Capacity building is a very important part of the Rainforest Seed Conservation Project. This project is helping to educate land managers, scientists and students both within Australia and abroad about rainforest conservation.
Seed collection for conservation at Bidoup Nui Ba National Park in Vietnam
For example, in November 2014, Graeme Errington, a Rainforest Conservation researcher at the Australian PlantBank, with the assistance of Heidi Zimmer (who completed a PhD on the Wollemi Pine) spent a week at Bidoup Nui Ba National Park in Vietnam, conducting a course on ‘Seed collection for conservation.’ Attendees included staff from Vietnamese National Parks and Research Centres. In the future the 13 participants will form part of a national network of seed collectors supporting conservation and restoration programs. This capacity building element of the RSCP was generously supported by HSBC and the Arcadia Fund.
Learning and professional development at the Australian PlantBank
Numerous education programs have also been conducted in Australia including workshops, lectures (at schools and universities) as well as the provision of work experience opportunities. Dr Karen Sommerville and Graeme Errington contributed to the training in a workshop run by ANPC on seed use for native vegetation in the Hunter catchment, in April 2014. It was the third time this workshop, based on ANPC’s Plant Germplasm Conservation Guidelines, has been delivered. The workshop was attended by a range of stakeholders in plant conservation, with 28 participants and six presenters attending. Details of the course and some of the presentations are available on the ANPC website.
School students also have the opportunity to learn about rainforest by attending one of our School excursions; School classes are conducted on rainforest plants by specialist teachers supported by RSCP staff.