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BGCI and KABGA sign Memorandum of Understanding

26 September 2012

Botanic gardens in Korea are committed to implementing the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). At the recent IUCN World Conservation Congress held in Jeju, the Korean National Arboretum hosted an excellent workshop on the GSPC that brought together many of the botanic garden representatives of the Congress. Speakers were Yong Shik Kim from Korea, Masahiro Kato from Japan and Sara Oldfield representing BGCI.

Following the Congress a tour was arranged for Sara to visit botanic gardens and see the conservation work that is being carried out. The visit included Daegu Arboretum; Yeungnam University where the establishment of a botanic garden is planned within the Campus and the Hantaek Botanical Garden. A meeting was held with staff and Board members of the Korean Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta (KABGA) and an MOU between BGCI and KABGA was signed.

Korea currently includes 571 species in its national Red Data book and recovery efforts are underway to save threatened species from extinction. The history of botanic gardens and arboreta is relatively young within the country but increasingly botanic gardens are directly involved in conservation. The KABGA also works closely with other botanic gardens in East Asia. A resolution passed at the World Conservation Congress, calls on the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), BGCI, and regional plant conservation bodies to undertake activities for plant conservation in East Asia that include the following:

a. East Asia Botanic Gardens Network to support plant conservation work towards achieving the GSPC targets in countries of the region;
b. Facilitate Government-NGO collaboration towards the achievement of GSPC;
c. Build capacity of both government and non-government organizations to implement the GSPC at regional, sub-regional and country scale; and
d. Support further collection and collation of information on ethnobotanical and sustainable use of plant resources in relation to the cultural diversity.
The resolution also calls on East Asia Botanic Gardens Network to facilitate the GSPC 2020 targets in the region by supporting collaborative research on the conservation of endangered species; promoting staff exchanges, implementing select targets by botanical gardens and arboreta and showcasing their own achievable GSPC targets; facilitating collaboration with other relevant institutes; implementing periodic assessments of GSPC targets in countries within the region; and supporting the assessment of capacity-building needs for plant conservation in the region.

BGCI is delighted to work closely with Korean botanic gardens to support conservation within the country and regional collaboration. Through our MOU with the KABGA, BGCI will provide technical support for capacity building activities organized by KABGA; promote the plant conservation and environmental education work of KABGA to other partners in Korea and to the wider botanic garden community; provide information on the GSPC and its implementation, including through National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans to KABG; support regional networking activities organized by KABG.

We look forward to developing new partnerships for conservation action!

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