Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Seminar on the Rare and Endangered Plant Species of the Okavango Delta Ramsar Site

Ecosurv Environmental Consultants in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have recently undertaken an assessment of the Rare and Endangered Plant Species within the Okavango Delta Ramsar Site (ODRS), under the Okavango Delta Management Plan. As a result, we now have a Red Data List for the Ramsar Site/Ngamiland which contains 20 plants species of which eight are considered under extremely high to high risk of extinction in the wild (locally, but some regionally and globally).

More data is needed to definitely confirm the status of these plants species and there is a general need for a long-term programme to monitor these plants and to implement individual Species Action Plans. A monitoring framework has been proposed which involves Department of Forestry and Range Resources as the Government institution responsible for coordination and funding and with HOORC as the data depository and technical support unit. Field data will be provided by field monitors from a range of organisations, and individuals who live and work in and around the ODRS.

The framework will be presented at a seminar at the Sedia Hotel, Maun on 6-7 November, Maun. Training in plant conservation assessment and monitoring of the Red Data Listed plants will be provided. Lecturers include: Dr Paul Smith, Head of Seed Conservation Department, RBG Kew, Ms Vicky Crook, Conservation Assessment Specialist, RBG Kew, Mr Erich Van Wyck, botanist, South African National Botanical Institute (SANBI), Dr Marty McFarlane, Geomorphologist and Ms B. Farrington, Project coordinator, Ecosurv.

We would like to welcome all those who have an interest in conserving the rare and endangered plants of the Okavango Delta Ramsar Site and who would be interested in participating as ad hoc field monitors in the forthcoming Monitoring Programme.

Please note that spaces are limited and early registration is therefore essential to secure a place.

For more information and registration please contact B. Farrington, Cell: 71768265 E-mail: Farrington@info.bw. Please mark e-mails ODMP Seminar.

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