (15 minutes)

Speakers:  Andrew Wyatt, Director of Horticulture, Missouri Botanical Garden. 

The unique collaboration occurring between MOBOT and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to rescue endangered plants in Belarus and grow them ex-situ will be detailed. Will focus on the nature of the collaboration and how it is accomplished in keeping with CBD/access and benefits sharing, etc.

Collaborations That Lead to Conservation (15 minutes)

Speakers:  Neil Gerlowski, Executive Director, Vallarta Botanical Gardens; and Steve Windhager, Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.

The relationship that first began with a sister garden agreement to allow reciprocal visits by members has blossomed into reciprocations with local hotels and other tourism interests, but also is culminating with the interest of the two gardens collaborating with Mexican National Parks in order to conserve Oaks and other species on a nearby island. The role of the AMJB (Association of Mexican Botanical Gardens) will also be touched upon.

Bi-Lateral Staff Exchanges (30 minutes)

Speakers:  Douglas Needham, Ph.D., Longwood Gardens; Jin Hong, Singapore Botanical Gardens; Keith Lin, Singapore Botanical Gardens; and Sharon Loving, Longwood Gardens.

Longwood Gardens has signed Bilateral Staff Exchange MOU’s with gardens in China and Singapore and has hosted staff from both countries. Hear from public garden professionals in the US and Singapore on how these relationships were formalized and the benefits of these exchanges personally and professionally. Staff who initially formed agreements, as well as participants from Singapore-US, and US-UK exchanges will be profiled.