EBA-Letter to the Members 2020

Bonsai art under the rules of covid19 pandemic management

Dear EBA Members, Dear Delegates,

The Covid19 crisis continues to shape our thinking and actions. The economic and social challenges we face are huge and governments have different ways of dealing with the situation. That is why it is all the more important that the clubs and the EBA member countries stick together, and, with exemplary commitment, help to shape the future of our associations in Europe and in this way,  secure it.

In the past few months, the work in the clubs has not stopped completely. In the course of this we were allowed to welcome guest demonstrators, if the rules allowed.  Although initially, only for a limited number of participants, in between for  larger audience workshops and demos  -  could be organized in some countries.   In the meantime, due to a sharp increase in diseases, some regulations had to be tightened again. Due to the clustering of affected regions in the course of an increase in the number of sick people, there are unfortunately still strong differences in the regulations for social contacts and hygiene, which also include the activities of the bonsai clubs.

Apart from initial difficulties in organizing countermeasures most European countries have  coped with the pandemic reasonably well. It can be assumed that this also applies to the EBA members and their clubs. With great willingness, creativity and talent for improvisation, it was particularly important to check planned large events very quickly for their feasibility and to cancel them in an emergency. The difficulty also introduced different ways of dealing with problems with the European governments.

Now with a constantly increasing number of people is suffering from Covid19.  Autumn,  Winter and Spring are the main time for many activities organized by clubs and associations during the bonsai-year. Those responsible for the organisation have to deal with the problem of reducing contact opportunities.   Most of the European countries have very strict regulations that it is almost impossible to hold workshops or demonstrations. It is also not possible to hold meetings of the members. That's why every club, every bonsai association needs to find its mode to be able to react according to the membership structure.

This gave rise to the idea of ​​a survey of the members of the EBA on how they reacted in detail to the challenges of the pandemic and what experiences they had in the process.

It is suggested to send to the board a short report of the difficulties experienced and the solutions found to it, if any.   We will analyse the reports and provide a summary of key experiences and solutions to all EBA members. Here are some suggestions for possible problems and experiences for the report:

Regular club meetings: Were they possible? Have they been accepted? What rules have been set and have they been adopted? ...

Workshops and demos: Have planned WS or demos already been held? In what period or when did they resume? What were the access rules? What was the reaction of the WS leader or the demonstrator? Did penalties/fees have to be paid for event rooms or demonstrator for cancelled events?   Was there insurance for such cases? Was there support from the umbrella organizations or the public authorities? What should be planned in advance for the future? …

Medium or large bonsai events: have they been largely cancelled? What was the response from the organizers? Is there a detailed emergency plan for such cancellations? Was there insurance for such cases? Was there support from the umbrella organizations or the public authorities? What should be planned in advance for the future?...

Organization: Have teleconferences been used for board meetings or other meetings …Zoom?    Do you think of virtual exhibitions or organized video demonstrations in the event of a cancellation? What about protective measures? Was it difficult to get bonsai instruments, substrates or plants?

It is clear that the different sizes of the member countries and their clubs do not allow consistent answers, but a summary of the country-specific reactions and future ideas could be possible by the boards of the member countries.

It is an initiative for crisis management, albeit with an uncertain outcome.

Since the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic the activities of EBA have been restricted. The EBA Convention 2020 in Kromeriz (Cech Republic) was cancelled and now the EBA Convention 2021 in Gaydon (UK) has also been cancelled. In connection with this fact there EBA will save an amount of 1500.00 EURO in 2020 by not paying the EBA Convention-Contribution. After consultation with the board and our treasurer Jürgen Carocci, however, we would suggest dividing 1,500.00 euros, which is intended to support the EBA conventions, into three parts and crediting the coming EBA conventions. This would mean that the organizers of the EBA Conventions in 2021, 2022 and 2023 would receive EUR 500.00 more in support.

Since we don't have an EBA Convention with integrated meetings (board, round table and general assembly) this year, we also have to decide whether we should hold a virtual extraordinary board meeting and a virtual extraordinary AGM. The board imagine that first we put together a very simple and short agenda and send it to you together with reports in short form. We will ask for the necessary decisions via email and request acceptance of the report or your comment on certain items on the agenda.

We would ask you to send your consent or disapproval to an extraordinary virtual AGM as described above via email to the EBA secretary (detlef.mostler@aon.at) as soon as possible. If no response is received within two weeks, we assume that you will agree.

Matthias Graf was announced to be the new EBA Delegate of Switzerland. We welcome him in our association and thank Boris Litmanowitsch for his work for EBA over the years.

We still count on holding our EBA Convention properly in Kromeriz (Czech Republic) in September 2021. The organizers of CBA are preparing the programme and will inform in due time about the progress. They contracted 3 front European bonsai artists as demonstrators and Workshop leaders already: Luis Villa Gonzales /Esp,  Sandro Segneri / It and Carlos van der Vaart/ Ned.

At the end of this letter in an annex we are passing the latest news from the organizers of the planned EBA convention in Gaydon / UK.

With the wish that you and your family and also the members of your bonsai-clubs were not affected by the pandemic, or if so, only without serious effects, with best regards

Marc Noelanders (EBA President)               Detlef Mostler (EBA Secretary)