The ABS Magazine
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Promoting the Beauty and Utility of Bamboo

Vision and Mission Statements

by Ian Connor, Former Editor

Bamboo, by the very nature of this amazing plant, it is little wonder that it has attracted so many people with such different walks of life, all huddled together under the same ABS umbrella. As I see it, the collection of interests include: botany, ethno botany, conservation, plant hunting, ornamental (be it tropical or temperate bamboos, in enclosed environments and in the urban, public or domestic landscapes), construction and furniture making, the arts (both visual and performance), and of course, food. It is of little surprise that bamboo is known throughout Asia as the “cradle to grave” plant.

As I assume the role of editing the Magazine, I feel it is a timely juncture for articulating and bringing into focus the vision and mission of this medium of information exchange. In doing so, I hope to improve our ability as an organization to address the wide spectrum of interests of our readers, as well as focus on the diversity of issues by the many dimensions of this unique botanical phenomenon. This plethora of interests is reflected superbly in the ABS Mission Statement below:


The Objectives and Purposes of the ABS

The objectives of this corporation are:

  1. To provide a source of information on the identification, propagation, utilization, culture, and appreciation of bamboos.  To disseminate and store this information, the corporation maintains a library of references and publishes a Journal and Magazine.
  2. To promote the utilization of a group of desirable species by development of stocks of plants for distribution to botanic gardens and introduction to the general public. (Amended 10/97).
  3. To preserve and increase the number of bamboo species in the United States.
  4. To plant and maintain bamboo gardens to display the characteristic beauty of mature plants and to provide plant material for research in the taxonomy, propagation, and culture of as large a number of species as possible.
  5. To support bamboo research in the field and to establish whatever facilities are deemed necessary to carry out the research projects approved by the directors.


The Vision

In contemplating on how to build upon the solid foundation of this Magazine’s past, I have begun to develop a picture of how to it could be in order to expand the established readership, both within the USA and all over the world. The following are, in my view, some of the essential elements that give color and bring life to this picture, as well as helping one conjure up a view of how things ought to be for future Magazines.

  1. To be the guiding light to affect change through helping the reader to become more informed about bamboo under the banner of the ABS, to add depth and breadth to the readers’ existing knowledge, whilst striving for the common cause of promoting greater awareness of the potential of bamboo.
  2. To proactively gain more members by being a significant reason for joining and staying in the Society.
  3. To be sold independent of the Society membership as a free standing magazine, (like the Royal Horticultural Society’s “The Garden” magazine), thereby not just preaching to the converted, but also proactively gaining converts.
  4. To help promote unity throughout all National, International Societies and local Chapters, so that they may act as one, by reporting on all important issues occurring around the world, thus being influential in affecting progress on a global basis.
  5. To inspire the greater use of bamboo in public landscapes for better exposure and to encourage educational interpretation of bamboos in the public arenas, both in the US and around the world.
  6. To raise the level of knowledge of the reader, without requiring prior knowledge in order to comprehend the texts. No reader should feel that any article is irrelevant. To never include an article just because it is made available. Every article has to be acquired.
  7. To make influential people feel they need to have their works published in the Magazine, because it will enhance their careers. To encourage the collection of academics to work towards common goals, not as individuals. This is achieved by encouraging them to publish their works in the Magazine, as well as the sharing of information. To increase the Magazine credibility through the use of appropriate documentation methodology and referencing, such as the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).
  8. To be conducive to the discussion of ethnobotany.
  9. Conservation: To play a part in helping save environments around the world, the whole flora and fauna communities, of which bamboo is merely a part. This can be achieved by being a forum for open discussion and debate on how to combat these vital

The Mission

To me, the mission is an outline of steps to be taken that will transform the Magazine vision into practice.  That is, the mission will be the answer to the question of why
anyone should bother to pick it up and read it.

  1. To adhere to the goals of the ABS, as described in the ABS objectives and purposes above.
  2. To maintain the high standards already set in the presentation and content of the Magazine.
  3. To solicit articles from experts within the U.S.A. and around the world, in order to cater to the huge range of interests and keep everyone well informed within the ABS Membership.
  4. To establish additional regular features, such as “My favorite bamboo”, interviews of leading figures, also problems and solutions.
  5. To be sold in Botanic Gardens and Arboreta, thereby proactively soliciting new members.
  6. To be printed in recycled paper, thus promoting environmental sustainability.
  7. To occasionally devote a whole Magazine to an important subject.
  8. To promote local, national and international issues with the established “Calendar of Events”.
  9. To be visually exciting, enticing the person to actually read and learn from the articles.
  10. To have color photos on the front cover and within the text.
  11. To include as many photos (black & white and color) and illustrations as possible, in order to breathe life into the texts. Ultimately, they should all be in color.
  12. To ensure that all academic articles remain approachable and user friendly.

Clearly, these goals cannot be achieved overnight. They are however, what I feel we should be aim to accomplish within the foreseeable future.

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