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Indigenous and Local Knowledge

Local knowledge is important and valuable.  As many traditional and indigenous cultures are being eroded, it is important that they are recorded and/or promoted within the communities, so the knowledge is not lost.  This knowledge can be an important means of helping research into useful plants, and to understand plant properties and cultivation, and to help local communities to improve their well-being through the use plants. 

Botanic gardens can help to record and maintain traditions and knowledge of plant use.  They can also help use traditional knowledge to inform equitable conservation and research into useful plants.  Education and outreach focused on indigenous and local knowledge can also help gardens to connect with their local communities, and to encourage the conservation of local knowledge and traditions related to plants.

Botanic Gardens: Using Biodiversity to Improve Human Well-being

A report has been launched by BGCI on the role of botanic gardens in using plant diversity to improve human well-being. It features case studies from botanic gardens around the world and is available to all in PDF format.



Find Out More

People and the Planet
The People & the Planet website provides a global gateway to the greatest issue of our time: the future health and well-being of the human family as it presses ever more heavily on the natural resources of our planet.

Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual (Gary J Martin, 2004)
This book is part of Earthscan's successful "People and Plants Conservation" Series, and is a basic introduction to the practice and uses of ethnobotany (study of the classification, use and management of plants). Ethnobotany is critical to developing new crops and the medicinal use of plants.