Environmental Education in Botanic Gardens
Julia Willison, 1994
Botanic gardens have an obvious and vital role to play in conserving plants but conservation cannot succeed without education. Gardens are uniquely placed to teach people about the importance of plants in our lives and in the global ecosystem. By highlighting the threats that plants and habitats face, gardens can help people look at ways in which biodiversity can be protected.
The aims of these Guidelines are to:
- highlight the role of botanic gardens in implementing the major international strategies for biodiversity conservation
- outline ways in which botanic gardens can set up and implement environmental education programmes
- offer guidelines to botanic garden educators on marketing, fund raising and publicity
- offer suggestions and guidelines for setting up local national and international education networks
The document identifies the principal elements for setting up an nvironmental education programme, recommending that botanic gardens:
- identify the major plant conservation messages and sustainability issues to be addressed.
- target and evaluate their programmes carefully
- make best use of resources and facilities
- provide staff with adequate training and support
- adopt suitable educational approaches
- Collaborate with local, national and international organisations striving towards the same goals.
All the major international strategies for biodiversity conservation and sustainable living (,Convention on
Biological Diversity, Agenda21, International Agenda for Conservation in Botanic Gardens, Global Plant
Conservation Strategy), have emphasised the importance of education in the fight to stop biodiversity loss. Botanic gardens have an important role to play in implementing these strategies. These guidelines are designed to help ensure that they fulfil this role.
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