Global Botanic Gardens Congress
Over 200 million people visit botanic gardens every year, according to the BGCI which is the leading international organization working to preserve the world’s endangered flora. Established in 1987 as a small secretariat under the auspices of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), today BGCI represents over 600 botanic gardens in more than 120 countries. The organization has a database of over 150,000 plants in botanic gardens worldwide, which includes over 12,000 species which are threatened with extinction in the wild. They also have recovery programs for over 500 threatened plant species (which is good but doesn’t meet all the needs).
BCGI concentrates on educating teachers about how to use botanic gardens as outdoor classrooms, and hosting public exhibitions that help people learn about the importance of plants conservation.
From June 13th to 18th this year, the BGCI hosted the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress in Dublin, Ireland. Over 370 delegates representing 53 countries attended the Congress, and discussed conservation and other botanic garden issues.
The full proceedings of the Congress will be posted online when they’re ready. For now, a PowerPoint slide presentation is available for download. It shows the Congress highlights included discussion about having multiple botanic gardens working together on a selected conservation issue, the importance of education and outreach, and the need to connect science with practice. For more information, check out the “conclusions presentation”.