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British Mycological Society
Draft Policy On Conservation of Fungi

Reproduced by Permission

General Statement: The British Mycological Society is committed to the conservation of fungi and their habitats. To this end it will foster and promote those activities which will ensure the survival of viable fungal populations.

2. Species Protection: The Society will compile and publish a Red List, conforming with international standards, and will press for positive conservation of rare and endangered fungi through national and international legislation.

3. Habitat Protection: The Society will seek protection for important mycological sites against loss, deterioration or fragmentation and will press for reductions in emissions of damaging pollutants.

4. Edible Fungi: The Society acknowledges the importance of edible wild fungi as a resource to be utilized, but accepts such harvesting only where it can be shown to be sustainable and does not threaten the viability of fungi or their dependent organisms.

5. Code of Conduct: The Society will publish a code of conduct to encourage the responsible collecting of fungi for commercial, individual and scientific purposes.

6. Research: The Society will promote and encourage research on the biology, taxonomy and ecology of fungi; on the causes of decline of fungal populations; and on the cultivation of edible fungi.

7. Information: The Society will continue to monitor and record the occurrence of fungi in the British Isles in order to enhance its Database as a resource available to its members and to outside organizations and individuals.

8. Education: The Society will promote a wider understanding of the importance of fungi and the significance of their role in ecosystems.

9. Collaboration: The Society will seek to improve its links with organizations concerned with conservation and the protection of the environment, at local, national and international level.

10. Review: The Society will review and update its conservation policy to take account of new research findings and changes in relevant legislation and statutory environmental policy.

Editor’s note: BMS Council agreed to the publication of the draft policy at this stage in order that we might encourage not only members of the Society but also other readers to put forward suggestions, to be considered before the final version is approved.

In particular, opinions on the way to implement the policy will be welcome.

At present the draft five-year Action Plan that will accompany the policy statement is under consideration. For example, the Society will actively promote legislation for the protection of endangered species, following guidelines of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and is proposing a number of ways in which the impact of commercial collecting of edible fungi can be brought under control. (See also the article by Patrick Leonard and Shelley Evans in Mycologist 11 Pt 2, p. 89). Full details of the Action Plan will be published as soon as possible.