Friday, August 20, 2010

ISA HK/China --- Guangzhou visit of 20.8.2010

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Dear Station Members,

ISA HK/China was invited to deliver an introduction seminar on ISA to Guangdong Provincial chiefs in Guangzhou on 20.8.2010. The Station Manager (SM) & Deputy Station Manager Mike Leung were present to meet their dozens of Landscape Engineers to explain what Arboriculture & ISA are all about for a brief morning.

At the start of the seminar, the chiefs would take it as just another routine introduction from an organization claimed to be international, trying hard to sell its products into China. The atmosphere was relaxed & casual. But as the SM began with the second slide on the consequence of bad Tree Planting to invite media attraction, legal liabilities & political attention, every ear picked up for a serious listening.

The SM went on by quoting overseas & local Tree Failure examples, & explain Arboriculture is all about science & technology, not beauty & art. The resonance was very strong. Landscape Engineers in China would be better known as Horticulturists in the west. They learned scientific subjects like Botany, Taxonomy, Pest Control, Nursery Production & Landscape Management. They are scientists as much as the Horticulturists & Arborists. ISA HK/China instantly had a common language with them.

The SM continued by introducing ISA & the credential system to the audience. It was very well accepted. Their only concern was that their Landscape Engineers may be not able to handle the English language enough to take the exams. The SM explained to them that the candidates only need to read & understand English for multiple choice questions, not to listen & write. And they can also take the Certified Tree Worker exam in Chinese.

The SM went on to introduce ISA HK/China as the representative body of ISA in the territory of HK, Macau, Taiwan & China. They loved it. They would enjoy talking to the Chinese locals who speak their tongue & share their culture. They also approved the HQ of ISA HK/China to be installed in HK to avoid any political influence (or pressure) from any of their local governments. They also respect the staff in ISA HK/China as clean, doctrinated & dedicated to follow ISA Mission. This is something the China audience emphasized several times in the seminar discussion. They would like to see ISA HK/China to be in HK. We love these China brothers & sisters to be so frank & honest.

Our territorial credential IPA ( has gained a very high respect among the China professionals during the seminar. They simply could not find any of their own to compare with the IPA, & would regard the IPA as a pinnacle in Arboriculture. In Guangzhou alone, they have thousands of Tree Failure cases every year. Some can not be called an Act of God anymore, because the victims would now refer to Tree Failure cases in HK for as financial demand. Guangzhou & HK are very close to each other in information sharing nowadays.

There are many next steps to do after this successful introduction of ISA into China, & Guangdong is just one of 30 provinces in China. ISA HK/China is now working closely with the Guangdong counterparts to begin building their own Arboricultural System under the model of ISA. We encourage them to set up their own local Arboricultural Organizations to be affiliated under ISA HK/China. We encourage them to establish their local credentials to follow ISA, with an ultimate goal of taking ISA credentials as the international recognition, when their candidates can master adequate English. We shall share with them knowledge & administration skills to succeed.

ISA HK/China has finally punched a hole into China, after our hard work for 5 years in HK. Our China brothers & sisters have been watching us all this time. Now they finally recognized ISA as an international organization wanting & willing to help them, to develop proper Tree Care without asking financial benefits in return. They now understand we are doing good to their country to improve the quality of living.

ISA HK/China has seen this occasion as a beginning to develop ISA in the Land of Old Dragons. The future is long & hard. We shall sail into uncharted waters.

May we move on under the ISA Mission, to plant our seeds into this virgin soil, one tree & one Arborist at a time.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

"If a tree is not designed, installed, maintained & inspected properly, it is likely to become a liability rather than an asset."

"Trees are good for the community. Trees need care like human beings. Arborists are the Tree Care Professionals."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ISA HK/China --- Station Membership just passed 1,400 no.

Dear Station Members,

ISA HK/China is very pleased to inform you that our Station Membership has just passed 1,400+ no. this morning. This includes taking care of anybody whose e-mail could not be reached anymore to give ourselves an accurate number. The public non-disclosure of Station Membership policy has been proven a successfully strategy in growing ISA HK/China in the past 5 years. We shall continue with that.

Our Station Mail & Station Blog are also widely circulated among the public. We have noticed that about 25% of the readers are in the "unknown" category. This may be a local characteristic in our territory of HK, Macau, Taiwan & China.

Current education level in the Station Membership remains about the same with 70+% are Degree Holders, & 40+% with Master Degrees or above. Roughly 1/3 come from 20+ Govt Depts, & the rest from all walks of life with politicians, media, doctors, lawyers, professors & any profession you can imagine joining in. Approx 80% of our Station Members are not working in the Arborist Profession, making us perhaps the most inclusive arboricultural organization in the global ISA Community.

ISA exams are also expanding in our territory. We shall hold the biggest Certified Arborist exam around the world this October in HK, with 200+ seats to meet public demand in our territory. The venue is under discussion & will be announced ASAP. Our Certified Tree Worker exam may hold 40+ candidates this October, which is also to become a record.

Our media exposure remains high with regular interviews every month from various groups. One TV Station is planning to produce a drama series on the adventure of Tree Climbing & Rigging, with a bit of romance thrown into it. They are studying to find which beauty & handsome to put on rope.

On the China Front, the SM & one Deputy Station Manager has been invited to meet Provincial Landscape Bureau seniors in Guangzhou on Aug 18 & 19 to promote ISA Arboriculture. The SM has prepared a power point in Mandarin so convincing that even the blind would open their eyes to check it out. The SM has been mingling with our China brothers & sisters for business in China since 1984, that he can speak Mandarin with a local China accent. Over the phone, one would find it hard to tell that he comes from.

In the past few months, ISA HK/China has also been putting up some very useful proposals to the HKSAR Govt HQ on local Tree Management. A lot of our comments are now under due consideration by relevant authorities. Our relationship with the local Tree Experts are also friendly & understanding.

Thank you all again for your continuous support to develop ISA HK/China. We are now a rising sun in our territory to shine for ISA. We are also highly respected to be the genuine professionals to insist on Integrity, Professionalism, Participation, Fact-finding & Truth-telling in our attitude. We shall continue to do good to our society by installing quality Tree Planting, & to follow the ISA Mission.

For these we shall work hard.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager