ConservePlants

NEWS

print

 

ConservePlants MC & WG meeting in Valletta - 13th & 16th September 2022

 

 

ConservePlants is excited to inform you that the 5th MC meeting and associated WG meetings will be organised in Valletta, Malta. Below are some travel information.

ARRIVING IN MALTA

Malta International Airport (MIA) is connected with the major European Airports and operates flights by numerous airlines, including low-cost ones. Details of services offered and flight schedules may be consulted via the official website https://maltairport.com/ Any Covid-19 related information and restrictions is updates on the dedicated webpage https://maltairport.com/covid19/

Malta also has its own airline, AirMalta. Flights and services can be access and booked via the official website https://airmalta.com/en-mt .

Malta is also connect with Sicily through a ferry service provided by two different suppliers. More information on prices and trip duration on the respective websites:

Ponte Ferries: https://ponteferries.com/tickets-pricing/

Virtu Ferries: https://www.virtuferries.com/

MOVING AROUND IN MALTA

Transfers from Malta International Airport (MIA) to Hotels:

Public Transport

Public transport is available from MIA via X routes starting at c. 05:30hrs with last trip at c. 22:30hrs. Updated information regarding timings and routes can be accessed via the following link: https://www.publictransport.com.mt/en/airport-services

Taxi Service

Taxi stands are also found at the airport. Fixed rates per destination apply. More information is available from the following link: https://maltairport.com/passenger/getting-here/taxi-service/

Moving around in Malta and Gozo:

Public Transport

It is very easy to reach practically all areas in Malta by using the public transport buses. Routes and timings may be accessed via: https://www.publictransport.com.mt/

Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver on all buses. These Cash Tickets are Single Journey tickets that can be used to get to any destination within two hours, including interchanging. Rates vary between Summer and Winter months. Summer rate is €2 and apply between mid-June and mid-October. Winter rate is €1.50. Night service is €3. You can also opt for tallinja cards. These are a range of bus cards offering added value and reduced fares to suit your needs, depending on your traveling patterns, such as 7-day “explore” and 12-journey “explore” travel cards. These can be bought from the ticket office at the airport, or from the bus main station in Valletta.

Same service is also available on sister island Gozo.

Taxi and Car Hire

There are a number of taxi and car hire companies in Malta and Gozo. Below find suggestions:

ECABS

Tel: (+356) 2138 3838

Web: http://ecabs.com.mt/

Percius Car Hire

Tel: (+356) 2144 2530

Web: http://www.percius.com/

Ferry Service

A ferry service connects Malta and sister island Gozo. The journey lasts c. 20 minutes. Ferries leave from Cirkewwa in Malta and Mgarr Harbour in Gozo. More info on schedules and fares can be obtained via: http://www.gozochannel.com/en/home.htm

Recently a ferry service from Valletta to Gozo has also been introduced, operated by two different companies. More information on fares and schedules, including weather conditions, can be accessed on the official websites of each respective company:

Gozo Fast Ferry - https://gozofastferry.com/

Virtu Ferries Gozo - https://virtugozo.com/pages/fares-and-schedule

A ferry service also operates from Valletta to Sliema and to the Three Cities. Apart from being a pleasant way to travel from one side to the other of the harbour, it is also often quicker than land transport, especially during rush hours. Timetables and ticket prices may be found on: https://vallettaferryservices.com/

Recommended hotels for the Malta conference

Given that the conference venue is in Valletta, the most straightforward choices for accommodation would be in Valletta itself. However, other localities such as Sliema, St Julian’s and Gzira are also very well-connected to Valletta. The public bus service schedules several trips from Sliema and St Julian’s to Valleta and many of these drive through Gzira and Msida. Moreover, Valletta is also connected to Sliema through a ferry service that is reasonably frequent. A single Sliema-Valletta trip usually takes less than ten minutes by ferry and may be much longer on a bus, depending on traffic. You can find accommodation on popular online agencies such as Booking.com

The Conferences and Events Unit of the University of Malta recommends the following hotels. When placing their booking, participants would need to use COST Conserve Plants Meeting/University of Malta as a reference.

Luciano Valletta Boutique Accommodation (within walking distance from meeting venue)

Merchants Street, Valletta

Email : info@vallettaboutique.com

Double indoor room, no street view, window overlooking internal courtyard @ 80E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room with street view @ 140E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Luciano Al Porto Boutique Accommodation (within walking distance from meeting venue)

St Ursula Street, Valletta

Email : info@vallettaboutique.com

Double room with Grand Harbour view @ 170E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room with street view @ 140E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Osborne Hotel - 3* (within walking distance from meeting venue)

South Street, Valletta

Email : brian@osbornehotel.com

Standard room for sole use @ 120E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Standard room for double use @ 140E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Holiday Inn Express - 3*

St George's Bay, St Julians

Email : marika.smith@ihg.com

Standard room for sole use @ 140E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Kennedy Nova Hotel - 4*

116 The Strand, Gzira

Email : sales@kennedynova.com

Single room @ 100E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room @ 117E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Embassy Hotel - 4* (within walking distance from meeting venue)

Strait Street, Valletta

Email : sales@embassy.com.mt

Standard room @ 200E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Waterfront Hotel - 4*

Triq ix-Xatt, Sliema

Email: cnaudi@water.mizzi.com.mt

Single room @ 155E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room @ 165E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

The Victoria Hotel - 4*

Gorg Borg Olivier Street, Sliema

Email : sylvain.azzopardi@axhotelsmalta.com

Single room @ 125E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room @ 140E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

The Saint John Hotel - 4* (within walking distance from the meeting venue)

Merchants Street, Valletta

Email : sylvain.azzopardi@axhotelsmalta.com

Single room @ 175E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room @ 195E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Urban Valley Resort - 4*

Triq Wied Ghollieqa, San Gwann

Email : events@urbanvalleyresort.com

Single room @ 109E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room @ 122E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

The Palace Hotel - 5*

High Street, Sliema

Email : sylvain.azzopardi@axhotelsmalta.com

Single room @ 160E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Double room @ 180E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Corinthia Hotel - 5*

St George's Bay, St Julians

Email : estelle.borg@corinthia.com; luke.sammut@corinthia.com

Superior room for sole use @ 165E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Superior room for double use @ 185E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Radisson Blu Hotel - 5*

St George's Bay, St Julians

Email : estelle.borg@corinthia.com; luke.sammut@corinthia.com

Standard room for sole use @ 155E per night on bed & breakfast basis

Standard room for double use @ 175E per night on bed & breakfast basis

 

Map of Valletta indicating the conference venue:

 

 

 

Forest Genetic Monitoring Training School Announcement

 

For on-line attendance please fill in this form: https://forms.gle/CvXwH5p16Eo1ACv99

 

 

 

Lectures from the last MC meeting in Bologna, October 2021

 

 

Announcement of the Training School IUCN Red List Assessor for Threatened Plants (Podgorica Montenegro, 29.3.-1.4.2022)

 

More information on the training school and the application procedure can be found here. Application deadline: 10th February 2022.

 

Introducing guest speakers of the meeting in Bologna

 

  

John D. Thompson is a research director with the CNRS at the Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE) in Montpellier, France where he works on the ecology, adaptation, and conservation of Mediterranean plant biodiversity. He is President of the scientific commission for the Mercantour National Park, President of the National Parks Scientific Commission for the French National Biodiversity Agency, and member of the scientific commissions of the Mediterranean Botanical Conservancy (France) and the Calanques National Park. 

A second edition of his book Plant Evolution in the Mediterranean, first published in 2005, was released in 2020. In his speach, he will talk about the conservation of evolutionary potential in the Mediterranean flora.

 

 

 

Renata Sõukand is an ethnobotanist with a background in pharmacy and environmental sciences. She is an associate professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia. Renata does research in Ethnobotany, Cultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology and History of Science. She is interested in formation of relations between people and plants (and environment in general), from the cultural studies perspective.

Yuliya Prakofjeva is a historian, specializing in Eastern European and Soviet environmental history. Social anthropologist with long-standing field experience in cross-border areas. Currently a doctoral candidate in Environmental Sciences. Her research interests include local ecological knowledge of useful plant diversity for healthcare, food security and subsistence in the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian borderland. She continuously expands her expertise on digital environmental communication and social and cultural aspects of human-nature relationships.

Renata and Yuliya with talk about the role of a human in plant conservation, giving examples from the Polish/ Belarus/Lithuanian borderland.

 

ConservePlants 4th MC meeting in Bologna - 14th & 15th October 2021

 

ConservePlants is excited to inform you that the 4th MC meeting and associated WG meetings will be organised in the beautiful city of Bologna, Italy.

 

Copyright: © Giorgio Bianchi – Comune di Bologna

 

Information regarding Covid-19 and the venue can be found here.

 

Approximate schedule:

 

Thursday, 14th October 2021

 

9.00 - 12.00 MC meeting (for MC members / substitutes only)

ZOOM Link to the meeting: https://upr-si.zoom.us/j/8115662408?pwd=S0lQSnVLbzBXUTNITG12Z3ZpWFBPdz09Meeting ID: 811 566 2408, Passcode: Lpm3z4

 

12.00 - 14.00 lunch

 

14.00 - 18.00 Afternoon session: Invited speakers and Working Groups updates 

 

Greetings by the representatives from University of Bologna

14.00 - 15.00 Guest speaker: John Thompson: Towards the conservation of evolutionary potential in the Mediterranean flora

15.00 - 16.00 Guest speakers: Renata Sõukand & Yuliya Prakofyeva: The role of a human in plant conservation: the example from Polish/ Belarus/Lithuanian borderland

16.00 - 18.00 Updates from Working Groups (STSM reporting: Daniele Calabrese, Nina Lončarević, Jinlei Zhu & others, presentation of the CITES booklet)

ZOOM Link to the afternoon session: https://upr-si.zoom.us/j/83063417386?pwd=Vm5yMnNRem01bmIwVnRjQ0xIME9qUT09, Meeting ID: 830 6341 7386, Passcode: 543068

 

Friday, 15th October 2021

 

9.00 - 13.00  Working Group 2 hybrid meeting

ZOOM Link to the meeting: https://upr-si.zoom.us/j/88171582509?pwd=Q0ExRDc5UTk1VW9jdHVicGhxQkxvdz09Meeting ID: 881 7158 2509, Passcode: 649248

 

9.00 - 13.00  Working Group 3 meeting - face-to-face only

 

13.00 - 15.00 lunch

 

15.00 - 18.00 Core Group meeting (for invited Core Group members only)

ZOOM Link to the meeting: https://upr-si.zoom.us/j/8115662408?pwd=S0lQSnVLbzBXUTNITG12Z3ZpWFBPdz09, Meeting ID: 811 566 2408, Passcode: Lpm3z4

 

Additional information will be sent to the participants prior the beginning of the meeting.

 

 

Restoring European grasslands 

 

One of our ConservePlants members, Sandrine Godefroid, leader of Working Group 2, has recently co-authored an interesting paper about the restoration of European grasslands. 

  

 

Meise Botanic Garden was involved in an ambitious grassland restoration project funded by the European Union. This project is now complete and we published last week the paper A decision-making tool for restoring lowland grasslands in Europe.

 

This tool contributes to achieving GSPC target 3. We also believe it is timely in the context of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) and given the continuous and widespread degradation of these habitats across much of Europe.

 

In addition to the particularly encouraging results which have been obtained, this project has demonstrated the complementarity and effectiveness of a partnership between the major players in the field of nature restoration and a botanical garden whose main mission is ex situ conservation. If this kind of collaboration was until recently unlikely in the context of LIFE projects, today it represents real added value for nature restoration projects.

 

The pdf of the article is temporarily accessible on the Elsevier website at the following link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1dbez5liTFGKVd

 

Anyone clicking on this link before October 07, 2021 will be taken directly to the final version of the article on ScienceDirect, which they are welcome to read or download. No sign up, registration or fees are required.

 

 

A reflection from the workshop on Plant Food-Medicines Perceptions, Traditional Uses and Health Benefits of Food Botanicals, Mushrooms, and Herbal Teas

 

Post by Baiba Pruse, Vitalija Povilaityte-Petri, Alex Laird, Wendy Wuyts, Muratk Kızıl, Cristina Flora

 

In cooperation between the team of DiGe project (ERC-StG-2016) and COST Action ConservePlants an online workshop took place on 24th and 25th of February 2021 with more than 30 participants from more than 10 countries. The two day workshop brought together members from diverse disciplinary backgrounds e.g. anthropology, ethnobotany, pharmaceutical and food sciences, ecology, complementary-alternative medicine and professions e.g. philosophers, food designers, herbalists, entrepreneurs from plant supply and processing companies. Moreover, the representation of countries was mind blowing as the participants were from Argentina, Philippines, Turkey, Iran, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Denmark, UK, Canada and many more.

 

 

 

The workshop goal was two fold: to create a networking platform under the topic of plant foods as medicine and to compose a working material for future publications. Throughout the workshop various collective intelligence tools were explored thanks to the training provided to the moderators by Céline Huart from Empathy Tank Baltic.

 

The first day was about connecting plants and people. Beforehand, all participants were asked to bring a herbal drink and draw their favorite plant. During the session they were asked to introduce themselves in a lean way. Afterwards, Prof. Renata Soukand and Prof. Andrea Pieroni introduced some terminology and main objectives of the field in which they work. While some researchers investigate the biochemical and pharmaceutical properties and evolutions of plant medicines, a smaller group explores the context and the perception that people, communities, countries have. As Prof. Andrea Pieroni said: What makes X (a plant) a medicine for Y (community, culture)? Why does Y ingest X? Why does Y think X (in this dosis, under this condition) is healthy? This understanding can be of high value, for e.g. public health officers, cultural heritage preservationists, other communities in need of self-care knowledge.

 

During the working process, participants shared their views of healthy food. What does it mean to them? What is their personal story? What are their research interests and needs? Why do they believe this subject is important?

Here comes only some lines from the participants in respect to above:

“Plant based food is the most compatible with my yoga practice. Helps me breathe and flow better.” - Lumberto Mendoza

 

“The extra-ordinary world of plants and how they interact with us. Life/nature's design and nature is my study, my teacher. Schrödinger said, life is about the inside and the outside. Plants amaze me with their elegant and dynamic responses to their environment, synthesising phytochemicals in their thousands which then support our body's myriad functions. Complexity, diversity and reciprocity underpin our/nature's design. A key to living well is managing boundaries with love and kindness, while recognising our oneness - i.e. Keat's negative capability.” - Alex Laird

 

“I love plants and every gift they produce for us.” - Nataliya Stryamets

 

“In Latvia we have a very broad tradition of foraging (berries, mushrooms, herbs for tea). This tradition unifies families and provides opportunity for different generations to connect. I prefer the use of plants as medicine (for relief of common cold, gastric issues, etc.) and have enjoyed plant medicine benefits from early age (chamomile, pine syrup, peppermint etc.).” - Ilona Vanaga

 

“Barbabuc (Tragopogon porrifolius), a wild edible plant I used to harvest with my grandma. Now that she does not harvest it anymore, I do it for her and she cooks it for me. It is food, but this plant has a lot to do with healing and strengthening relationships.” - Giulia Mattalia

 

“Why and how people fall in love with plants?” - Vitalija Povilaityte-Petri

 

“From Idea to Launch a product, there are many issues to consider but the red line is always the same: tradition, respect for nature and the people who are working for knowledge transfer but taste, trends and consumer views are as well important.” - Cynthia Suarez Rizzo

 

“Plants link us with the wilderness we have inside.” - Nicola Robecchi

 

If food has the power to prevent much of the chronic illness we experience today then it makes sense to alter our diets to use it to our own advantage to not only heal and restore the body but also to prevent illness.” - Murat Kızıl

 

 

 

On the second day, six working groups were established with questions linked to defining healthy food through time and space including aspects regarding imagery of healthy food. Each working group received direct feedback from Prof. Renata Sõukand and Prof. Andrea Pieroni and thus ensuring the continuation of sharing various perspectives.

 

We thank each and everyone for the positive energy and working spirit as the ideas deserve further attention. In case you missed the opportunity to join the workshop but hold a great interest to hear more about the working groups and following working steps, please, send a message to Baiba Pruse (baiba.pruse@unive.it) or Cristina Flora (857854@stud.unive.it).

 

 

 

Training School Plant Translocation – Theory and Techniques

Date: 8-10 September 2021 

Place: on-line

Training School leaders: Koenraad Van Meerbeek, Stef Haesen, Peter Glasnovic, Tobias Fremout and Olav Skarpaas

 

 

This online training school is prepared within the framework of ConservePlants COST Action (CA18201) and aims at training Early Career Researchers in the fundamental concepts underpinning species distribution models. The aim of online course is to work towards a thorough understanding of SDMs. We will focus on statistical models of species distributions – those that combine observed species records with environmental data. Using a mixture of online lectures, Q&A sessions and case studies, participants will: 

  • understand the theoretical underpinnings of SDMs, including strengths and limitations; 
  • get insight in the different steps that are necessary to perform SDM; 
  • know which data are necessary to perform SDM and where to get it; 
  • understand the differences between different modelling types; 
  • learn to evaluate models and interpret them; 
  • and apply the theory in simple case studies in R. 

The applications will use the free statistical software R – basic experience is mandatory. Example data will be provided. 

This course is the first of two modules and will focus on theory and concepts. This first module will be held online and is designed for PhD students and Early Career Researchers, interested in using SDMs to model species ranges and predict the impact of climate change. Applicants should send a motivation letter (1p) and Curriculum Vitae to Stef Haesen (stef.haesen@kuleuven.be) before the 15th of July 2021. In the second module (which will be organized later), we will deal with more advanced topics of SDM and we will focus on the practical implementation in R. 

Deadline for application (Module I): 15 July 2021 

Documents: Motivation letter and CV - send to stef.haesen@kuleuven.be

 

Baiba Pruse introducing the aspects of Ethnobotany and citizen science

 

ConservePlants WG4 co-leader Baiba Pruse, Ph.D., introduces the aspects of ethnobotany + citizen science. The short interview added below is part of a training commissioned to the European Citizen Science Association, called “The nuts and bolts of citizen science”. Enjoy the recording!  

In the video, Baiba shortly introduces the recent book on citizen science, called “The Science of Citizen Science” and references additional scholars of the field of work. She also names the recent newsletter post on ethnobotany and citizen science published together with Dr Cory Whitney in the latest issue of Society for Economic Botany Newsletter, the link here.

 

WG4 - call for PhDs, Post-Docs and Master Students!

 

Publication date: 23 April 2021

 

 

14th April 21: WG4 Meeting with all WG4 members

 

Time: 03:30 PM Rome

 

Meeting link: please, reach out to Baiba Pruse (baiba.pruse@unive.it) or Justyna Wiland-Szymańska (wiland@amu.edu.pl) to receive the zoom link.

 

 

24-25th Feb 2021: Plant Food-Medicines: Perceptions, Traditional Uses and Health Benefits of Food Botanicals, Mushrooms, and Herbal Teas

 

On behalf of Prof. Renata Sõukand and Prof. Andrea Pieroni, the ERC-StG-2016 DiGe team and members of COST Action ConservePlants Working Group 4 (CA18201) we welcome each and every one to join TWO DAY WORKSHOP on Special Issue “Plant Food-Medicines: Perceptions, Traditional Uses and Health Benefits of Food Botanicals, Mushrooms, and Herbal Teas” on 24th (10:30 - 12:30 CET) and 25th (10:30 - 17:00 CET) of February. 

More info available here 

Please, register and provide your research interest based on the workshop information here: https://forms.gle/pMaFwmibnwZK94Gy8 until 10th of February (2021) in order to receive the entrance link before the workshop and additional instructions. 

For any questions please, come back to: 

Cristina Flora [857854@stud.unive.it] or Baiba Pruse [baiba.pruse@unive.it].

 

 

MC Meeting and WG meetings, 18-20th November 2020 - ON-LINE 

The 3rd MC Meeting of ConservePlants will be held on 18th November. WG meetings will follow between 18-20th November. All meetings will be held on-line. In spite of the current situation with Covid, ConservePlants members are being active and Working Groups are continuing with the planned activities. 

 

ConservePlants in BGjournal

BGjournal is the worldwide journal of botanic garden conservation. It covers a range of detailed content including in-depth features, congress reports, profiles of gardens and case studies of conservation work being carried out in gardens around the world.

Among the featured articles in the recent issue of BGjournal - Working towards the achievement of the GSPC Targets - is an article about ConservePlants!

Find the latest issues of the BGjournal here

 

Management Committee and Working Group meeting in Průhonice, 5-6 February 2020

 

We are excited to inform you that the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences will be hosting the next Management Committee and Working Group Meeting of our COST Action. Botanists from almost 40 coutries will meet in the beautiful Castle of the Průhonice Park!

Moreover, 2 guest speakers will join us on the 5th February:

Professor Vernon Heywood, a specialist in plant taxonomy and systematics, is Emeritus Professor in the University of Reading. He has worked on biodiversity and conservation issues in many parts of the world, particularly in the Mediterranean. He will give a lecture with the title: "The challenges of integrated plant conservation in Europe".

Dr. Zuzana Münzbergová is a plant ecologist interested in mechanisms driving dynamics of natural populations. She will present the "Genetic diversity in populations of rare species and its implications for species conservation". At the moment she is the head of the Department of Population Ecology at the Insitute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences.