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Botarosa > Roses > Questions and recommandations to the Specialised Conservation Comitee of the World Federation of Roses Societies
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Questions et recommandations au Comité de conservation de la W.F.R.S.
Questions and recommandations to the Specialised Conservation Commitee of the World Federation of Roses Societies
Lord Penzance et Léonard Lille dans l'herbier Crépin
Humeur : Wichura, ou la rose à côté de ses pompes
Roseraie naturelle sans parfum ajouté

Questions and recommandations to the Specialised Conservation Commitee
of the World Federation of Roses Societies

Here is an extract from the Minutes of the Prague Meeting of the WFRS Conservation Commitee in July 2004.

"Mr Frans Thomas (1°) had received a letter from Ivan Louette. He had suggested a list that might be useful and Mr Thomas suggested that a copy of the list be given out and discussed at the next meeting in Geneva. Professor Joyaux (2°) did not agree, but suggested that anyone interested should look at the list on the Louette website at"

Below is the text which I wrote and which as you have seen one of the responsibles of the WFRS Conservation Commitee refused to communicate to the members of this Commitee. This text wasn't on line at the time of Prague meeting because I have considered not appropriate to publish it before it was discussed !!!
Before beeing approved by the staff of our belgian Royal National Rose
Society to be submitted under its name (and not under mine) to the Commitee, it was discussed with two very experimented Doctors in Botany, specialists in plant conservation and FAO experts, and also submitted to the Director of our National Botanic Garden (this one where stays Crépin's Roses Herbarium). They were approved and acclaimed by these very respectable and well considered three persons and one of them suggested me some improvements which of course I included immediately.
This text was also discussed with Helga Brichet(3°) who has received a
copy of it on her demand immediately after it was terminated and thus
several months before the meeting. She even had invited me to present
it at the Prague meeting, but I was in Canada at this time and thus

that was impossible.

- 1 Mr. Frans Thomas, President Société Royale Nationale "Les Amis de la Rose" (Belgium)
- 2 Mr. François Joyaux, President Fédération Française de la Rose & Vice President WFRS Conservation Committee (France)
- 3 Mrs Helga Brichet, Chairman, Past President WFRS (Italy)

My question is Why did they refuse to discuss these lines ???


In previous meetings of the Conservation Committee, a list of roses deemed "worthy of conservation" was mentionned.

1- What are the precise uses of this list?

2- What steps does the WFRS intend taking with this list and to what level (international, governemental, et al.?)

3- Is the WFRS considering steps to prevent the selling of roses not on these lists (e.g. by requiring registration af all varieties to be sold)?

4- If such steps are not considered, Are other more subtle discriminatory steps considered to discourage the sale or culture of Roses not on the list? This would go against diverse points of the Rio Convention on biological diversity.

5- If discriminatory measures are not considered, will the WFRS consider compensation to small to medium businesses for the adverse effect of the cost of registration on the development of these businesses, in order to create equitable opportunities for all. Looked at in this perspective free trade can only add to biodiversity.


A- Creating a Database

The WFRS's and its affiliates societies' objectives, as defined by their statutes, are to serve the Rose and all peoples and categories of people who are concerned by the Rose. To supply all these people with complete and objective information, the WFRS must set up a database of rose varieties. This database must be flexible enough to serve all categories of users. Its development must rest on principles of neutrality and equity among its future users.

1- We mustn't reduce its scope by selecting ab initio a list of varieties that would serve only one category of users (see below Lists and their uses.) The database must allow for the creation of multiple lists and statistics; it mustn't be the simple result of a list.

2- Each category of users must be able to retrieve information from the database with a minimum of technical knowledge [The database must be userfriendly]

3- The database must be structured in such a way as to allow the addition of new categories of information from diverse sources in the future. The Conservation Committee must always be open to these new categories of data and to contributions from new and unexpected sources.

4- It isn't in the Committee's mandate to judge the quality of the varieties included in the database. However, all data concerning the evaluation of Rose varieties from tests, competitions and such may be included.

5- The Committee must ensure that the database not be used abusively in whatever manner or at whatever occasion. A non-responsibility clause (disclaimer) must be included.

6- Use of the database may be on a paying basis to help with maintenance costs, and to make it self-supporting.

7- To maintain the independence of the Database, it should not accept sponsorship from companies or individuals involved in the rose business.

8- User fees must be kept as low as possible to allow maximum availability. User fees may vary according to a region's hability to pay, if only on a temporary basis (positive discrimination).

9- The collection of data at national and regional levels, and all local initiatives and ideas that might help with the global management of the database must be encouraged.


More technical considerations.

A repertory of DNA data linked to the database would be very useful:

- to integrate the evolution of genotypes; the evolution of mutations that affect morphological and physiological characters. This repertory might help to trace mutations, whether desirable or undesirable.

-to allow the study of cheap and effective solution to the management of intellectual property.

The use of in-vitro collections of varieties could also be studied.


B- Of lists and their uses.

Without judging the qualities of rose varieties, the Conservation Committee must clearly state its position on legal, administrative and commercial processes now in use, or that may come into use, and that may diminish biodiversity of cultivated Roses, or discourage the expansion of biodiversity. E.g. the well-intentionned use of rationalization lists that sometimes have particularly nasty side-effects.


1- That the Conservation Committe encourage the WFRS to oppose the establishment of a list that would restrain or forbid the commercialization of some roses (e.g. Roses that aren't been registered on the list). Notwithstanding the use of lists for consultation purposes that may be developped from the Conservation Committee's database.

2- That no list (restrictive lists in particular) constituted or not from this database be included in a text of law, of an internation convention or any other document that may have a similar application, whether at the local, regional, national or global level. To allow for easy correction of possible undesirable effets, lists should always be annexed to said documents.

3- That local, national, or regional levels of the WFRS be always involved in the making of lists that may have applications at the local or global levels.

ivan louette, French version on line 2004.12.04
trans. 2005.01
English version translated by Roch Rollin, on line 2005.02.15

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