Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Networking for plant conservation

- May 2012

Suzanne Sharrock


Dear Cultivator,

As a global networking organisation, BGCI is always keen to support activities that bring people together to share information and experiences. We are therefore delighted to welcome 10 students from around the world to participate in the long-awaited International Diploma Course in Botanic Garden Education. Organised in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the course had been delayed for almost three years due to changes in visa requirements by the UK Border Agency Control. Now that all the arrangements are in place, we hope that the students find the course stimulating and enjoyable, and we look forward to continuing to interact with them over the coming weeks.  Find out more about the Diploma course here: .

This month we are also attending the meeting of the Scientific, Technical and Technological Advisory Body of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SBSTTA 16). The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is on the Agenda of the meeting and BGCI is organising two side events related to the implementation of the GSPC. In preparation for the meeting, we have published a new flyer on the GSPC, which can be downloaded from the GSPC website: The SBSTTA meeting provides an ideal opportunity for us to renew our linkages with other members of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation and develop ides for taking forwards the GSPC. Keep an eye on our website for further news about the meeting and its outcomes.

There are a number of other important networking events coming up this year. European Botanic Garden staff will be meeting in Greece in early June for EuroGard VI, while botanic garden educators will be coming together in Mexico in November for BGCI�s 8th International Education Congress.  More details about these and other relevant events can be found in the �events� section of our website:

Best wishes to all from the team at BGCI

Suzanne Sharrock
Cultivate Editor

BGCI news

Interpretation for conservation: Results of survey on Interpretation for Conservation in North America

This survey was designed for anyone involved in education, conservation, collections, or display at botanic gardens and arboreta in the United States and Canada, and carried out in January/February this year. Survey results for Interpreting plant collections for conservation are now available. Many thanks to the 136 individuals from 110 botanic gardens who helped make this survey a success. Results are being used to guide a project carried out by BGCI US and the United States Botanic Garden to support interpretation of collections for conservation, and to identify where programmes, expertise and resources related to conservation and education are located. We are using responses to produce conservation interpretation materials that are useful and freely available.

The survey found that 58% of all respondents are doing some interpretation of threatened plants in their collections; 74% of all respondents would like to do more. Learn more about the types of interpretation being done and the limitations gardens face in developing interpretation by reading this short summary:

China's Strategy for Plant Conservation: Review of progress in implementing the Chinese Strategy for Plant Conservation (CSPC).

With the financial support of the UK�s  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), BGCI has been working with the three CSPC focal agencies (Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Forestry Administration, Ministry of Environmental Protection) to carry out a review of China�s Strategy for Plant Conservation. The review focused on the implementation of the CSPC Targets pertaining directly to in and ex situ conservation (Targets 7 and 8), but the analysis also considered progress made in interrelated CSPC objectives including Targets 1, 2, 14, 15 and 16. Read the results of the review here


The final project meeting for this EC funded project, which has created new services and electronic infrastructure for the Catalogue of Life, was organised by BGCI last month.  As part of the meeting a public symposium - Taxonomy and the Catalogue of Life: Ecosystem of Services was held in memory of Professor Frank Bisby.  Presentations addressed the important role of taxonomy in relation to many aspects of biodiversity analysis and conservation.  Speakers included Professor Peter Raven (USA), Professor Vernon Heywood (UK), Professor Ma Keping (China), Dr Simon Stuart (IUCN) and Dr Alison Rosser (UNEP-WCMC).  Copies of the presentations can be downloaded from the 4D4Life website:

Assessing the conservation value of ex situ collections

A new collaborative project between BGCI and the Botanical Garden of Ghent University, Belgium is aiming to develop a protocol for the genetic management of ex situ plant collections for conservation and restoration. The project will focus on selected species of three unrelated Angiosperm groups � Hydrangea, Magnolia and Cactaceae.  Read more here:

African plant conservation workshops

BGCI recently held two plant conservation workshops for participants from East and Southern Africa. The workshops, hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) focused on the political and practical implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Read more here:

Cacti and Succulents

BGCI has signed a data sharing agreement with Sukkulenten-Samlung Zurich for collaboration in evaluating the succulent plant holdings of botanic gardens. Sukkulenten-Samlung Zurich has provided a comprehensive list of cacti and other succulent plant names including synonyms. BGCI will use this to analyse information in the PlantSearch database. An initial report is planned for the IOS Congress in Havana, Cuba in July this year ( ).Thank you to all who responded to our request for up-to-date information on succulents in collections! If you haven�t done so yet we would love to hear from you.

Education news


INQUIRE teacher training courses are underway in 11 countries throughout Europe.  Run through botanic gardens, these courses are equipping teachers and educators with the skills and knowledge to teach inquiry-based science education.  The 60 hour courses will be run again during the next academic year (September 2012 � July 2013).  If you are interested in participating in one of the courses, please visit the INQUIRE website ( ).    

BGCIs 8th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens

We are delighted to announce that the education congress is now live!  ( ).  Hosted by the prestigious Botanic Garden at the Institute of Biology, UNAM, Mexico City, this is the first time BGCI�s education congress will be held in Latin America.  The congress will run from 12-16 November 2012 and will focus on Education and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.  Please join us.  We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the congress.

May 18th is Plant Conservation Day!

We hope you will join us in this global celebration, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and conserving plants for people and the planet.
Find out how your garden can get involved:
And join the celebration on Facebook!  

Corresponding celebrations on May 18 include:

� The European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) is launching the first international "Fascination of Plants Day" on May 18, 2012. Visit the website for more information.

Endangered Species Day in the U.S. is May 18 this year! Visit the website for details.

Recent Botanical Publications

100 Plant Facts

A new children's publication: 100 Facts - Plant Life has been published in association with BGCI. The book helps young minds to discover 100 amazing plant facts � from how species survive in different environments to the connections between plants, animals and humans.  Activities, quizzes and cartoons adorn almost every page and are a great way to inspire interest in the fascinating topic of plants. Find out more here:


ISSUE 38, May 2012



Logo for Eurogard VI

Sixth European Botanic Gardens Congress

European Botanic Gardens in a Changing World

Chios Island, Greece

28 May  - 3 June 2012


Announcing the 8th BGCI International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens

Anunciando el  8o Congreso Internacional de Educaci�n en Jardines Bot�nicos

Education and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Educacion y la Estrategia Global de Conservaci�n Vegetal

Jard�n Bot�nico del Instituto de Biolog�a de la Universidad Nacional Aut�noma de M�xico, Ciudad de M�xico, Mexico

12-15 November 2012


Celebrating Success - the influence and appeal of botanic gardens

Venue: Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand

Dates: 20-25 October 2013

Further details to be announced


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