Botanists of the twenty-first century: Roles, challenges and opportunities
The aim of the conference is to develop a forward-looking perspective for the botanical profession of the twenty-first century. The conference will provide a platform of exchanges and dialogue to:
• Take stock of the global, regional and national issues and challenges that plant sciences can contribute to mitigating;
• Review the state of the art for the study and practice of botany; and
• Synthesize actionable elements for charting the course to re-orient the discipline to make the essential innovative scientific and technological contributions needed for current and future generations.
The conference will specify tropical and temperate botanical issues by identifying skills to be maintained or developed and training needs. It will also define ways to interact with other disciplines and to improve communication with the general public and policy makers.
It will bring together participants from many regions of the world who are particularly interested in the plant kingdom. Participants will come from various sectors: education, science, academia, policy, NGOs, communities, business, as well as development partners.
Plants are essential for people due to the various ecosystemic services they provide. A multifaceted science, botany’s practice has changed in recent decades due to technological advances as well as the expansion of disciplines. In the twentieth century the disappearance of natural ecosystems, loss of biodiversity at the global level and the loss of traditional knowledge began to threaten the very foundations of this science. At the beginning of the twenty-first century botany is undergoing profound changes. Botanists are now facing a changing world. They must bring their knowledge and expertise to meet the actual needs of our societies, to address new economic, social and environmental challenges and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity.