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BGCI’s Five Year Plan 2013 - 2018

The global loss of plant diversity with wild places shrinking and plant species facing extinction at an ever-increasing rate has an impact on the global economy and the livelihoods of people worldwide. BGCI aims to mobilize botanic gardens and work with partners to secure plant diversity for the benefit of people and the planet. Over the next five years, BGCI will give greater emphasis to demonstrating the connections between plants and human welfare and on restoring damaged ecosystems, while at the same time continuing our focus on ensuring that threatened plant species worldwide are effectively conserved.

BGCI’s ambitious plan for the next five years supports global biodiversity and sustainable development action through three technical programmes:

Sustaining wild places and plants

At least 25% of the world’s plant species are presently threatened with extinction and studies indicate that, with climate change, this figure is likely to grow considerably.  Significant loss of plant diversity will have catastrophic impacts on human livelihoods.  Botanic gardens already cultivate around one third of the world’s known plant species and are therefore ideally placed to lead plant conservation efforts.  Over the next five years, working in the framework of relevant biodiversity policy, we will continue to focus on securing a future for threatened plant species and their habitats and will strengthen the coordinated role of botanic gardens in species recovery and ecological restoration.

More specifically, our aim is that by 2018:

  • Botanic gardens and the wider conservation community will be able to effectively implement plant conservation policy and strategies, especially the GSPC, linking this to the Aichi Targets and sustainable development policy.
  • Comprehensive information on plant species, their status in the wild and in botanic garden collections, is assembled and disseminated in support of plant conservation and restoration actions.
  • Conservation efforts for wild plants and their habitats by botanic gardens and partner organisations are scaled-up and the work of the global Ecological Restoration Alliance (ERA) in replicating best practice worldwide is widely acknowledged.
  • The skills and expertise of botanic garden staff in horticulture, collection management, and plant conservation techniques have been increased through training, staff exchanges, provision of relevant information, and networking.

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. Science is at the heart of modern botanic gardens and botanic gardens can play a key role in developing a scientifically literate society where people are motivated to play their part in resolving environmental issues. Over the next five years we will continue to build the capacity of gardens to connect with growing numbers of people, helping them to reach new audiences, developing scientific literacy and promoting this work widely.

More specifically, we will ensure that:

  • All botanic gardens have the capacity to deliver effective environmental education and outreach programmes.
  • Botanic gardens understand their social and environmental roles and are increasingly relevant to the communities within which they are located.
  • Plants are valued by society and the role of botanic gardens in their study and conservation is widely understood.

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. In support of this, BGCI will publish reviews of work on important resource species, share best practices, support projects to conserve and sustainably use plants valued by local communities and help to conserve the essential knowledge about such plants typically held by local communities.

Our aim is that by 2018:

  • The role of wild plants in supporting livelihoods and providing ecosystem services is widely understood.
  • Human wellbeing and livelihood requirements, as well as conservation needs are being addressed through more sustainable use of the world's most socio-economically important wild plants.

Download a copy of our Five Year Plan 2013-2018 here.


Join BGCI in Protecting Plants for the Planet
BGCI is a membership organisation. We have more than 700 members, institutional and individual, in 118 countries. You too can join us in our global efforts to ensure plants are protected from the many threats facing them today and get some great benefits.
The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
The GSPC is a plan to save the world's plant species. Botanic gardens are making a major contribution worldwide. Click the image to find out more.
Support BGCI: Shop at Amazon
Why not visit the BGCI Store, full of plant, conservation, education and garden books from Amazon, selected by us. Plus, BGCI benefits from your purchases. It won't cost you anything and is a great, easy way to contribute to plant conservation.