Sign up to our newsletter:

Sustainable Plant Use in Africa

ABGN Action Plan 2010 Targets

C) Using plant diversity sustainably:

8. Botanical gardens should participate in the national implementation of CITES in each coun­try of Africa.

9. 20 botanical gardens should develop and implement management models and protocols for 40 economically and culturally important plant taxa.

10. At least 50% of botanical gardens should contribute to national programmes that aim to halt the decline of plant resources and associated indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices, that support sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care.

Plants have a significant place in today's society, not only as a link to our heritage and the traditional use of plants but also as a basis for economic stability and growth. Sustainable management of plants integrates the social, environmental and economic aspects ensuring that the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The importance of protecting plants from excessive and un-sustainable use has been recognised at the international level, and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation includes an agreed target that 30% of plant-based products should be derived from sources that are sustainably managed by 2010. Through the ABGN targets in the box to the right, African botanic gardens are working to contribute to the achievement of this goal.

Botanic gardens have an important role to play in helping to achieve this target by:

  1. Encourage the sustainable use, fair and equitable trade in plant resources through effective management and the establishment of cultivation programmes.
  2. Use educational and training programmes to promote sustainable harvesting of natural resources.
  3. Play an active and influential role in managing international trade issues through national CITES implementation.
  4. Development of an effective role in halting the decline of plant resources, and associated local and indigenous knowledge, innovations and practices, that support sustainable liveli­hoods, local food security and health care.

Find Out More

Food and Trees for Africa
The first and only national, public benefit, civil society greening and food gardening organisation in South Africa addressing climate change.

The Iroko Foundation
The Iroko Foundation was established in November 1999 as a charity to support community forestry and community conservation initiatives that protect Africa's forests, wildlife and forest based livelihoods. Forest clearance exacerbates poverty and sustainability becomes essential for survival.

Medicinal Plants Conservation Project - Egypt
Supported by UNDP and GEF, the MPCP aims “To eliminate the root causes of biodiversity loss and the threats to the conservation and sustainable use of wild Medicinal Plants in Egypt.” Their objectives include the creation of a National Strategy on the Conservation of Medicinal Plants.

"Education for Sustainable Development: Guidelines for Action in Botanic Gardens"
BGCI has published Guidelines on Education for Sustainable Development. Suitable for those working in botanic gardens and other site-based education centres, it features tips and case studies from botanic gardens around the world. The Guidelines are freely available to all in PDF and printed format.