Sign up to our newsletter:

Botanic Garden Provides Windfall for Local Artisans

15 August 2007
In the Philippines, local craft workers are benefitting from a new source of materials for their carved key chains
 Artisan with products
 Local artisans make a range of souvenirs out of materials they harvest from the garden

and toys. 

Makiling Botanic Garden has set up a partnership with them allowing the workers to harvest wind blown wood and twigs from the garden.  The wood is fashioned into guitars and other novelty keyrings then sold to visitors to the garden.

Roberto Cereno, from Makiling said ‘It is an ideal partnership, the garden provides raw materials and the artisans make souvenirs for our visitors. Each item is carved or stamped with our name – so they also act as reminders or additional marketing for the garden.  Plus this is a practical way we can support some of the poorer local communities’.

Roberto said the programme started in 2001 "I facilitated the development of an organisation and discussed concepts and assistance in the design of souvenir items". Robbie also roped in the Los Banos town mayor to help in providing start up capital (loan at 0% interest) to enable the artisans to buy the tools, varnishes, brushes, and so on used in making the handicrafts.  The group has since grown to 50 members, and demonstrates the benefits of creating partnerships between botanic gardens and their communities. 

Botanic Gardens Using Plant Diversity to Alleviate Financial Poverty

Botanic gardens can play an important role in using plants to alleviate financial poverty. This is one of four important ways in which botanic gardens can link biodiversity with improvements to human well-being.


Find Out More

Botanic Gardens Resources: Tangible and Intangible Aspects of Linking Biodiversity and Human Well-Being
This article by Victor Kuzevanov and Svetlana Sizykh from Siberia explores how botanic gardens act as a focus for a wealth of important resources that are not always obvious to the casual observer.

The Poverty / Conservation Equation
The Nature Conservancy increasingly recognises the need to take account of the links between poverty and conservation. Its summer 2006 newsletter presents a series of interesting and accessible articles, by respected authors, that discuss if conservation is relevant to the poor and vice versa.

Back to Archive

Related Gardens

Philippines - Laguna
Botanic Gardens: Using Biodiversity to Improve Human Well-being
BGCI believes that biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction must be linked if we are to succeed in either aim. This report highlights how botanic gardens across the world are involved in a variety of projects that use biodiversity to improve human well-being.