International Poplar Commission
Promoting poplar and willow cultivation
Black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa)
(Photo: J. Worrall)
In spreading knowledge and promoting poplar and willow cultivation, activities of the International Poplar Commission (IPC) have not been limited to preparing monographs and organizing technical meetings.
The IPC was directly involved in the creation of the Populetum Mediterraneum as recommended by participants at the eighth session (Spain, 1955). The first plantations were made in the spring of 1956 on a farm of the ENCC Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Centre at Tivoli, Italy, near Rome. The plantings were continued in the following years and a collection of some 300 clones of several poplar species was assembled. In 1966, IPC sponsored the establishment of another populetum near Cologne, Germany, which gathered about 60 clones cultivated in Central and Western Europe. Another populetum for the Near East has been established near Ankara, Turkey.
The Executive Committee at its meeting in 1998 agreed to disseminate information on the IPC's activities more widely through electronic means. An interim Web site was hosted at the University of Louvain, Belgium, until the current site, managed and updated by FAO, became active.
Sessions have provided an opportunity for mobilizing the media in favour of poplar and willow cultivation, with potentially important consequences. The twenty-first session held in Portland, Oregon, USA, for example, attracted wide interest in the local media and keynote papers were published in Forestry Chronicle 77(2).