Botanic Gardens Conservation International
BGCI provides a global voice for all botanic gardens, championing and celebrating their inspiring work. We are the world's largest plant conservation network, open to all. Join us in helping to save the world's threatened plants.

African Botanic Gardens Network Bulletin 7


August, 2003

Conservation Manuals for the Congo

this article was submitted by BGCI on behalf of the authors

A series of 4 booklets has recently been produced to encourage villagers in the lower Congo to conserve the diversity of plant and animal life, and, at the same time, improve the productivity of their land. The booklets have been put together by a team which included the director of the Kisantu botanic garden, Kibungu Kembelo, a local artist, and the staff of a rural development project. These booklets accompany demonstrations given by the staff of a rural development project. They cover such subjects as ‘how to grow and prepare wild vegetables’ (Quelques légumes locaux du Bas-Congo), ‘how to plant indigenous trees’ (Reboisement en Bas-Congo), ‘how to increase the production of edible caterpillars and the plants they feed on’ (Chenilles comestible du Bas-Congo) and ‘how to identify and use wild mushrooms’ (Les champignons comestibles du Bas-Congo). The information in each booklet is built around a typical village situation and develops as a story in picture form with local characters taking part. The books have thus been designed and developed by rural people for rural people and for use in schools and village meetings. They are reasonably priced and profits will assist both the botanic garden and the development programme. The production of these books in French and Kikongo has been part financed from a DFID grant and also by the Salvation Army who operate the development programme in the lower Congo.

A series of more technical resource manuals are also being produced for development workers on useful plants of the lower Congo. These include economic crops, fruits and vegetables, weaving and tying materials etc. and also plants that provide food for economic insects such as honey bees and edible insects, and in particular various species of caterpillars which are commonly eaten in the lower Congo. These manuals will be available in both French and English.

For further information contact:

Major Matondo, Gracia, Armée du Salut, BP 8636, Kinshasa 1, Democratic Republic of Congo. E-mail:
or Paul Latham, Croft Cottage, Forneth, Blairgowrie, Perthshire PH10 6SW, U.K. E-mail:

Plant Conservation Before Science

Adeniyi A. Jayeola

Myths, taboos and superstitions are widely used in Africa as indigenous mechanisms of managing plant resources that predate the advent of conservation science. For instance, a specific myth, taboo or superstition, is associated with a sacred tree, which forbids harvesting or extraction of any parts of the tree for social, cultural and commercial purposes.

The urge to interact with specific trees or group of trees, in situ, in Africa is strong and this develops into some kinds of relationships. Relationships that involve admiration, respect, fear and rituals are described as sacred. Inthe process, unwritten “codes of conduct” develop to protect the sacred elements of nature, which are expressed as myth or superstition, to ensure that both the plants and their habitats are sustained. These codes are enforced, usually, in the community by seers, herbalists, spiritualists, and deities.. The wages of contravention of the codes range from insanity to mysterious death.

Hamilton (1976), broadly categorized the different sacred trees/group of trees found among diverse cultures, particularly in Asia and Americas as: cosmic species; trees of unusual size, age, or species; historic trees; sacred grove and temple groves; temple-support forests; trees and groves of malevolence; patterns of landscape harmony; forests of healing or sanctuary; and restoration and dedication forests.

Milletia excelsa, is a globally threatened tropical African tree. It is a revered tree among the Yoruba people of Nigeira, who believe that it has a benevolent, respected and gentle spirit. Therefore, it is forbidden to harvest or extract this sacred tree in part or whole before several rituals have been performed to appease its spirit. The practice of this tradition, had for long, protecetd M. excelsa from lumbering, herbal harvesting and muthi trade. Although in the remote areas of the Yoruba land, the indigenous people still cling to their culture, lack of adherence to this protective tradition in most other places has now exposed M. excelsa to massive exploitation. Today, M. excelsa is one of the globally threatened trees.

In Kenya, again, we have an example of forest heritage in Loita, Forest of the Lost Child (Entim e Naimina Enkiyio) according to Massaia legend. Globally threatened trees found in the Loita forest include, Juniperus procera and Warburgia salutaris. Much remains unknown of several other heritage forests of Africa as refuges for endemic taxa. Such forests might harbour several species in need of urgent ex situ conservation.

It is true that conservation is firmly embedded in African culture and past generations were able to conserve some of the species that are now threatened globally by using culture as a mechanism.

Hamilton noted thatsome species and some individual trees or groves were regarded as cosmic centers, the abodes of gods or powerful spirit (such as dryads), and homes of the ancestors. These trees, groves, and whole forests were protected because of these metaphysical aspects, very often to the entire exclusion of any utilization.Gadgil and Vartak (1976) reported that in India, the sacred groves, represent the last vestiges of wild biodiversity in the landscape, since any product removal is religiously restricted. Shengji (1993) points out that the temple yards of Buddhist temples in Yunnan, China, maintain biodiversity of many useful plants for ritual, edible, or ornamental purposes. The María Lionza National Monument, (the forest abode of María Lionza) is tropical rainforest of 40,000 ha and has not been entered for slash and burn agriculture because of the serious misfortune that befalls anyone who cuts or burns her trees. Many cosmic species are known from several cultures: Ficus religiosa (ipal), the tree where under the Buddha received enlightenment; thus, Buddhists everywhere consider ipal a holy tree. In addition, the mythic world tree of the Hindus is represented by Ficus. benghalensis which protected the legend infant Lord Krishna. Consequently, no Hindu or Buddhist shrine is complete without F. benghalensis.

Today, humanity is adrift because science, in its obsession with measuring the physical, has ignored those areas of knowledge that earlier generations have used as steering signals to obtain their essential values, goals and sense of meaning. Over the ages, the dominant social, political and economic systems have succeeded in distorting or breaking down the complexity of both cultures and natural ecosystems. Indigenous practice or native knowledge is perceived as a mere expression of primitive attitudes, thinking, emotion and beliefs.The conquest of cultures all too often have led to the cosmic trees being destroyed in the name of authentic religion.

We must protect the threatened plants and the indigenous knowledge from going into extinction either together or separately. Traditional peoples are the undoubted stewards of threatened biodiversity worldwide.

Is there chance for a viable rural culture in modern conservation? What are the effects of modern conservation on rural culture and environment? It is possible to reverse the destructive drive of civilization referred to as extinctionism, according to Rudolf Bahro. Acient methods require new interest. There are interesting perspectives of indigenous conservation mechanisms in Africa, which need to be documented and circulated for our education, particularly that of the youths.

Botanical gardens are the stewards of biodiversity conservation ex situ. Gardens should seek to understand how the indigenous peoples of the world are doing it in situ. Where does the indigenous knowledge lead the botanical gardens? It will help to renew the confidence of the rural people in conservation science and provide the much-needed platform for educating our children. Today, many indigenous people still see conservation science not only as being exploitative but also incompatible with cultural knowledge.

No doubt, there is also a marked lack of awareness on environment in general and plant conservation in particular among our youth. The education units of our botanical gardens have the responsibility for providing information, which truly integrates cultural knowledge into conservation science.

As we begin to put down our thoughts for the 2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress in 2004, it would be useful to ponder on how we can have an exposition of African culture and tradition in plant conservation. Indeed, I thought of a session titled “Plant Conservation Before the Advent of Science” There is no doubt that we shall have several rich perspectives from different continents both for our education and entertainment.

Adeniyi A. Jayeola, Botanical Gardens, Botany Department, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Hamilton, L.S. 1976. Tropical Rainforest Use and Preservation: A Study of Problems and Practices in Venezuela. San Francisco: Sierra Club.
Gadgil, M., and V.D. Vartak. 1976. The sacred groves of Western Ghats in: India Economic Botany 30, 152-160.

Establishment of the Calabar Botanic Garden and Conservation Centre,
Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria


The Iroko Foundation and Cercopan, a Nigerian NGO, have commenced a project to rehabilitate the old botanical gardens in the centre of the city of Calabar in SE Nigeria. The garden is located on land owned by the Cross River State Forestry Commission, and will incorporate a nature trail, medicinal plant nursery, primate rehabilitation facilities and an environmental education centre in the new layout.

The botanical gardens were initially established by the British colonial administration in the mid-1880's to introduce economic crops into Nigeria from other parts of the tropics and to cultivate indigenous plants that might be exported to other parts of the empire. However, by the 1930s much of the grounds were sold off leaving the remainder to house the offices of the state government Forestry Commission. The Forestry Commission tried to establish a zoo on the grounds but unfortunately never had sufficient funds or the expertise to run the zoo. For several years, the Forestry Commission and NGOs in Calabar also discussed rehabilitating the gardens but none had access to funding and the plans never came to fruition. Today the garden grounds are derelict. Nevertheless, it is the only green space in the city and is strategically close to the university and the commercial centre of the city. In spite of its air of neglect, people still visit the garden to sit in the shade of its large old trees.

In June 2001, the Iroko Foundation (a UK based NGO), the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Limbe Botanic Garden facilitated a design workshop with the Cross River State Forestry Commission, and local NGOs to re-design the grounds of the garden. A design was developed that will entail substantial re-landscaping of the grounds to include extensive planting of economic and medicinal plants collected from the Cross River rainforests. A nature trail will be constructed through these plantings. Other amenities will include facilities for the rehabilitation of orphaned captive primates that will be re-introduced to the wild and a nursery to propagate and sell endangered medicinal and horticultural plants to the public. This nursery will operate an extension service to train villages throughout the state, to establish their own nurseries for endangered tree species from the rainforests particularly commercially important Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs).

The project will also build an environmental education centre in the garden that will contain a library, video room and other educational facilities for schools, university students, NGOs and the public. To ensure sustainability of the project's outcomes after the end of the grant period, a trust fund for the gardens will be established for their long-term up-keep.

Cercopan will run the gardens along with the Forestry Commission on behalf of a semi-autonomous management board on which relevant government agencies and other NGOs will be represented. The Cercopan staff will be Nigerians who will be trained at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew and Limbe Botanic Garden (another garden in neighbouring Cameroon).

The Iroko Foundation has been able to raise an initial amount of funding to kick off the project and at present, Cercopan, the Iroko Foundation and the Cross River State Forestry Commission are recruiting staff to commence the re-landscaping of the garden. The Iroko Foundation and is seeking experienced staff from elsewhere in Africa to assist with training the new staff of the garden and also with innovative design of the gardens environmental education centre. It is hoped that once the staff of the garden have been recruited, the garden will join the newly established African Botanic Garden Network.

The gardens will educate young people, NGOs and the general public of Nigeria about the Cross River rainforests, their importance to their daily lives and the threats these forests face. The gardens will also help to conserve highly endangered species from the rainforests of Cross River State – one of Africa’s most important biodiversity hotspots. Finally, the gardens will also play a role in enabling villagers to address their poverty through the cultivation and sale of commercially valuable non-timber forest products that are becoming increasingly scarce in the wild.

For more information contact:

Tunde Morakinyo, Iroko Foundation, 18 Academy Court, Kirkwall Place, London E2 ONQ, Tel: 0208 981 2011


Botanical News from Southern Africa

Christopher Willis

New Curator for Free State NBG

Peter Gavhi was appointed as Curator in the Free State National Botanical Garden, Bloemfontein, South Africa, from February 2003. Peter succeeded Amadeus Mogale, who passed away in an untimely and tragic vehicle accident in August 2002 (see African Botanic Gardens Network Bulletin 6; November 2002).

Douglas Gibbs moves to BGCI

Douglas Gibbs, formerly Botanical Manager in the Munda Wanga Trust Botanical Garden in Chilanga, Zambia, has moved to Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) in the UK. Douglas’s new responsibilities will probably include BGCI membership, Africa and Argentina. Douglas can be contacted at

New Botanical Manager in Munda Wanga, Zambia

Mr Doubt Zulu has been appointed as the new Botanical Manager in the Munda Wanga Trust Botanical Garden, Zambia. Doubt brings to Munda Wanga over 12 years of experience in forestry and Community Based Natural Resource Management in Zambia. As a forester, Doubt naturally has a keen interest in the conservation of indigenous trees and in particular indigenous fruit trees. His appointment coincides with the start of a major new project at Munda Wanga, which will see the establishment of a significant conservation facility on derelict land adjacent to the current Botanical Gardens. The Munda Wanga Trust would like to thank the European Union for sponsoring the appointment of Doubt Zulu. Doubt can be contacted at

South Africa wins medal at 90th Chelsea Flower Show

The South African exhibit at this year’s 90th Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s most famous floral spectacle, was awarded a Silver-Gilt Medal. The Kirstenbosch, South Africa exhibit entitled ‘Cape of Flowers’ was made possible by a successful public-private sector partnership between the Western Cape Provincial Government, Old Mutual and the City of Cape Town. The sponsorship allowed three young horticulturists from South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens to attend and participate in the Show. These were Siyabulela Nonjinge (Natal NBG), Berenice Carolus (Harold Porter NBG) and Giles Mbambezeli (Kirstenbosch NBG). Congratulations and thanks to the designers, David Davidson and Ray Hudson, the sponsors and the many people, both in South Africa and the UK, that contributed towards this successful exhibit.

Centenary of South Africa’s National Herbarium

South Africa’s National Herbarium (PRE), the largest herbarium in Africa and one of the largest herbaria in the southern hemisphere with 1.2 million plant specimens, celebrates it’s centenary in 2003. Situated in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden and home to the National Herbarium, Pretoria (PRE) Computerised Information System (PRECIS), the National Herbarium continues to play a significant and leading role in documenting, researching and publicising the botanical diversity of South and southern Africa. The National Herbarium also contains the largest botanical library in Africa, the Mary Gunn Library.

Kirstenbosch’s 90th Anniversary

2003 marks the 90th anniversary of both the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town as well as the Botanical Society of South Africa. The Society, started the same year as the garden, has supported the garden through some difficult years, and we thank all those members, both past and present, for the support they have given towards the development and running of the garden over the past 90 years. A special commemorative edition of the Society’s magazine Veld & Flora is planned for publication in September 2003. Congratulations to Africa’s most popular botanical garden (with over 650,000 visitors per annum) on achieving this milestone, and we look forward to joining in celebrating it’s centenary in 2013…

Obituary: Lloyd Gideon Nkoloma (1944–2003)

Lloyd Gideon Nkoloma, the Curator of the Zomba National Botanic Garden in southern Malawi, passed away unexpectedly after a sudden asthma attack in February 2003. Many readers will remember Lloyd as he attended the first African Botanic Gardens Congress held in Durban Botanic Gardens, South Africa, in November 2003. An obituary for Lloyd was published in SABONET News in March 2003 (Vol.8, No.1; page 31). As southern African botanists we shall miss him and his enthusiasm. Our condolences are extended to Lloyd’s family, friends and colleagues in Malawi’s National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens.

Capital developments in South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens

South Africa’s national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEA&T) has made significant funding (more than R25 million over a two-year period) available to South Africa’s National Botanical Institute (NBI) and its national network of eight botanical gardens for income-generating capital developments and tourism infrastructure, particularly in the northern parts of South Africa. Significant infrastructural developments are planned and currently underway in the following botanical gardens: Pretoria NBG (Pretoria), Free State NBG (Bloemfontein), Witwatersrand NBG (Johannesburg) and Lowveld NBG (Nelspruit). Developments include restaurants, parking areas, visitor’s centres, curio/book shops, environmental education centres, plant sales nurseries and a biodiversity centre. The Lowveld NBG has also received a R5 million donation from the Tsogo Sun (in terms of its bid commitment for the Emnotweni Casino license as granted by the Mpumalanga Gaming Board) to support its new capital infrastructural developments. With separate funding sources, including a significant donation from the Botanical Society of South Africa, a new Centre for Home Gardening is currently being completed in the Kirstenbosch NBG, Cape Town.

New Regional Coordinator for SABONET

Ms Yolande Steenkamp has been appointed as the new SABONET Regional Coordinator, based in the National Herbarium, Pretoria (PRE), from July 2003. Yolande is the third Regional Coordinator in the history of this regional southern African capacity building project that started in 1996. This appointment follows the resignation of Stefan Siebert at the end of April 2003. Stefan has taken up a lecturing position in the Botany Department of the University of Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Yolande can be contacted at the following e-mail address:

Publications still available in the SABONET Report Series

The SABONET Report Series, published through the Southern African Botanical Diversity Network (SABONET) Project, is an occasional publication available free of charge through the SABONET Secretariat in Pretoria. Thus far, 17 numbers in the series have been published, with many more planned for publication within the next 12–18 months. Although some are out of print, the following numbers are still available:

3. PRECIS Specimen database user guide (Prentice & Arnold; May 1998)

4. Inventory, evaluation and monitoring of botanical diversity in southern Africa: a regional capacity and institution building network (SABONET)(Huntley et al.; November 1998)

11. Southern African botanical gardens needs assessment (Botha, Willis & Winter; November 2000)

12. Action plan for southern African botanical gardens (Willis & Turner 2001)

13. Conspectus of southern African Pteridophyta (Roux 2001)

14.Southern African plant Red Data Lists (Golding 2002)

17. A checklist of Lesotho grasses (Kobisi & Kose 2003)

Several out of print numbers are available in PDF format on the SABONET web site: If you would like to order any of the above publications that are still available in hard copy from the SABONET Secretariat, please contact Elsabé Malan at

Threatened Species Programme established in NBI

With funding support from NORAD, South Africa’s National Botanical Institute (NBI) has initiated a new 3-year Threatened Species Programme (TSP), based at the National Herbarium (PRE) in Pretoria. The programme should make a significant contribution towards integrating threatened plant initiatives in the NBI (including those underway in South Africa’s national botanical gardens) and further afield. Some of the key focus areas of the new TSP include defining threats, assessing the impact of risks to threatened plants as well as the compilation of a comprehensive, peer-reviewed Red Data Book of South Africa’s flora in three years time.

SABONET support for Threatened Plant Programmes in southern African botanical gardens

As part of the SABONET Project, 22 botanical gardens in eight southern African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) have each been sponsored with USD3,000 for the implementation of integrated threatened plant programmes using indigenous threatened plants.

Proceedings of the African Botanic Gardens Congress

The SABONET Project has committed funds (USD7,500) towards the publication of theAfrican Botanic Gardens Congress Proceedings in the SABONET Report Series. It is anticipated that the published proceedings will be launched at the 2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in April 2004. The Chair and members of the SABONET Steering Committee are thanked for their generous support of this initiative.

News from the African Botanic Gardens Network Secretariat

Chris Dalzell

American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta

George Owusu-Afriye, Christopher Fominyam and Christopher Dalzell attended the annual conference of the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA) held in Boston, USA from the 28th June – 1st July 2003. Generous sponsorship was provided by Christopher Davidson and Sharon Christopher for us to attend, and for which we are most grateful. We presented a poster session on the African Botanic Gardens Network which was favourably received by all who attended the Congress. Christopher Davidson and Sharon Christopher have also provided funding for the Secretariat for the next three years. They will be visiting South Africa in September/October 2003 which will allow us to discuss further the future of the ABGN.

European Botanic Gardens Congress

I recently attended the European Botanic Gardens Congress, EuroGard III, held in Meise, Brussels, from 21 – 25 July 2003. My attendance was kindly sponsored by the European Network, and I gave a presentation on the history of the ABGN which outlined how the network was established, our Congress held in November 2003 and the future of the ABGN. Many European gardens are involved in Africa and we intend to liase with these Gardens in the near future to explore the possibility of assistance.

Durban Botanic Gardens grows in size

Durban Botanic Gardens recently purchased 1.36 HA of land lying adjacent to the Gardens as part of its programme to increase the Garden’s size. On this piece of land we will be developing a traditional garden for African medicinal plants and a display garden for urban agriculture and permaculture.


Durban Botanic Gardens recently published a booklet, “Trees of the Durban Botanic Gardens”, compiled by Mark Mattson who is a researcher at the Gardens, and volunteer guides. This booklet is a product of generous sponsorship through the Unilever Foundation for Education and Development which funded the GIS and survey components of the project, and Sappi who sponsored the new tree labels which are now to be found on most of the Garden’s trees. Printing costs of the book were met by the e’Thekwini Municipality Parks Department. The booklet provides a full list of all the woody plants in the Garden, and a simply block and grid-based system for locating them. The booklet includes their common names where these are traceable, Zulu names for species indigenous to KwaZulu-Natal, and brief notes on distribution.

Tree labels at the Durban Botanic Gardens

Through generous sponsorship from Sappi, nearly all the trees in Durban Botanic Gardens have been labelled with the following information: Family, Genus, Species, Common Name, Zulu name (if indigenous to KwaZulu-Natal), and locality. We have received further funding from Sappi for 2003/2004 which will be used to improve interpretation and signage in the Gardens.

International News

Christopher Willis

GSPC booklet available from CBD and BGCI

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has, in association with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), published a 13-page booklet on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. The ultimate aim of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is to halt the current and continuing loss of plant diversity. The GSPC, which includes outcome-oriented global targets for 2010, was approved in Decision VI/9 of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD, on 19 April 2002 in The Hague. Each botanical garden in Africa should have a copy of this booklet. Copies of the booklet can be requested from either the CBD Secretariat ( or BGCI (

International Agenda registration

Botanical gardens throughout Africa are reminded and encouraged to register their commitment to implementing the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation. The International Agenda (IA) was published by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and endorsed at the World Botanic Gardens Congress in Asheville, North Carolina, USA, in June 2000. The IA provides a common agenda for botanical gardens worldwide, regardless of their size, history and collections. It aims to motivate botanical gardens to monitor and evaluate their conservation policies and practices in order to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency in plant conservation. The IA also gives guidance on how a botanical garden can develop its own role in conservation that is appropriate to its resources and to the relevant local and regional context and important environmental issues. Information on how to register your garden’s commitment to the IA or copies of the Registration Booklet can be sourced on request from BGCI at

Cycad Action Plan published

The IUCN/SSC Cycad Action Plan has recently (2003) been published by the IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group (ISBN 2-8317-0699-8). Edited by John Donaldson (NBI, Kirstenbosch), Chair of the IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group, the Cycad Action Plan provides an overview of all the cycads and the threats to their survival. The action plan is meant to be a working document and provides technical information, including a regional overview for Africa, to assist with conservation actions.

Title: Cycads. Status survey and conservation action plan.

The publication was published by IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and is available from:

IUCN Publication Services Unit, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK, Tel.: +44 1223 277894 Fax: +44 1223 277175 E-mail:

2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress

17-22 April 2004 Barcelona Spain

Douglas Gibbs

Although it may seem a long way off, now is the time to start to plan for the 2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress. The primary goal of the World Congress is to provide a forum for the botanic gardens of the world to consider matters of mutual importance and concern. The themes for Barcelona 2004 cover a wide range of areas including conservation, education, garden development, research and heritage. In particular, the Congress will review the implementation of the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation. It will also provide a great opportunity for African botanic gardens to inform the world about your important work and for you to meet botanists from other countries.

On the 17th April, there will be regional network meetings which will provide the first real opportunity for botanical gardens across Africa to meet since the launch of the African Botanical Gardens Network in Durban 2002. Therefore, it will be good if African botanic gardens are well represented at the Congress, so that the ABGN can be strengthened and move forward.

Further information about the congress and how to register your interest can be found on the BGCI website at or by sending an email to

New African Focal point for BGCI

Douglas Gibbs has been assigned as the African Focal Point for BGCI. Douglas formerly worked as the Curator of Munda Wanga Trust Botanical Gardens in Zambia and is as a result already known to many of you. Douglas looks forward to working with you all to strengthen and develop the African Botanic Gardens Network. You can contact at

Red List User Guidelines Online

The Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (May 2003) have been posted on the Red List Programme page of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) web site ( Meanwhile, the Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional Levels have been finalized and are currently being translated and published. The document will be published as a booklet, as well as posted on the SSC web site.

Guidelines for using IUCN Red List Categories
Two news items from the Red List Programme office:

You will all be pleased to know that the Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (May 2003) have now been posted on the Red List Programme page of the IUCN SSC web site and is available to download from there (

Relating to this, the Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional Levels document has now been finalized and is currently in the process of being translated and published. The document will be published as a booklet (similar to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria booklet) and should be available from September this year.

Caroline Pollock, Red List Programme Assistant, IUCN/SSC Red List Programme, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DL U.K.,
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 277966
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 277845

Forthcoming Conferences and Congresses

International Conference on Botanical Gardens and Sustainable Development, China, 2004

The ‘International Conference on Botanical Gardens and Sustainable Development’ organised by the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and in collaboration with BGCI and IABG, will be held from 1–3 March 2004 in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. This follows the previous botanical garden conferences held in Nanjing (1988) and Wuxi (1993).

Contact Information

Secretariat for BGSD Conference, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 88 Xuefu Road, Kunming, Yunnan 650223, China, Tel.: +86 871 5171169Fax: +86 871 5160916,, On-line registration:

Deadlines of Submission

Registration form: 30 September 2003, Abstract: 30 October 2003, Full paper: 30 December 2003

Botanic Gardens Australia & New Zealand Conference

Geelong, Victoria, will be the host city for the Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Conference to be held 25-28 October this year. The theme for the conference is "Botanic Gardens Engaging their Communities" and there will be four streams: Conservation and Science, Heritage Planning and Protection, Community Networking and Horticulture/Arboriculture. Two days of plenary sessions will be followed by a day of workshops and a final day of bus tours. Two options will be offered for these: a tour to the Anglesea heathlands, renowned for an extraordinary diversity of plant species including over 100 spp of terrestrial orchids, or a trip focusing on the fine examples of heritage gardens of the Victorian Central goldfields.

For further information contact: John Arnott:

2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress, Spain, 2004

The 2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress on the theme Botanic Gardens – A World of Resources and Heritage for Humankind will be held in Barcelona, Spain, from 17-22 April 2004. It is being organised by the Botanic Garden of Barcelona, the Botanical Institute of Barcelona and BGCI.

Progress on the implementation of the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation will be reviewed, as well as helping quantify the contributions of botanic gardens towards the achievement of the GSPC.

Registration: 17-18 April 2004.

National and Regional Network meetings, special workshops and short courses will take place on Saturday 17 April 2004.

If you would like to receive guidelines to participate in the programme, please contact the International Programme Committee for the 2nd World Botanic Gardens Congress, c/o BGCI, Descanso House, 199 Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3BW, UK. Tel.: +44 (0) 20 8332 5953 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8332 5956

For more information visit the Congress web site:

E-mail: Or for contribution details e-mail:

African Botanic Gardens Bulletin

The African Botanic Garden Bulletin has a revolving editorship. This means that your garden can have the opportunity to produce the Bulletin should you be interested. Please contact BGCI at Descanso House, 199 Kew Road, Richmond Surrey TW9 3BW, UK Fax: 0044 020 8332 5956 Email:, or express your interest to the current Editor Mark Mattson: Durban Botanic Gardens, P.O. Box 3740, Durban 4000, South Africa Tel: +27 (031) 201 1303 Fax: +27 (031) 201 7382 Email:

The Bulletin is published and distributed freely Botanic Gardens Conservation International. The Bulletin reaches 131 botanic gardens in Africa and is entirely dependent on the voluntary articles contributed by the staff from these institutions.