APGA WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS APPRECIATION TO ITS CO-HOST U.S. NATIONAL ARBORETUM, TO THE PRESENTERS & MODERATORS FOR SHARING THEIR EXPERTISE, AND TO ALL ATTENDEES FOR THEIR ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THIS INFORMATIVE AND PRODUCTIVE SUMMIT!
The 2012 National Issues Forum Face2Face Summit was held October 24-26 at the United States National Arboretum in Washington DC. Forty-two professionals representing public gardens throughout the United States, federal agencies, and subject experts attended. The Summit built on a months-long community study of the implications to public gardens of the Convention on Biological Diversity, access to genetic resources and the equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use. A new plant health importation category being implemented was also addressed.
During the Forum’s initial Knowledge Gathering and Critical Analysis, APGA members completed a baseline survey gauging current knowledge, perceptions, and implementation measures. A steering committee defined and framed the issues, vetting these through subject experts. The Community Engagement stage provided an online Study Hall of primary resources for APGA members to study the issues, then we launched an electronic platform to share perspectives, provide feedback, and vote on ideas.
Information gleaned from the initial survey results, online research materials, and online discussions were reviewed at the Summit. Michael Dosmann set the stage by framing “what’s at stake”. CBD subject expert Kathryn Davis provided an overview of the issues, then Bill Snape from the Washington College of Law at American University shared his perspective as an expert on international law and CBD. Joseph Ripley from the US Department of State provided the latest developments in international discussions regarding CBD’s Access and Benefit-Sharing, and the Nagoya Protocol.
Karen Williams described decades of experience working first-hand with Access and Benefit-Sharing agreements for the USDA’s Plant Exploration and Exchange program. Then,multiple case studies illustrated the current practices and challenges of gardens in gaining access to plants in other countries, and in sharing a variety of benefits with countries of origin both for research and commercial purposes. Presenters included Andrew Wyatt, Tony Aiello, Chris Carmichael, Kris Bachtell, Brett Hall, Chad Husby, and Gordon Cragg, with Abby Hird as moderator.
APGA executive director Casey Sclar led a facilitated discussion in brainstorming solutions. The following day, policy makers Ingrid Berlanger and Arnold Tshanz from USDA-APHIS related information about the new NAPPRA regulatory category of plants whose importation is determined to be “Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis”. Proposed regulations due to be implemented over the coming year were outlined. A positive dialog followed, discussing ways public gardens can play a role in plant quarantine and risk assessments.
Over the next months during the final phase of the National Issues Forum, outcomes from the Summit,earlier research, and online discussions will be developed into draft voluntary codes of conduct on CBD access and benefit- sharing. We will also provide suggested steps public gardens can take toward CBD endorsement, ABS implementation, and NAPPRA at their own institutions. The entire process will help guide APGA in best serving as the voice of public gardens on these issues in the future.
Pam Allenstein, North American Plant Collections Consortium Manager, APGA
Kevin Conrad, Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository Curator, US National Arboretum
Scott Aker, Gardens Unit Leader, US National Arboretum
Ned Garvey, Plant Exchange Office, National Plant Germplasm System, USDA
Abby Hird, Research Associate, Botanic Gardens Conservation International–US
Bruce Holst, Director of Plant Collections, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Douglas Justice, Assoc Director/Curator of Collections, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
Karen Williams, Plant Exchange Office, National Plant Germplasm System, USDA
Andrew Wyatt, VP of Horticulture, Missouri Botanical Garden
October 24-26, 2012 US National Arboretum, Washington, DC