Epson Australia has recently forged a partnership with the Botanic Gardens of Sydney, intensifying its commitment to environmental preservation and sustainability. This collaboration aims to specifically address the imminent challenges faced by Australia’s endangered rainforest species.
Craig Heckenberg, Managing Director at Epson Australia, stated, “This alliance with the Botanic Gardens of Sydney signifies our shared dedication to mitigating the rapid depletion of various plant species and preventing the potential extinction due to the detrimental effects of the myrtle rust fungal disease. Epson is steadfast in its commitment to sustainability, community enrichment, and the promotion of a nature-positive and climate-resilient nation.”
The Australian rainforest is home to diverse plant species that are currently under threat due to a variety of factors including habitat fragmentation, invasive species, diseases, and climate change. There are at least 16 species at risk of extinction within a generation, with over 350 other species affected by myrtle rust, posing a risk to a significant portion of Australia’s distinctive flora.
Focused Conservation Efforts
Epson’s support through this partnership will bolster the Botanic Gardens of Sydney’s research and conservation initiatives, primarily the Rainforest Seed Conservation Program. The program employs innovative conservation techniques for seed and plant material storage of various rainforest species, as traditional seed bank storage methods are not applicable to all, leaving some species at a higher risk of becoming threatened or extinct.
Epson’s involvement will assist the Australian PlantBank team in their ongoing efforts to develop alternative conservation techniques such as tissue culture, cryogenic storage, and maintaining living plant collections. These protective measures facilitate continuous availability of material for research and ensure that plants can be reintroduced into the wild as part of rewilding or restoration initiatives.
Support for Shared Values
Denise Ora, Chief Executive of the Botanic Gardens of Sydney, highlighted the importance of support from partners like Epson. “Our organization is purpose-driven, relying on collaborations with partners who share our values in sustainability and conservation to achieve positive environmental results,” said Ora.
Ora also noted the critical status of the Native Guava, a rainforest species, saying, “With Epson’s support, our team of scientists will work diligently to develop a genetically diverse collection in tissue culture at the Australian PlantBank. This endeavor will not only secure this species in our living collections but also facilitate various research projects aiming at its restoration in the wild, thereby contributing to the creation of resilient ecosystems for future generations.”
Aligning with Global Goals
Fatida Un, Epson Australia’s Environment & Sustainability Manager, emphasized the importance of the partnership in conservation and biodiversity efforts. “This collaboration aligns with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, promoting community education and advancing initiatives for climate action,” said Un.
Epson employees, celebrating the inception of the partnership, joined forces with the Botanic Gardens of Sydney’s horticulture team. Together, they worked on habitat restoration projects, focusing on planting understorey species like shrubs and grasses, crucial for maintaining soil integrity and providing necessary resources for various insects and animals.
Heckenberg concluded, “Collaborating with the Botanic Gardens of Sydney inspires us, as we observe the diverse initiatives they advocate. Their iconic gardens, cutting-edge research facilities, community engagement programs, and youth education initiatives provide a platform for our partnership to flourish, creating meaningful value within our local communities.”
About The Rainforest Seed Conservation Program
The Rainforest Seed Conservation Program is designed to bolster both Australian and global capacity to conserve rainforest species. It aims to enhance understanding of the biology of these species, develop best-practice conservation methods, and collaborate with various conservation agencies to prevent the loss of plant species in the wild.
For more information about Epson and the Botanic Gardens of Sydney, follow them on their respective social media platforms, or visit their official websites at Epson Australia and Botanic Gardens of Sydney.