News and Events

New Books

Compositae Conference

The Proceedings of the International Compositae Conference, Kew, 1994 were published by Kew in September as a two volume set:

Vol. 1. Compositae: Systematics (eds D J N Hind & H J Beentje) presents a review of the state of research in many tribes and the results of extensive semantide research;

Vol. 2. Compositae: Biology and Utilization (eds P D S Caligari & D J N Hind) provides a valuable reference for agronomists, pharmacognosists and horticulturists.

Set ISBN 1 900347 00 8 Price 75.00

Orchids of Samoa

The Orchids of Samoa (by P Cribb & W A Whistler) is a detailed up-to-date identification guide to the 100 plus species native to this remote volcanic archipelago in the south Pacific. Keys are provided to all the genera and species, and most of the species are illustrated.

ISBN 1 900347 01 6 Price 15.00

People and Plants Handbook

People and Plants Handbook. Issue 2. Protecting Rights (by G J Martin, A L Hoare & D A Posey) has just been jointly published by WWF, UNESCO and Kew. It deals with the legal and ethical implications of ethnobiology, particularly issues such as intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples, bioprospecting and research agreements. The Handbook is meant to act as a source book for information on ethnobiological matters, providing contacts, identifying funding sources and networks, briefly describing active projects and discussing relevant and forthcoming issues concerning ethnobiological work in the broadest sense.

For further details or to order any Kew books write to the Mail Order Department at Kew.

Prince Charles launches appeal

HRH, the Prince of Wales, and Sir David Attenborough launched the Millennium Seed Bank Appeal on 31 May 1996. The Millennium Seed Bank project, which was granted 21.6 million by the Millennium Commission last December, aims to conserve seed samples from 25,000 species by the year 2010 in a specially built bank. A near complete representation of UK native seed-bearing plants will also be banked. To mark the Appeal's launch, Prince Charles planted a Plymouth pear tree (Pyrus cordata) in the Gardens. This is one of Britain's rarest native species and its seed is conserved in the present Seed Bank.

Prince Charles, the Director and Sir David Attenborough at the launch of the Millennium Seed Bank Appeal presenting one-year old beech seedlings to children from families connected with the regional offices of Orange, the Bank's Premier Sponsor.

The Kew Foundation has already received commitments from companies, trusts and individuals for 5.3 million against their 7.3 million target for the Appeal. Kew is delighted that Orange, the telecommunications company, has become the Premier Sponsor and will be contributing 2.5 million over the next ten years. Glaxo Wellcome, British Airways, Shell, Tate & Lyle, Marks & Spencer and English Nature, amongst many others, have also given their support. However, there is still some way to go and the public are being invited to help by sponsoring a species for a minimum donation of 15. In return the donors will receive a Certificate of Sponsorship. Various media are supporting the Appeal and it will be featured in this December's issue of BBC Gardener's World Magazine and the BBC TV programme Blue Peter next Spring.

Contact: Alison Mitchell (0181-332 5919)

The Orchid Action Plan

Phragmipedium besseae

The Orchid Action Plan, compiled by Dr Alec Pridgeon and published this September, is the first plant action plan to be produced. Of the 20 contributors, Kew staff members Dr Phillip Cribb and Dr David DuPuy provided regional treatments for many nations of Africa and Asia. The plan chronicles the threats to certain species but more importantly to critical habitats with extraordinarily high orchid diversity and endemicity. It also explores and recommends specific ways that national and local government legislators, scientists, the Orchid Specialist Group of the IUCN's Species Survival Commission, and orchid hobbyists can all help to reverse present trends. The facts presented supplement and update the information available to conservation organizations and agencies around the world so that they can lobby their own governments more effectively. The plan was launched at the 15th World Orchid Conference in Rio de Janiero, 14-23 September 1996, at which Drs Phillip Cribb, Alec Pridgeon and Tony Cox presented papers.

Contact: Dr Alec Pridgeon (0181-332 5360)

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