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Red Argentina de Jardines Botánicos - the Botanic Garden Network of Argentina

History

For a long time in Argentina, botanic gardens operated in isolation, with little or no communication between botanic garden professionals on either a professional or personal basis i.e. Botanical Congresses, or friendship.

Little was known about the botanic gardens, or even how many gardens there were.

Only a few attempts were made to get the botanic gardens together, such as:

In 1987, during the XXI Argentine Botanic Congress, in the province of Santiago del Estero, the “need to integrate” was taken into account and the important role of botanic gardens in education and plant sapecies conservation was highlighted. The development of botanic gardens or reserves in each phytogeografic region was proposed, but the conclusions of that meeting had little support.

In 1991 Dr. Sergio M. Zalba, from Universidad Nacional del Sur (Buenos Aires), made a survey of the botanic gardens, registering 16 and describing their facities to carry out conservation activities. This unpublished report was made in collaboration between INTA, Misssouri Botanical Garden and the Argentine Botanical Society.

In 1994, during the VI Latin American Botanical Congress, in Mar del Plata, there was a meeting of the Latin American and the Caribbean Botanic Garden Network, but the issue about botanic gardens in Argentina was not taken into account. Then, the need to co-ordinate and share experiences between the gardens and arboreta, finally arose. It was the moment to develop an Argentine Botanic Garden Network.

It is generally accepted that the role that each garden can play is propbably more effective if it is part of a co-ordinated policy, at regional or national level. There were no doubts that the creation of the Network would be the suitable means, not only to contribute to the operation and development of these institutions, but it was essential for their adequate and necessary integration at global level.

This way, in the XXV Argentine Botanic Congress, the 19th November 1996, in the province of Mendoza, Dr. Ana María Molina proposed the First Botanic Garden Satelite Meeting, where the Argentine Botanic Garden Network (RAJB) was formed.

The "Arturo E. Ragonese" Botanic Garden was appointed the chair of the Network and the Founder Members were:

  • The Principals of 12 Argentine Botanic Gardens.
  • The President of the Latin American and the Caribbean Botanic Garden Network (ALCJB), then Edelmira Linares Mazari.
  • The Director of Caxias do Sul Botanic Garden (Brazil) Prof. Ronaldo Wasum.
  • The Representative Of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN), Dr. Carlos B. Villamil.
  • The Secretary General of BGCI, Peter Wyse Jackson

There were also members of the public participating in this meeting.

At the XXVI Argentine Botanic Congress, in 1998, at Río IV, Cordoba, the statutes of the Network as a Civil Association were aproved and the first Directive Commission for the Period 1997-2003 was elected.

Objectives of the Network

The objectives of the RAJB are:

  • Co-ordinating the activities of and promoting communication between the botanic garden by the organization of courses, workshps and publications.
  • Develop the in situ conservation programmes in collaboration with Nacional Parks and Reserves to produce a greater impact.
  • Communicating and disseminating the value of plant resources of each area to the local community by developing education programmes.
  • Organizing training courses and environmental education and scientific research with the participation of national and international specilists.
  • Trabajar para obtener el reconocimiento político y jerarquización de las tareas en su ámbito, requisito indispensable para planificar el trabajo de los JB y por ende el de la RAJB.

Trajectory

The Argentine Botanic Garden Network has organized the following activities:

  • First Congress on Environmental Education, at “Oro Verde” Botanic Garden, Paraná, Entre Ríos, 1996.
  • First Workshop on Botanic Gardens in Argentina, at “Arturo E. Ragonese” Botanic Garden, INTA Castelar, Buenos Aires, 1997.
  • First Intenational Course on Scientific Illustration in Botanic Gardens, delivered by Master Elvia Esparza A., Autonomou University of Mexico, at “Arturo E. Ragonese” Botanic Garden, INTA Castelar, Buenos Aires, 1998.
  • Participation in the III Equatorian Botanic Congress, for the conformation of the Equatorian Botanic Garden Network, Quito, 2000.
  • First International Workshop on Documentation (using BGBase), at “Arturo E. Ragonese” Botanic Garden, INTA Castelar, Buenos Aires, 1999.
  • Organization of the Satelite Botanic Garden Meetings, during the Argentine Botanic Congresses, from 1998 to 2003.Collaboration with the organization of the First Investing in Nature-Argentina Programme Training Seminar on Botanic Gardens Management and II Workshop on Botanic Gardens in Argentina, at “Arturo E. Ragonese” Botanic Garden, INTA Castelar, Buenos Aires, 2004.

The RAJB has participated in the following events:

  • IV Latin American and the Caribbean Botanic Garden Meeting, Mexico City, 1998.
  • Regional Workshop on Conservation Strategies of Threaten Fauna and Flora, La Plata, Buenos Aires, 1999.
  • First Internacional Botanic Garden Congress, Asheville, USA, 2000.
  • IV CBD Meeting (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew- Colombian Botanic Garden Network), Cartagena, Colombia, 2000.
  • Gardens 2001, First Australian Botanic Garden Congress, Canberra, 2001.
  • First Argentine Orchid and Conservation Congress, Montecarlo, Misiones, 2002.
  • I, II and III National Biological Collections Network Workshop, organized by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Buenos Aires City, 2002, 2003 and 2004.
  • II Internacional Botanic Garden Congress, Barcelona, 2004.
  • II Argentine Orchid and Conservation Congress, Montecarlo, Misiones, 2004.
  • INTA Expone- Humid Pampean Region, Oliveros, Santa Fe, 2004.
  • First National Biodiversity Conservation Congress, Temaikén, Escobar, Buenos Aires, 2004.

Activities for 2005

As part of the Investing in Nature-Argentina Programme:

  • Development of the Argentina Botanic Garden Action Plan.
  • Organization of the II Training Seminar on Environmental Educación.
  • Celebration of the Fist Botanic Garden Day, for Argentina and the World, on 14th October 2005.

In addition:

  • Satelite Education and Botanic Gardens Meeting and "The Botanic garden as an Environmental Education Tool" Workshop, during the XXX Argentine Botanic Congress, fron 6th to 10th November 2005, in Rosario, Santa Fe.

Bulletin


Boletín de la RAJB N° 1

Boletín de la RAJB N° 1

(only in Spanish)

 Boletín de la RAJB N° 2

Boletín de la RAJB N° 2

(only in Spanish)

For more information on the actvities of the Argentine Botanic Garden Network please send an e-mail to ana@cirn.inta.gov.ar