Feb
20
6:30 PM18:30

Fight the Fungus: Saving Hawaii’s Forests from Extinction

Conservation X Labs, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Botanic Garden

The future of the ʻōhiʻa (Metrosideros polymorpha), a culturally significant and ecologically valuable tree, is in doubt. The ʻōhiʻa  is being threatened by microscopic fungi (Ceratocystis huliohia and Ceratocystis lukuohia) that recently invaded the islands of Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i. If unstopped, these invaders could irreversibly change Hawaii’s ecosystems and culture by eliminating the beloved ʻōhi‘a.

Join specialists from Conservation X Labs, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Botanic Garden, for the Washington D.C. premiere of a new short documentary about Hawaii’s sacred tree, Saving ‘Ōhi’a. Chronicling the cultural and ecological importance of this keystone species, Saving ‘Ōhi’a  relates the growing impact of “Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death” (ROD) on the future of this important tree.  Following the documentary screening, a panel of diverse experts will discuss the global impact of fungal pathogens like those causing ROD, and explore the solutions needed to combat the fungal pathogens. The evening will also highlight The ‘Ōhiʻa Challenge, a Department of the Interior-sponsored competition to identify and support solutions that detect and prevent the spread of ROD in the Hawaiian islands. To learn more about The ‘Ōhiʻa Challenge, visit www.savetheohia.org.

Please note: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program will begin at 7 p.m. Prior to the screening, attendees are encouraged to visit the Hawaii room of the Conservatory to learn about the native Hawaiian plants in the U.S. Botanic Garden’s collection. Small bites will be served.

DATE: Wednesday, February 20

TIME:  6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Conservatory West Gallery

FREE: Pre-registration required

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