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Memorandum between BC, Alberta, and Australia renews commitment to combat invasives

IPCBC News Release, Feb. 2, 2009: WILLIAMS LAKE—Signing a memorandum of support between British Columbia, Alberta, and Australia on January 19th, 2009 renewed the commitment among invasive plant and species councils from across Canada and beyond to build future collaborations and strategies that improve invasive plant management beyond borders.

Partnerships among councils aim to share lessons learned and successful strategies that help reduce the introduction and spread of invasive plants. The memorandum of support was signed during the Invasive Plant Council of British Columbia’s (IPCBC) Annual Public Forum and AGM, “Stop the Spread,” held at the Delta Airport Hotel in Richmond, January 20 to 21, 2009.

“If you’re not thinking about invasive plants, then you’re being left behind,” said keynote speaker Robert Chin, extension officer for the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia. Challenges facing Canadian provinces are similar to those in Australia, he said, with efforts needed to target the horticulture industry and improve education outreach to home gardeners and industry retailers.

“The more we can work together in this battle of invasive plants, the more likely we are to stop their spread,” concluded Chin.

The horticulture industry is a known pathway of spread for invasive plants; about 58% of invasive alien plants arrived in Canada through intentional introductions as agricultural crops, landscape plants, ornamentals and plants for medicinal and research purposes. Addressing invasive plants and horticulture was a key topic of “Stop the Spread” forum presentations. The IPCBC is working in partnership with the horticulture industry to reduce the impact of invasive plants in BC.

Over 125 participants and high caliber speakers in the field of invasive plant management attended “Stop the Spread,” where they had the opportunity to share informed choices and practical solutions that industry and individuals can adopt to reduce the introduction and establishment of unwanted invasive plants.

The IPCBC is a grassroots, non-profit society working collaboratively to build cooperation and coordination of invasive plant management in BC. IPCBC workshops, activities, and events educate the public and professionals about invasive plants and their potential risks. Events like this forum will continue to assist the IPCBC in “spreading the word, not the weed” through outreach and education; thus minimizing the establishment of invasive plants.

Membership is free and open to anyone willing to work collaboratively. Find out more at www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca.

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For more information, contact the Invasive Plant Council of BC (IPCBC): www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca • (250) 392-1400 • info@invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca

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