The Society for Economic Botany

Fostering research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.



Dear SEB colleagues and friends,

On behalf of the International Society of Ethnobiology and the Society for Economic Botany, we write to announce the postponement of this summer’s Jamaica meeting to 2021.

You will know that the impact of COVID-19 has been fast, and hard to predict. As the attached letter from the local organisers explains (see below), our postponement has been prompted both by concern for the health of participants and our local hosts, and by rapidly increasing travel restrictions. We deeply appreciate and apologise for the impact on your plans.

Postponing our meeting to 2021 means that we can build on the superb achievements of David Picking, Ina Vandebroek and other members of the organising committee in building a rich programme and associated field trips. We are determined not to lose the impetus of this work, and the strong support received from many Jamaican institutions including our host, the University of the West Indies at Mona. We will let you know the projected dates as soon as possible.

You will want to know how we’ll handle the practical aspects of this change. The SEB office will process automatic refunds for all those who have already paid registration fees. If you have booked accommodation, please contact your provider. We will contact travel awardees and workshop hosts separately. Please do contact us or the SEB office with your queries or concerns, but at the same time be patient with our office staff who are under considerable pressure at this time. We are deeply grateful to Heather Cacanindin, Director of our office, who has been a tower of strength in difficult times.

Please note that our SEB annual business meeting will be held by electronic means and announced at a later time.

We all face difficult months ahead. We hope you, your families, and your communities stay well, and we look forward very much to meeting you in Jamaica next year. Please see below, a letter from the meeting organizers.

With very best wishes,

Mark Nesbitt
President, Society for Economic Botany
m.nesbitt@kew.org  

             Rick Stepp
President, International Society of Ethnobiology
stepp@ufl.edu

                                                  
       
                                 

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
MONA, JAMAICA, WEST INDIES
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Dean’s Office, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Tel: (876) 977-1785 • Fax: (876) 927-1566
Email: fst@uwimona.edu.jm
March 13th, 2020


Dear SEB and ISE delegates, colleagues, students, and community members,

As you know, we are all facing a difficult public health situation, the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting COVID-19 disease. Due to its continuing and accelerating impact around the world, it is unfortunately necessary for us to postpone the Joint Conference of the Society for Economic Botany (SEB) and the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE), due to be hosted by The University of the West Indies at the Mona campus, Jamaica, on 31st May – 4th June 2020.

Jamaica, at the time of writing, has two confirmed cases of COVID-19, diagnosed in visitors from overseas. The government of Jamaica, in an attempt to contain the virus, is currently restricting travel into the island from eight countries: China, Singapore, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Spain and France, with further restrictions likely to be extended over the coming days, for a yet undefined period of time.

Please know that postponing was not an easy decision for us to make. However, we feel that the health of everyone at this unsettling time should be our highest priority.

We hope to be able to confirm a new date for the conference very soon and will send out further notification via email and social media, but do please also check the conference website often for further announcements.

We thank you for your patience, understanding, and commitment during this unprecedented challenge. At times like these, even if we cannot physically gather at this time, we will be working very hard to make SEB-ISE Jamaica a reality soon.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Taylor (Prof.)
Dean - Faculty of Science and Technology 

             David Picking (Dr.)
Chair, Organizing Committee