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Report of the XII International Conference of the International Association of Botanic Gardens (IABG)

Volume 3 Number 7 - February 2001


The XII International Conference of the International Association of Botanic Gardens IABG was held in Córdoba, Spain in June, 2001 under the title The Botanic Gardens and their commitment to society in the third millennium. The meeting was organised by the Botanic Garden of Córdoba. The previous (XI) IABG Conference was held in Wuxi, China in 1993. The objectives of the Córdoba meeting included a study of the financing and sustainability of botanic gardens and an analysis of the gardens' position within the framework of international Conventions such as CBD and CITES.

The IABG is dedicated to the promotion of international cooperation between Botanic Gardens, Arboreta and other similar institutes maintaining scientific collections of living plants. The IABG was formed in 1954 and is a worldwide organisation being affiliated to the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) as a commission of the International Association of Botanical and Mycological Societies (IAMBS). The aims of the IABG are pursued by means of publications, committee work, meetings and symposia and contact through regionally autonomous groups having representation on the IABG Council. All botanic gardens, arboreta or other institutes and their staff are eligible for membership of IABG through the various regional groups in Europe, Ibero-Macaronesia, Latin America, Australasia-Oceania, E. Asia. The Constitution of IABG was revised and ratified in Frankfurt in 1987.

The conference brought together about 100 experts from over 20 countries to study the social commitment in the management and design of botanic gardens in the 21st century, the role of botanic gardens in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and their involvement in international conventions, the cultural, historical and documentary heritage of botanic gardens, the management of collections, scientific co-operation, the current framework for the access to phytogenetic resources, the role of botanic gardens and conservation methods. The opening lecture was given by Professor Peter Crane (Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K.) on A strategy for science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It included the opening lecture for the course Public gardening, the creation and management of green areas by Klaus Ammann, (Bern Botanic Gardens, Switzerland) entitled Philosophy of Gardens, an essay at the International University of Andalucia.

The Conference included the inauguration of the Andalusian Plant Germplasm Bank of the Córdoba Botanic Garden . Many visits to local gardens and museums were arranged with three days of longer tours offered. Local tours included visits to the Mosque, the Moratalla Gardens and the Medina Azahara Archaeological complex. Longer tours included visits to the National Park of the Sierras of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas and the botanic garden in the Park and the International University of Andalucia at Baeza and an oil mill.

There was a special meeting held during the conference to consider the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, to consider its draft targets. Following the conference, a report was compiled which was submitted to the CBD Executive Secretary for consideration as part of the ongoing discussions of this initiative (see article in this issue of BGCNews on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

The IABG General Assembly at the XII International Conference of the IABG was held on the 21st June. The General Assembly proposed Resolutions concerning the IABG-BGCI future relationship (see Box), a new Council Board (see Box), a new emblem and an application by the Andalucian Government Environment Department for a network of open spaces in Andalucia (a new and relevant collection of in situ botanic gardens) to become a member of the Asociación Ibero-Macaronésica de Jardines Botánicos (AIMJB) (for further information see Botanic Garden News item AIMJB news).

Proposal of Resolutions of the XII International Conference including the resolution concerning the IABG-BGCI future relationship

The botanists assembled for the 12th International Conference of the International Association of Botanic Gardens (IABG) held in Cordoba from 18th to 21st June, 2001 discussed several topics related to the activities carried out in Botanic Gardens and admitted that a greater number of activities should be organized in order to contribute to a more harmonious coexistence between mankind and nature.

In this connection, the following resolutions were made:

  1. Efforts should be made by Botanic Gardens, especially in plant conservation and social education, as it was discussed and drafted on the first day of the 12th IABG Conference.
  2. The activities of the IABG should respond to social impacts and be connected with the activities carried out by similar international organizations, such as CITES, CBD, IUCN, GBIF, and so on.
  3. The new Council Board of the IABG to be elected in this Assembly should establish a definitive agreement with the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). That agreement will promote the integration of the two organizations under the terms to be negotiated by the IABG Board and the BGCI Board and to be presented in the next World Botanical Garden Congress to be held in Barcelona in 2004. There is the intention of holding the first meeting of the new organization-to-be in association with the 12th International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Vienna in 2005.
  4. The 12th General Assembly of the IABG fully endorses the development of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and empowers the new Executive Committee to present proposals and recommendations for the improvement of the targets proposed by the SBSTTA Secretariat and based on the discussions and conclusions of the 12th IABG Conference, as well as to participate in any other activities implementing the CBD and its involvement with Botanic Gardens.
  5. The 12th Assembly of the IABG is most grateful to the Botanic Garden of Córdoba. the Authorities of the City and the University of Córdoba, as well as the Region of Andalusia for their excellent hospitality and organization of the 12th IABG Conference.

Proposal of a new Council Board 2001-2005

The members elected for the new Council Board are the following:                                     

He Shanan (China)
General Secretary
J.E. Hernández Bermejo (Spain)
Vice presidents
Dedi Darnaedi (Indonesia)
 David Bramwell (Spain)
 Ronaldo Wassum (Brazil)
EuropeWolfram Lobin (Germany)
 Charles Stirton (Reino Unido)
 Ole Hamann (Denmark)
AmericaEdelmira Linares (Mexico)
 Nancy Morin (United States)
 Sergio Bruni (Brazil)
AsiaMitsuo Suzuki (Japan)
 Guan Kaiyun (China)
AustraliaGreg Leach (Palmerston)
AfricaBrian Huntley (South Africa)