Conservation--do we really give a damn?
One of the purposes of the BSI (that means you, the members--there is no one else involved) is to promote and maintain interest in the preservation of bromeliads. We now have a "conservation fund" set up, in 2008, to which you have been invited to contribute:
2008 conservation contributions $595
2009 conservation contributions $182
2010 conservation contributions $313
That is not a lot of interest in contributing to the BSI conservation fund.
In this Journal in 2008 I offered to donate to the conservation fund 5% of my nursery's sales of seed-grown endangered species to the BSI conservation fund if the BSI would put a list of qualifying species for this purpose on its website. There was not a single response to me. I'm pretty small commercially, but since then I have shipped hundreds of T. kammii, T. hondurensis, and T. xerographica. It is apparent there is not a lot of interest in receiving contributions to conservation, either.
The BSI Conservation Chair has been vacant for many months. Anybody prepared to stand up?
The BSI does not generate operating profits sufficient to fund significant conservation efforts--a recent grant of $500 to the German Bromeliad Society for ex-situ conservation effectively halved our conservation funds received over the past three years. Your Journal is a significant force in bromeliad conservation in virtue of its continuing publication of new species and their habitats, and highlighting instances where native populations are endangered. Don't let this go!
We can dream of getting out and becoming a force helping conserve bromeliads in their native habitats, but we have little money to do this. I think that the only way we will encourage more conservation funding will be to initiate specific projects that donors can contribute to. For example, please read the article on page 267 outlining the shocking destruction of Tillandsia xerographica plants by commercial operators in Guatemala. A European mission to Guatemala in 2002-3 tried to help the situation - perhaps BSI could go down and monitor the current situation? There are many conservation projects going on in South America, perhaps someone could recommend some that BSI could align itself with?
Finally, farewell. This issue concludes my tenure as Editor.
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|Publication:||Journal of the Bromeliad Society|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2010|
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