Ireland: Review of 4th Botanic Gardens Congress

01.07.10 by Sara Oldfield

The sun shone on the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland as hundreds of delegates from around the world met in Dublin on 13 -18 June for the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress. The theme of the meeting was Addressing global change – a new agenda for botanic gardens.

delegates at 4th botanic gardens congress

As well as reviewing progress in conservation policies and practice, new initiatives for the conservation of cycads, European bryophytes and imperilled oceanic island floras were all developed during the week. The Congress has been hailed as a great success, generating renewed momentum for plant conservation. Dr Kimberlie McCue, Program Director, Conservation of Threatened Species and Habitats, Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona said “I think it was the best and most valuable meeting I have ever attended!”

Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD addressed the Congress on the first day and acknowledged the vital role of botanic gardens in supporting the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and in helping to develop a revised version that addresses new challenges. He called on the botanic garden community to do more! In order to do so botanic gardens need to reach out to wider audiences and engage with new partners – recurring issues for debate throughout the Congress. A panel discussion on redefining the role of botanic gardens – towards a new social purpose, considered how botanic gardens could tackle social exclusion.

The educative role of botanic gardens in our increasingly urbanized world was also emphasized throughout the Congress sessions.  Addressing the need to get more people involved, BGCI launched a new on-line campaign ‘Plants for the Planet’ on 14 June designed to generate broader public support for plant conservation.

The aim is to gather signatures from people around the world in order to ensure that governments adopt the updated Global Strategy for Plant Conservation at the next Conference of the Parties to the CBD. This will be held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010. Support for the campaign will help us to send a strong message to the Conference that countries must act now to halt plant extinction. Please sign up!

Related links:

Ireland: Report back from 4th GBGC 2010


All next week (June 13 -18) the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress is being held in Dublin. It will be packed with interesting speakers, delegates and information and Plant Talk would love to hear from you.

UK: Novel biodiversity conference looks at business opportunities

08.06.10 by John Brown & Bob Bloomfield

International Year Of Biodiversity logo Eminent business leaders from around the world are converging at Excel in London on July 13 to discuss the Business of Biodiversity - to debate the issues, consider the risks and view the opportunities that are emerging, which are linked to declining biodiversity and ecosystem services.