Singapore Botanic Gardens becomes BGCI Patron Member
BGCI is delighted to welcome Singapore Botanic Gardens as its latest Patron Member. As a Patron Member, Singapore joins a number of other large botanic gardens that work closely with BGCI to help shape our programme and determine future directions for the organisation.
BGCI has a long and productive history of working with the Singapore Botanic Gardens. From 2003 - 2010, BGCI's office for South East Asia was based at the Gardens and a number of activities related to BGCI's Investing in Nature programme were held there.
In 2008, Singapore Botanic Gardens played host to a BGCI Gala Benefit Dinner to raise funds to support our work in Southeast Asia. Attended by government and embassy officials as well as representatives from regional companies and NGOs the evening was a great success.
The Gardens also hosted BGCI's successful inaugural International Certificate in Botanic Garden Management in the Asia Pacific Region in March 2010 and in 2013 a BGCI regional workshop on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation was held at the Gardens.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens was established at its present site in 1859 and as a result of a series of Kew-trained botanists, the Gardens blossomed into an important botanical institute. Today, the Gardens is managed by the National Parks Board, a statutory board of the Singapore government.
In the early years, the Gardens played an important role in fostering agricultural development in Singapore and the region through collecting, growing, experimenting and distributing potentially useful plants. One of the earliest and most important successes was the introduction, experimentation and promotion of Para Rubber, Hevea brasiliensis. This became a major crop that brought great prosperity to the South East Asian region in the early 20th century. From 1928, the Gardens spearheaded orchid breeding and started its orchid hybridisation programme, facilitated by new in vitro techniques pioneered in its laboratories. In contemporary times, the Gardens also played a key role in Singapore’s Garden City programme through the continual introduction of plants of horticultural and botanical interest.
The Gardens has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) on 4 July 2015. The Gardens is the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is the first in Asia and the third botanic gardens inscribed in the world following Orto botanico di Padova and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.