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Urban Forestry Advisory Panel discusses management strategies of brown root rot disease and urban forestry
     The Urban Forestry Advisory Panel held its first meeting today (March 17). Members of the Panel discussed the management strategies of brown root rot (BRR) disease and urban forestry, as well as the development of a Qualifications Framework (QF) for the arboriculture and horticulture industry.

     At the meeting, members were given an overview on BRR disease in Hong Kong and current management work carried out by the relevant departments. Members specialising in forest pathology and BRR disease shared knowledge and practices on BRR disease management from around the world, and ways in which local policies and practices in managing the disease can be enhanced. They discussed the practicalities of containment measures in Hong Kong, the infection rate of BRR disease among Hong Kong's more susceptible species, impacts of BRR disease on the urban landscape, and greater adoption of international practices and knowledge-sharing in Hong Kong.

     The Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section of the Development Bureau also briefed members on the proposed development and implementation of a strategic and proactive approach to managing the city's urban forest assets. The approach focuses on the lifecycle planning of urban forests in cities and considers a holistic approach to the ecological health, resilience and ongoing sustainability of urban forest assets. Members noted that it is necessary to formulate a set of measures for managing trees and their surrounding landscape throughout their lifecycle. Members also shared their international, regional and local experiences and practices on strengthening partnerships with the public, professional organisations, educational institutes, trade unions and interest groups to provide education outreach and technical training on urban forestry.

     Regarding the formation of the Arboriculture and Horticulture Industry Training Advisory Committee established under the QF, members welcomed this initiative, which can help draw up Specification of Competency Standards and develop the QF for the industry. Members also shared international experiences on positive capacity building and the development of QFs in their industries.
Ends/Friday, March 17, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:35
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