Australian National Forum on Climate Change Education and Awareness
30 May 2008Key education and public programme representatives from capital city botanic gardens around Australia met at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in April 2008 to begin developing a national approach to climate change education. The forum aimed to tap into the collective potential of botanic gardens to make a difference by increasing awareness of the importance of biodiversity and sustainable living in responding to climate change.
Participants agreed to four key messages for botanic gardens on climate change, messages broad enough to be adapted to suit a range of contexts and audiences:
1. Plants are central to the cycles of the planet (including the carbon, water and nitrogen cycles).
2. People and plants will determine the future of climate change. Plants do, and people can, reduce the impact of climate change and adapt to changes that occur.
3. Botanic Gardens are special places for people to research, learn about and debate climate change.
4. People need to protect biodiversity (plant diversity and diversity of ecosystems), because biodiversity will help reduce the impacts of climate change.
During the day, participants shared information on what their gardens are already doing, and developed common
objectives for a joint national climate change education/awareness initiative. ‘It’s exciting to be part of a national discussion,’ commented Mick Robertson from the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. ‘The whole approach to climate change has to be global’.
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