Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Network Management Structure 2005-2007

The following Network Management Structure will guide the operation of the Network until the next Assembly can formally discuss and adopt it.


The overall management of the ABGN will be undertaken by an appointed Secretariat and a Co-ordinator will be appointed to head the Secretariat. Co-ordination is essential for the network to be effective in achieving its mission. Responsibilities of the Secretariat will include:

a) Day-to-day management of the network.

b) Maintaining communication with regional co-ordinators and members, as appropriate.

c) Compiling and disseminating information.

d)    Identifying and recruiting new members.

e)    Developing and administering the budgets and producing relevant financial reports for audit purposes.

f)      Organising meetings, workshops, events and travels.

g)    Interacting with donor organisations, government agencies and other groups.

h)    Co-ordinating committee meetings.

i)      Implementing and co-ordinating training courses and workshops.

j)      Organising external reviews of network programmes.

k)    Sourcing and disbursing, where appropriate and with due consultation, funding for network activities and projects.

l)      Promoting the network and conservation regionally and internationally.

m)  Communicating in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, as appropriate.

n)    The Co-ordinator will report to the Steering Committee and be charged with the implementation of policies and programmes as determined by the Assembly and the Steering Committee.


The Assembly is the overall governing body of the network and is chaired by the Chairperson of the Steering Committee. The function of the Assembly is to discuss network activities, budgets, financial reports, and to ensure the election of the Steering Committee. There must be 8 member countries present to open the Assembly and at least two-thirds of the regions (North, West, Central, Eastern, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands) must be represented.

The Assembly will meet at a maximum interval of five years. Regional and sub-regional meetings are to be held more frequently. Assembly meetings are to be linked, where possible, to other international meetings, such as the World Botanic Gardens Congress.


The ABGN encourages the participation of all parties who accept and honour the policies and principles of the network. Membership conditions will be reviewed, by the Steering Committee, when appropriate.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is an agreed group of members who are empowered by the Assembly to carry out specific duties of the network. The Steering Committee will be led by a Chairperson elected by the members of the Steering Committee. The responsibilities of the Steering Committee are to:

a) Develop the overall strategy of the network, including structure and function.

b) Endorse grant proposals.

c) Approve and terminate membership.

d) Recruit and appoint a network Co-ordinator and Secretariat staff.

e) Develop and circulate an annual network work-plan to the Members.

f) Review, select and allocate funding to network project grants.

g) The Steering Committee will ensure that an annual external audit of the Secretariat and its finances is carried out.

h) Develop and review, as appropriate, terms of reference for regional and national coordinators.

The Steering Committee is composed of one representative member from each region plus an ex officio representative of the Secretariat and of BGCI who are permanent members of the Committee. Each region should also elect an alternate representative member, when appropriate. Committee members can serve a maximum of two terms or ten years. However, at least two members must retire at the end of each five-year period.

Members of the Steering Committee will meet at least thrice within the five-year period between Assembly meetings. The present Steering Committee, inaugurated at the African Botanic Gardens Congress, Durban, in November 2002, is composed of the following persons and institutions:

a) George Owusu-Afriyie – Aburi Botanic Gardens, Ghana (Chair); Regional Co-ordinator for West Africa.

b) BGCI Representative; International Relations.

c) Christopher Dalzell – Durban Botanic Gardens, South Africa; Co-ordinator of the ABGN Secretariat.

d) Christopher Willis – South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa; Regional Co-ordinator for Southern Africa.

e) Christopher Fominyam – Limbe Botanic Garden, Cameroon; Regional Co-ordinator for Central Africa.

f) William Wambugu – Nairobi Botanic Garden, Kenya; Regional Co-ordinator for Eastern Africa.

g) North Africa – to be elected.

h) Indian Ocean Islands – to be elected.

The Steering Committee has the prerogative to establish working groups as and when required. These will report to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will also be able to co-opt additional short-term advisory members as and when required.

Amendment to the network management structure

The Network Management Structure (NMS) can be changed or amended by the Assembly on recommendation of the Steering Committee. To modify and/or amend the NMS, the proposed change(s) must be sent to the Steering Committee at least six months before the Assembly meeting. Where appropriate, the Steering Committee will table amendments to the Assembly. Members present at the Assembly meeting can vote on the changes presented as a ballot. Seventy percent of members present can approve the amendment by ballot. All members will be informed of the results and any change in the NMS within three months after the Assembly.

Location of the Secretariat

The Assembly, on recommendation of the Steering Committee, will approve the location of the Secretariat.