BGCI's 7th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens
1 - 6 November 2009
Durban, South Africa
In just 20 years botanic gardens have moved from being passive deliverers of information to leading institutions for plant-based education. Programmes are informative, innovative and fun, inspiring children and adults alike to connect with plants and make changes to their lives for conservation and sustainability.
Botanic gardens reach over 200 million visitors a year which, by anyone’s standards, is an impressive size audience. However, with the world population now over 6.7 billion people and growing, the reality is that botanic gardens reach just a fraction of people with their messages. The pressures on the environment are also mounting day by day and plants are literally under siege. We urgently need to build new partnerships at every level and scale up our efforts. As scientific institutions, we know the dangers facing humanity if we continue to lose plant diversity at the current rate.
This congress is about how we effectively communicate this to the public through our education and public awareness programmes in a way that empowers rather than disempowers people to take action.