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BGCI and SANBI hold African Regional Plant Conservation Workshops

1 March 2012

Workshop on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation  

The first workshop focused on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) and was hosted at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden from 13–15 February 2012.  Financial support to host the workshop was provided by the Government of Japan through the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) . The target group included GSPC focal points and others working on GSPC implementation from eastern and southern Africa (Ethiopia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique).  The workshop was presented by Suzanne Sharrock, Director of Global Programmes at BGCI and Stella Simiyu, a consultant who was previously seconded by BGCI to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to support the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. 

Delegates were welcomed by Malta Qwathekana, Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Environmental Affairs (and who serves as South Africa’s GSPC/CBD National Focal Point) as well as Thompson Mutshinyalo, Curator of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. The workshop started with a presentation by Domitilla Raimondo: ‘South Africa’s response to the GSPC’. 

Workshop topics included:

  • Linkages to the CBD Strategic Plan,
  • Identifying GSPC stakeholders at national level,
  • Incorporating GSPC targets into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans
  • Identifying capacity building needs to support national implementation of the GSPC targets. 


Workshop on plant conservation techniques

A practical workshop on plant conservation techniques was hosted at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden from 17-22 February 2012, aimed at conservation officers and managers from botanical gardens and/or plant genetic resources centres from nine countries in eastern and southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia).  International sponsorship for the workshop was received via BGCI from the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The workshop was presented by various representatives from SANBI and SANParks and focussed on:

  •  Conservation planning and conservation policies,
  • Invasive alien species and the role of botanical gardens,
  • Site management and sustainability,
  • Developing and maintaining living collections,
  • Interpretation
  • Reintroduction and restoration.


Field trips included visits to the Karoo Desert and Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens as well as the Tokai Arboretum. 

Both workshops were arranged and hosted by SANBI’s Conservation Gardens & Tourism Division in partnership with SANBI’s Human Resources Division.

BGCI gratefully acknowledges the support provided by SANBi in hosting these two workshops

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