IOPI [ ASBS Newsl. December 1991 ]

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Wed Dec 30 08:39:53 CST 1992

Scanned from Australian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter 69
(December 1991) 24--25.

International Oganization for Plant Information

A meeting was held in Canberra on 19-20 September to discuss the
objectives, structure, government and operation of the proposed
Organization.  It was attended by 49 people, from 33 institutions in
11 countries, as well as unattached participants.  The Organization
(IOPI) was formally established on 20 September 1991, with a
Constitution and By Laws being adopted. The Interim Council set up at
the Kew meeting in June (ASBS Newsletter 68: 30-31, Sept. 1991)
became the Foundation Council and will hold office until the next

The objectives of IOPI, as set out in its Consti- tution, are:-

I) to promote and prepare, as expeditiously as possible, a series of
integrated. dispersed, computerized databases summarizing the basic
taxonomic information (bearing in mind the basic requirements of
freedom of taxonomic research and opinion), and biological and other
attributes (in particular, information relating to their utilization
and conservation) of all kinds of plants in the world [plants being
defined as those covered by the Intemational Code of Botanical

2) to document the data in such ways as shall make them most readily
accessible to users of all kinds, in all regions, and in such formats
as shall seem most expedient to the governing body of IOPI;

3) thereafter, to maintain the data in an up-to-date form and
continue to render them accessible in accordance with 1) and 2)

The first project will be a checklist of the vascular plants of the
world, with the aim of completing the initial list within five

Membership of IOPI will consist of Participating Centre (PC)
Members, Individual Members, and Invited Members. PC and Individual
Members will be required to be active participants in the work of
IOPI, either as representatives of Participating Centres or as
Members in their own right. Nominations for PC or Individual
membership may be submitted in writing by two Members of IOPI, and
the names will be submitted by Council for election at a General
Meeting by a simple majority of the members present.

Invited Members will be individuals, recognized by the governing body
of IOPI as capable of contributing in some way to the work of IOPI
although not necessarily participating directly in its activities as
such. Invited Members will be nominated by the governing body of
IOPI. There is no membership fee. For the first year the membership
will consist of members of the Foundation Council, the Checklist
Committee, and the Working Groups.

The Foundation Council is:- Sir John Burnett, Oxford, UK (Chairman);
Dr Ana Anton, Cordoba, Argentina (Vice-Chairman); Mr Alex George,
Can- berra, Australia (Secretary); Prof. Pieter Baas, Leiden, The
Netherlands; Dr Kay Beese, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium; Dr
Frank Bisby, Southampton, UK; Dr Dmitry Geltman, St Petersburg,
USSR; Dr Ana Maria Giuletti, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Prof Werner Greuter,
Berlin, Gemmany; Dr Patricia Holmgren, New York, USA; Prof. K.
Iwatsuki, Tokyo, Japan; Prof. Bengt Jonsell, Stockholm, Sweden; Dr
Edward Kennedy, Blosls~ USA; Prof. Gren Lucas, Kew, UK; Dr P. Maas,
Utrecht, The Netherlands; Prof. Philippe Morat, Paris, France; Dr
Nancy Morin, Missouri, USA; Dr L. Skog, Washington, USA; Dr Rodolphe
Spichiger, Geneva, Switzerland; Prof. Clive Stace, Leicester, UK; Dr
David Sutton, London, UK.

Following a submission made earlier, the IUBS has recommended that
admission of IOPI as a Commission be formalized at the 25th General
Assembly in 1994, and that IOPI be accepted as part of the IUBS
Biodiversity Programme. IOPI will also seek affiliation with IAPT.

A Checklist Committee has been established, charged with the
production of a checklist of accepted names of vascular plants and a
minimum data set. Its Chairman is Dr David Hunt, Kew; Mrs Karen
Wilson, National Herbarium of New South Wales, is a member. Three
Working Groups were set up to assist the Committee. They are the Data
Definition and Standards Working Group, chaired by Dr Frank Bisby, of
which Dr Les Watson, RSBS, ANU, Canberra, is a member; the Taxo-
nomic Resources Network Working Group, chaired by Dr Nancy Morin,
Missouri; the Information Systems Working Group, chaired by Dr
Catherine Zellweger, Geneva, of which Dr Diedre Jinks, UTS, Sydney,
and Dr David Green, Canberra, are members. There is also the ad hoc
Potential Users Group, chaired by Dr Kay Beese, Belgium, and a
Finance Advisory Group, chaired by Dr Scott Peterson, Beltsville,

The Information Systems Group will also plan a strategy, system and
network suitable for the broad, long-term objectives of IOPI, for
consideration by the Council at its next meeting.

The next meeting of IOPI will held in Xalapa, Mexico, probably in
October 1992; the precise dates are yet to be confirmed. Anyone, or
any institution, wanting further information or wishing to apply for
membership should contact the Secretary, Alex George, Australian
Biological Resources Study, GPO Box 636, Canberra, ACT. 2601; fax
(06) 250-9448; phone (06) 250-9440.

Alex George
Flora of Australia

Jim Croft                [Herbarium CBG]           internet: jrc at
Australian National Botanic Gardens                   voice:  +61-6-2509 490
GPO Box 1777, Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA             fax:  +61-6-2509 599
______a division of the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service______

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