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.

Guidelines and policy

Supporting education in botanic gardens is one of BGCI's key roles. We develop policies, guidelines and tools to support best practice in environmental education and education for sustainable development. Here are some frameworks for developing and implementing education in botanic gardens and for supporting funding applications.

The education publications can be accessed:

  • electronically (as PDFs) using the links below
  • as PDFs on the BGCI CD Rom, 'Plants for the Planet: Resource pack for botanic gardens'
  • hard copies can be ordered by contacting us



Caring for your community: a manual for botanic gardens

This manual provides results from BGCI's Communities in Nature initiative which aimed to grow the social role of botanic gardens. The manual is broken down into four sectins: Social issues, How to engage the community, Audience research and Funding. The introduction to eahc section gives an analysis of the researched projects and is followed by case studies that give more information and context. 





Education for Sustainable Development: Guidelines for Action in Botanic Gardens

Botanic gardens have always been important centres for environmental education and in recent years there has been a growing interest in education for sustainable development (ESD) amongst botanic garden educators. As a holistic process, ESD attempts to represent the complex and dynamic relationships between the natural and social sciences thus providing a means of addressing the environmental and development issues of the 21st century.

BGCI has produced these guidelines to support botanic gardens in developing and implementing ESD strategies.



Environmental Education in Botanic Gardens: Guidelines for developing individual strategies

This document evolved out of a stated need by botanic gardens for direction in setting up and developing environmental education programmes. These guidelines contains a step by step approach and framework for botanic gardens to develop their programmes, including case studies and examples from gardens all over the world.



Making your Garden Come Alive! Environmental Interpretation in Botanical Gardens

This excellent book, produced by the Southern African Botanical Diversity Network (SABONET), provides practical guidelines on how to develop an interpretation programme in a botanic garden. Topics covered include planning, interpretive signs, self-guided trails, visitor orientation and using themes.





The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)


The GSPC highlights the importance of plants and the ecosystem services they provide for all life on earth, and aims to ensure their conservation.  It contains 16 targets through which the ultimate aim of halting the current and continuing loss of plant diversity can be achieved.  Target 14 focuses educators on the inclusion of plants (their conservation, diversity and importance) in environmental education.  Find out more about the GSPC and what botanic gardens around the world are doing to address Target 14 through their education programmes.