International Poplar Commission
Scientific and technical problems related to poplars and willows are investigated by six working parties of the International Poplar Commission (IPC) dealing with: (1) genetics, conservation and improvement; (2) production systems; (3) environmental applications; (4) insect pests; (5) diseases; (6) harvesting and utilization of wood.
Members of the working parties meet in regular sessions every four years or through "virtual" networks to exchange ideas and develop proposals, which are then presented to member countries for adoption in formal sessions. It is the activities of the working parties that have formed the basis for progress of the IPC in recent years.
Some of the achievements of the working parties have included:
- identification of existing outbreaks of insect pests or diseases and early warning of their potential spread;
- emphasizing the importance of quarantine and sanitary measures for the movement of plant material;
- stressing the need for the conservation of native populations of poplars and willows in order to conserve genetic diversity as one basis for tree breeding;
- adoption of conventions for the protection of breeder's rights to facilitate the exchange of superior cultivars;
- promoting poplars and willows for erosion control, phytoremediation, and sand dune stabilization;
- investigating the suitability of poplars and willows for bioenergy.
Subcommittee on Nomenclature and Registration
The success of poplar cultivation depends largely on the appropriate choice of cultivars. Thus poplar breeders are engaged in research leading to the creation of new cultivars with the properties of fast growth, superior wood properties and the greatest possible resistance to pests and diseases. In this way, the number of usable cultivars has been gradually increasing. It therefore became necessary to identify them correctly and as precisely as possible, to avoid possible confusion and to facilitate exchanges among users regardless of whether or not such exchanges were on a commercial basis.
At its seventh session in 1953, the IPC decided to set up a subcommittee of the Executive Committee on nomenclature and registration with responsibility for investigating the best way of establishing a register of poplar names by adapting the nomenclature used by IPC to the rules on nomenclature of cultivated plants. This job became of special importance as a result of the designation of IPC as the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA), the official body for the registration of forest cultivars of the genus Populus in 1958.