BGCI’s Strategic Plan
The biodiversity of planet Earth is declining, too many wild plant species are threatened with extinction and current efforts to protect them are woefully inadequate. More than half of humanity now lives in urban areas, leading to a growing disconnection from nature and decreasing health and well-being. BGCI is committed to tackling these issues and to scaling up its efforts. Responding to international biodiversity policy, BGCI will continue to focus on securing a future for threatened plant species and their habitats whilst engaging with wider audiences and strengthening the contribution of botanic gardens to ecological restoration.
BGCI has three main objectives: sustaining plants and wild places; connecting people with nature and finding natural solutions for sustainable livelihoods and human well-being. Our strategy for the next 5 years sets out the key actions we will take towards these objectives and we will monitor our progress against clearly defined targets.
Sustaining wild places and plants
We aim to increase the number of threatened plant species actively protected through botanic garden conservation programmes, including at least 250 globally threatened tree species. By offering membership to every botanic garden we will increase the reach of our network and the impact of our training and information resources to support plant conservation and ecological restoration. The restoration of at least 25 degraded sites will be underway as a step towards the overall goal of 100 restored ecosystems over 20 years.
- Develop BGCI’s global inventory on botanic gardens and their plant collections (GardenSearch and PlantSearch databases) leveraging their value as an ex situ conservation and restoration planning tool and broadening their appeal to new audiences.
- Assess the in situ and ex situ conservation status of priority plant groups including at least 6,000 trees, crop wild relatives and medicinal plants and ensure prioritised conservation efforts.
- Gather and share information on the impacts of climate change on plant diversity, including monitoring and assessing the impacts and spread of harmful invasive plants, pests and diseases.
- Undertake ecological restoration at priority sites in different ecosystems around the world, demonstrating best practice, with community participation and livelihood issues addressed.
- Strengthen the Global Trees Campaign ensuring the ex situ conservation of at least 250 globally threatened tree species and conservation action for their habitats.
- Strengthen commitment to seed banking at local and regional scales.
- Develop a new programme for the conservation of arid land species.
- Organise staff exchanges and in-service training for young botanic garden scientists especially those in developing countries.
- Facilitate regional network meetings and organise a Global Botanic Garden Congress to enhance the sharing of ideas, technical resources and good practices.
Connecting people with nature
More than half the world’s population live in urban areas and this is leading to a growing disconnection with nature. Botanic gardens offer excellent opportunities for people to experience nature first hand. Collectively botanic gardens engage with more than 250 million visitors annually and have the potential to reach larger numbers and more diverse audiences. As a result of our work, all botanic gardens will be able to access our resources in support of public engagement programmes that help to reconnect people with nature. In this way we aim to further increase the relevance of botanic gardens to the communities they serve.
- Develop the capacity and commitment of botanic gardens to become more socially relevant through research, training, networking, disseminating best practice, and developing partnership projects.
- Develop new projects to encourage gardens to engage effectively with the public by applying new methods of science communication and citizen science and increasing public participation in addressing environmental issues.
- Develop powerful education and communication materials to explain the connection between plant diversity and critical issues such as food security, nutrition, water and energy security and climate change.
- Disseminate best practice in public engagement with plants and plant conservation through publications and on-line resources.
- Run training courses on outdoor and informal science education.
- Inform public engagement practice in botanic gardens through conducting and publishing research and evaluation.
- Organise two international education congresses that bring together experts to share skills and build capacity.
Finding natural solutions for sustainable livelihoods and human well-being
Wild plants offer a wealth of services and goods of essential livelihood value. Worldwide, over half a billion people who live in poverty depend on the availability of wild plant resources to sustain their daily subsistence needs. However, with the general global loss of biodiversity caused by habitat loss, the spread of invasive species and global climate change, the availability of the range and abundance of plant resources of livelihood value is under threat. Botanic gardens are centres of excellence for research, conservation and cultivation of economically important plants. As a result of our work, the role of wild plants in supporting livelihoods and providing ecosystem services will be more widely understood.
- Carry out research on the economic and subsistence value and conservation status of wild plants for provision of timber, medicines, food, spices and flavourings, cosmetics, and other raw materials in support of the GSPC.
- Raise awareness of issues related to access to wild plant resources and the sharing of benefits from their use. Develop training resources on the implementation of related international provisions, in particular the Nagoya Protocol of the CBD.
- Identify wild plant species that have critical livelihood importance and, drawing on the skills of botanic gardens, work with partners including the private sector to enhance sustainable supply chains for these species.
- Develop an on-line resource that documents successful models of botanic gardens working with local people to improve their livelihoods through plant resource-based value chains.
- Develop projects that support communities to improve their livelihoods by sustainably utilising their native plant resources.
Download a copy of our Strategic Plan here.