Philip Essen, Curator of Botany and Horticulture at Chester Zoo welcomed 23 delegates from 11 gardens to Chester Zoo. Philip explained how the horticultural interest at the Zoo had changed from formal public parks gardens and landscapes to conservation of broad range of species and planting more geographically relevant displays related to the animal collections.
Glasshouse and polytunnels of over 1,500m sq, which were once used to grow over 100,000 bedding plants, now house a number of rare and threatened plants and 5 National Plant collections, including orchids, nepenthes and cacti. Zoo horticulturalists also grow some of the plants used to feed the animals.
During the day our speakers went onto explain the development, understanding and use of the CBD, ABS and Nagoya Protocol legislation. It was highlighted that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the most widely signed convention in the World; The Nagoya Protocol has been signed by over 50% of countries.
Delegates were reminded that ‘benefit sharing’ does not necessarily mean money. Much of the horticultural commercial use of plant material actually realises little money but offering training can offer more value.
There remains some need of clarification on terminology and what is in and out of scope. Due diligence is key and the authority tasked with enforcement, The Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will seek to support those aiming to become compliant, rather than enforcement as a first option.
The speakers kindly offered to develop some brief answers to FAQ relating to ABS and the Nagoya Protocol and their talks offer useful resources and websites, and will be posted here when available.
Phillip Esseen, Bsc, BLD, CMLI Curator of botany and horticulture, Chester Zoo
Philip joined Chester Zoo as Curator of Botany and Horticulture in 2015. His role involves managing the gardens and parts of the wider estate, curating the plant collection, ensuring the zoo plays an increasingly active role in plant conservation, and advising on plant selection and design for enclosures.
Thomas Murphy, Policy Adviser – Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol, Defra
Thomas is part of the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs’ International Ecosystem team, and is the UK’s policy lead for the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol. Thomas also acts as the Nagoya Protocol Focal Point for the UK. Thomas has advised ministers in debates related to the Protocol, and as part of the UK delegation at several EU ABS Expert groups has helped steer implementation of the Protocol within the EU
Dr. Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland
Matthew Jebb has been the Director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland since 2010. Formerly his role was that of horticultural taxonomist and keeper of the National Herbarium since 1996. He is the is a former Chairman of PlantNetwork; and is the current Hon President. He is also a member of the European Consortium of Botanic Gardens. Matthew spent many years living and working in Papua New Guinea from 1980 onwards. He was the European representative on the bureau of the Convention on Biological Diversity from 2004 to 2006.
John David, Head of Horticultural Taxonomy RHS Garden, Wisley.
John is responsible for the RHS herbarium and the Society’s international cultivar registers. He has been actively involved with policy questions to do with invasive plants, the EU Plant Reproductive Materials legislation and, more recently, the Nagoya Protocol, representing the RHS on various stakeholder bodies.
BGCI, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, has created a suite of learning modules on access and benefit sharing, essential for those working in botanic gardens. The modules take you step by step through the role of the CBD, the history of the Nagoya Protocol and important articles of the Protocol, as well as providing essential information for preparation and practical implementation. After every module there is a quick quiz to test your knowledge.