Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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The International Plant Exchange Network (IPEN)

An exchange system for botanic gardens for non-commercial exchange of plant material, based on the CBD

IPEN is a registration system open for botanic gardens that adopt a common policy (Code of Conduct) regarding access to genetic resources and sharing of the resulting benefits.

It has been developed by the Verband Botanischer Gärten (an association of gardens in German speaking countries) and was taken over by the European Consortium of Botanic Gardens (more about the history of IPEN.

The IPEN network facilitates the exchange of plant material between the member gardens while respecting the Access and Benefit-Sharing regulations of the CBD. It aims to create a climate of confidence between the countries owning the genetic resources and the botanic gardens (more about the background and description of IPEN).

Gardens that wish to join the network must sign and abide by a Code of Conduct that sets out gardens’ responsibilities for acquisition, maintenance and supply of living plant material and associated benefit-sharing. Acquisition or supply of material with extra terms and conditions, or any use for commercial purposes, is not covered by the network and requires the use of appropriate Material Transfer Agreements (more about criteria for IPEN membership and registration).


Text: Wolfram Lobin & Marliese von den Driesch, Bonn University Botanic Gardens, Germany; Thierry Helminger, Arboretum Kirchberg, Luxembourg; Andreas Gröger, Botanic Garden of Munich, Germany; Bert van den Wollenberg, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Regional Office of The Netherlands, Utrecht, Frank Schumacher, Botanic Garden of Vienna University, Austria