BGCI Launches Accreditation Scheme for Botanic Gardens
Lisbon, Portugal (7 May 2018) — Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) announced the launch of an international Botanic Garden Accreditation scheme and the first accredited botanic gardens at the Eighth European Congress of Botanic Gardens in Lisbon, Portugal.
BGCI Accreditation will distinguish botanic gardens from non-botanic gardens and recognise achievements in plant conservation. The scheme aims to raise awareness and recognition of the activities that botanic gardens do exceptionally well to policymakers and funders.
Accreditation can result in tangible benefits for participating gardens – such as recognition, peer review, creating standards for excellence, and funding – and will act as a motivator for botanic garden leadership. BGCI will provide three different accreditations:
- BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation
- BGCI Conservation Practitioner Accreditation
- BGCI Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation
The BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation, which has been developed in collaboration with a number of BGCI member gardens, is aimed at botanical institutions wishing to establish their credentials as botanic gardens adhering to internationally recognised standards. The BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation assesses and places a high value on the unique skills, knowledge and data in botanic gardens. This accreditation is open to both BGCI members and non-members.
The following botanic gardens are the first recipients of BGCI’s Botanic Garden Accreditation:
- Gullele Botanic Garden, Ethiopia
- Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, USA
- Jardín Botánico Universitario – BUAP, Puebla, Mexico
- National Botanic Garden of Wales, United Kingdom
- Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden, Laos
- University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Wollongong Botanic Garden, Australia
The BGCI Conservation Practitioner Accreditation recognises botanic gardens with a conservation-oriented approach and is designed to motivate gardens to engage in plant conservation. It is only available to BGCI members.
The BGCI Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation recognises botanic gardens with a focus on conservation actions that support local, national or global conservation goals. It is only available to BGCI members.
BGCI’s Conservation Practitioner and Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditations will not be immediately available as they will be further developed in collaboration with BGCI members. Institutions may apply for more than one accreditation.
Statements from the First BGCI Accredited Botanic Gardens
Gullele Botanic Garden
“The accreditation to the Gullele Botanic Garden means creating an opportunity to introduce ourselves to the family of Botanic Gardens worldwide and develop partnerships with other BGCI members to contribute our share to the conservation of plants in botanic gardens for the sustainable future for ourselves and for our children both nationally and globally,” said Prof. Sebsebe Demissew, Executive Director of Gullele Botanic Garden.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
“The Huntington is honored to have received accreditation through the newly established BGCI program,” said Sean Lahmeyer, Plant Conservation Specialist at Huntington Botanical Gardens. “This recognition acknowledges our institutional commitment to curating ex situ living collections as one method of addressing the serious need for multiple approaches to plant conservation. This new BGCI program challenges institutions to commit greater effort toward affirming the intrinsic value of plant biodiversity and making a real difference in appreciating and conserving the biological wealth we have inherited.”
Jardín Botánico Universitario – BUAP
“We are delighted to be among the first gardens to be part of BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation,” said Dr. Maricela Rodríguez Acosta, Director of Jardín Botánico Universitario – BUAP.“This important initiative will undoubtedly do a great deal to both inspire and recognize the efforts of Botanic Gardens around the world and we look forward to a continued and fruitful association with BGCI.”
National Botanic Garden of Wales
“We at the National Botanic Garden of Wales are delighted to have been accredited as a BGCI Botanic Garden,” said Will Ritchie, Curator of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. “The award acknowledges the team’s hard work and commitment to conservation, education and research since opening in May 2000. Everyone involved with the Garden is proud of its achievements as a champion for biodiversity in Wales and internationally. From producing the first national DNA barcode library to forest regeneration in Borneo, the Garden continues to deliver its key objectives of conservation, inspiration and education.”
“With the recognition gained from the Scheme and BGCI’s community, the Garden can only develop further. We will be able to better communicate our role and importance to local stakeholders, collaborators and visitors. Looking to the future, we hope to work closely with other BGCI Botanic Gardens and create new relationships based on the shared values and high standards endorsed by the Scheme.”
University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana
To became a BGCI Accredited Botanic Garden, means a lot for us,” said Jože Bavcon, Director of the University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana. “It is a big award for our work, which includes management of the garden, conservation of the plants, garden engagement in public and our scientific work. It is like a confirmation that we are on right path to follow the strategy of botanic gardens and to reach the targets of Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. The accreditation is also very important for us, because the garden is just partly financed by government and has only eight people employed, despite that our garden is attempting to follow all aims of BGCI. This accreditation is also a compliment to University of Ljubljana and Biotechnical faculty, to which the garden belongs, and to the Municipality of Ljubljana, which is constantly in cooperation with our garden.
Wollongong Botanic Garden
“The Wollongong Botanic Garden is thrilled to be one of the first gardens worldwide to receive the BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation,” said Paul Tracey, Curator of Wollongong Botanic Garden.“Our team work very hard to present a quality garden for the enjoyment of our visitors, but our efforts are focussed on expanding and improving our contribution to the global plant conservation effort, particularly the ex-situ conservation of threatened plant species found in the south east of New South Wales.”
“We hope as a regional garden within Australia, we can use our BGCI accreditation to raise our profile, but also inspire other smaller Australian gardens to seek accreditation and join the global effort in saving our most threatened plants.”