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.

5GBGC - latest news

8 October 2013

Over 300 people from over 40 countries have now registered for the Congress and the scientific programme has been finalised.

All the latest news and information about the congress is provided below:

Spreading the word through twitter: We are using #BGCI2013 to spread the word and share information about the congress through twitter. Please help us by tweeting about your preparations and hopes for the Congress.

On-line registration: Online Congress registrations closed on Friday 4th October 2013. Anyone now wishing to register must do so in person at the Congress.  Registrations will be from 7.30am to 9.00am each day. Only cash payments will be accepted on these days as there are no Credit Card facilities available at the Dunedin Centre.

Special invitation - Alveston House: Olveston House in Dunedin has kindly extended an invitation to the members of BGCI, ICOM New Zealand and accompanying people to visit and take a tour free of charge (normally NZ$25) on the morning of the 25th of October, from 9am. Those accompanying members of either organisation are welcomed on their own as well.  For those able to make it, ICOM New Zealand would like to offer morning tea at Olveston House. It is not necessary to be attending either conference. Bookings are, however, essential for catering purposes. Please contact Olveston House directly on

Scientific programme: The detailed programme is available on the website ( . If you are making a presentation, please check the programme on the website to find out when you will be speaking.

Guidelines for speakers: Oral presentations should last for 20 minutes (including a few minutes for immediate questions). General questions and discussions will be held in each session after all the presentations have been made. Rapid fire presentations should last for an absolute maximum of 10 minutes.  Computer projector facilities will be available in each room. Please let us know if you will require any other resources for your presentation.

Filming at the Congress: We are hoping to film all plenary sessions and selected parallel sessions during the Congress.  The films will be made available on the internet via the BGCI website. If any speaker does not wish to be filmed, or has any concerns about this, please let us know.  We will assume that unless otherwise advised, all speakers give their permission to be filmed.

Silent auction: We are planning to hold a silent auction on Thursday 24 October prior to the Conference Dinner. This will be in aid of the Sylvia Scholarship Fund to support training in botanic gardens in developing countries.  We hope many of you will buy gifts during the auction but please note that payment will need to be in cash (NZ$) only. (More information about the Sylvia scholarship fund is available here:

Special events during the Congress: As part of the scientific programme, a number of additional workshops / events will be held during the week. These include:

  • Tuesday 22 October: a lunch-time workshop “Ethnobotany in the garden: engaging communities with nature”
  • Tuesday 22 October: a hands-on poster session “Curing ‘plant blindness’ through inquiry”.
  • Thursday 24 October: Workshop: “Planning living collections – a toolkit approach”.
  • Friday 25 October: Workshop: “Education in botanic gardens: moving from ‘Sage on the Stage’ to ‘Engage and Discover’”.

These events are open to all and further details will be available on the Congress website.

Joint event with ICOM (Friday 25 October): The International Council of Museums, New Zealand, and BGCI are hosting a joint event on the afternoon of Friday 25 October on the occasion of the inaugural annual ICOM New Zealand conference. This will provide an opportunity for the members of the botanic garden and museums communities to explore common ground and to think laterally about their own practices as the guardians and interpreters of heritage. All 5GBGC delegates are welcome to attend the event, but need to register in advance. Registration fees (NZ$40) will be payable in cash to BGCI at the Congress.  Further information is available here:

Congress tours: The pre-Congress tour is virtually at capacity, however Post-Congress Tours are still available – please contact Mark Hanger at Nature Quest New Zealand,, or check the Congress website for further information.

Wednesday Tour – You will be travelling from sea level (Aramoana salt marsh) up to 369m to the cloud forest around Orokonui ecosancturay and to the coastal cliffs adjacent the Otago Peninsula Albatross colony. Please make sure you bring options of warm clothing, a wind/shower jackets and some good sturdy footwear to meet the rigours of the diverse Dunedin climate.  Spring in Dunedin can be a little volatile and challenging!

Congress proceedings: We do not expect to print a formal Congress proceedings, but would like to make the full text of papers presented during the Congress available via BGCI’s website.  If you would like your presentation to be included on the website, please provide the full text of your talk to BGCI by the end of November 2013.

Smoking: For all those smokers out there - a friendly warning.  New Zealand law prohibits smoking in all public buildings and anywhere within 6 metres of an entranceway.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact BGCI ( or the Congress organisers:

We look forward to seeing you soon and wish you all safe journeys to and within New Zealand!

Back to news archive