Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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OBE for Lady Suzanne Warner

5 January 2006

Lady Suzanne Warner (Chair of BGCI from Dec 1999 to Dec 2004) received an OBE in the Queen's 2006 New Year's Honours for her services to plant conservation.

Suzanne Warner (Lady Warner) has made major international contributions to plant conservation and environmental education through botanic gardens, through her inspirational leadership of the Board of Trustees of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, of which she was Chair from 1999 to the end of 2004.

Lady Warner’s first links with BGCI began in while she was Group Director of Government Relations with Cable and Wireless plc.

Through that company she supported a major programme to strengthen capacity of botanic gardens in the Caribbean region for plant conservation and environmental education. Building on this interest and involvement, in January 1998 she became a Trustee of BGCI, and in December 1999 she took over as Chair of the Board.

Under Lady Warner’s leadership the organisation grew to include over 550 institutions as members in 120 countries and become one of the world’s leading environmental organisations and biodiversity conservation networks.

Working in a voluntary capacity with BGCI, Lady Warner devoted her considerable skills, much time and effort to helping ensure that the organisation makes extremely significant impacts on plant conservation worldwide. During 2000 and 2001 Lady Warner worked closely with Dr Peter Wyse Jackson, then BGCI’s Secretary General, to develop a major BGCI programme to support the work of botanic gardens worldwide in biodiversity conservation and environmental education. This programme was launched in February 2002 with a donation from HSBC to BGCI of GBP£8.6 million over five years.

Under her leadership, BGCI played a leading role in the development of a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. During her time as Chair, a landmark World Botanic Gardens Congress was held in Barcelona, Spain in April, 2004 where Lady Warner opened the Congress with an inspirational speech setting out her personal and the BGCI’s commitment to plant conservation.

In 2003 Lady Warner also led the restructuring of BGCI itself to consolidate the organisation in response to a significant expansion of its operations, staff and resources. In 2004 she became Chair of the Board of Directors of the new BGCI incorporated U.K. charity.

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