4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress

If you wish to post any notice on this webpage, related to actions or other activities following on from the Congress, please contact Matthew Jebb at matthew.jebb at opw.ie, or Belinda Hawkins at BGCI


The scientific programme addressed 8 themes Feedback from each session was provided, and these were divided into three main themes:

Strategies and targets

The Congress has provided an opportunity to gauge the success of the International Agenda and the GSPC in providing a framework for action by botanic gardens.The GSPC has provided a clear framework – all targets are being addressed.

No matter how many targets botanic gardens are working on, they are making valuable contributions to the GSPC.

2010 has provided a clear goal and accelerated progress. For example, Target 1 has been particularly successful. However, the long-term sustainability of deliverables must also be considered.

The enhanced dissemination and impact of the GSPC outcomes will depend on a closer collaboration between science, conservation and education practitioners within the botanic garden.As well as the GSPC, botanic gardens need to engage with other key global policies and strategies – such as the UNFCCC, Millennium Development Goals, World Heritage Convention and the Access and Benefit Sharing provisions of the CBD.

We need to develop wider partnerships beyond the BG community.

Botanic gardens need to continue sharing information and resources and develop informal and formal partnerships, promoting their successes and the benefits of working together.

Working for change means and requires long-term sustainable projects and dedication over many years.

Some specific needs that were identified include:

Conservation Action

Botanic gardens are adopting both species-based and thematic approaches to conservation.

Conservation initiatives involving a range of institutions around a common taxa can be productive.

Lower plants, cycads, trees and island flora were all addressed this week.

Partnerships, information exchange, outreach to local communities are key to conservation action success.

During this congress there were calls to establish:

Engaging with society

BGs are uniquely placed to develop a stronger role across all social demographics.

There is a need to raise the profile of BGs with other cultural organisations, public bodies and governments.

Societal impact must be documented.

Social vision must be embedded throughout the botanic garden.

The importance of ecosystem services must be communicated in new ways to visitors.

We need to interpret climate change and conservation science in locally relevant ways.

Working with local communities is essential for translating international policies into on-the-ground action. This can include job-creation and economic opportunities for local communities.

Botanic gardens have a significant role to play in supporting and influencing pedagogy and learning within formal education systems.

Certified courses encourage participation and standardisation of quality.

To build sustainable gardens it is important to involve all staff and to layer sustainability principles in all practices of botanic gardens.

Making use of traditional knowledge and local resources is an effective way of demonstrating solutions and bringing unique habitats to life.

Individuals can have an impact on determining the development of a botanic garden.

Inter-relationship between science, horticulture and education is critical in developing education programmes.