Tuesday, August 7, 2007

ISA HK/China --- Regional collaboration with the Philippines in arboriculture

To: Professor Armando Palijon
University of the Philippines Los Banos,

Dear Armando,

It was such a pleasure to have met you in Hawaii during the ISA International Conference & have learned that you have positive interest to become an ISA Certified Arborist to develop ISA arboriculture in the Philippines. I understand that there is no ISA Certified Arborist in the Philippines at present. If you later become the first one, your name will be down in history in the Philippines because no one can ever replace you as the first. It will be a great family honour for you indeed.

We ISA HK/China would like to provide our support to you if you would ever need it, because we are only 2.5 years older than you are & are equally developing ourselves from scratch. The successful experience in our territory can help you as a developing nation to overcome obstacles like we have had.

It is nice to learn that in the Philippines, you are having foresters acting as arborists to advise on tree affairs at present. As you become more involved in arboriculture, you may find that the two disciplines differ in many ways from nursery stocks to maintenance, & forest tress usually have lower human targets as compared to urban trees. Forest trees would also grow in groups whereas urban trees usually grow as individuals. The growing condition for both are rather different from each other & treatment would also deviate accordingly.

I have already placed you into the circulation list of our weekly Station Mail on local tree affairs & ISA activities in the HK/China Region. You may wish to circulate it within the Philippines at your pleasure to anybody interested. Our Station Mail has given up copyright & is written with ISA principles on tree care & education. It is currently distributed to HK, Macau, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand & USA for their onward circulation, usually by 'bcc' to protect privacy.

As I have mentioned to you in Hawaii, ISA HK/China conducts Certified Arborist exam twice a year in HK, usually once in April & another in October. Our Filipino friends are welcomed to come to sit for the exam & ISA HK/China will assist all of you in finding accommodation. HK is only 1.5 hours flight from Manila & the air fare by Cebu Airlines now can be as low as US$100.00 per trip. There are currently over 150,000 Filipino workers living in our tiny city of HK. I'm sure none of you will become lonely upon arrival.

HK & Philippines have a long-standing relationship for centuries & HK is the closest ISA organization to the Philippines at present. Although HK is nowhere advanced in tree care when compared to Australia or Singapore, we tend to be in a similar position like the Philippines in our arboricultural development & we can be a poor man's choice for reference if you would ever require our service. The proximity & common language will help us bond each other more easily.

Shortly after this message, I shall send you a packet of selected Station Mail to help you understand some of our past happening. They are quite sizeable but educational, & we hope you may find use in them during your spare time.

Thank you for making friend with us & please do not hesitate to contact us for anything of help to you. Together we work, we can make our territory a better place to live, one tree at a time.

best regards,

Sammy Au
ISA HK/China Station Manager
ISA Chief Proctor of the HK/China Region
ISA Certified Arborist / Certified Tree Climber no. ML- 0174AT
International Tree Failure Database Coordinator in the HK/China Region
Independent Tree Specialist to HKSAR Govt
Lecturer of Tree Supervision at CITA

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