The Xishuangbanna Declaration on Botanical Gardens and Climate Change
THE XISHUANGBANNA DECLARATION ON BOTANICAL GARDENS AND CLIMATE CHANGE (16TH JAN)
THE PARTICIPANTS in the Third Xishuangbanna International Symposium, Botanical Gardens and Climate Change, held at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan, China, on January 13--‐16th, 2014
1. Recognize both the growing threat from climate change to global plant biodiversity and the unique position of the world’s Botanical Gardens at the interface between scientific research, conservation and public education.
2. Recognize also the responsibility of Botanical Gardens for delivering the targets of the CBD’s Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).
3. Urge Botanical Gardens to use their individual and collective capabilities to:
a. facilitate long--‐term, multi--‐disciplinary research into the impacts of climate change on plant populations and ecological communities, as well as the reciprocal influence of these communities on climate change;
b. secure the survival of climate--‐sensitive species in situ in protected natural habitats and ex situ in germplasm banks and living collections, ensuring that the full range of genetic diversity is represented, while exploring the role for assisted migration in climate change adaptation;
c. reconsider existing collection policies in the light of climate change projections and the need for an enhanced role in conservation;
d. educate and involve visitors in reducing the human contribution to climate change through carbon emissions, and adapting to the changes that are now inevitable, and demonstrate the multiple benefits of plant conservation in a changing world; build their own capacity for climate change education and share educational experiences with other Gardens;
e. engage political, social, religious, and economic leaders in the development of policies and practices that address the impacts of climate change on plants and society.
4. Identify research areas to which all Gardens can contribute including: collecting comprehensive and consistent weather data, monitoring phenological and other responses to climate change, and assessing the vulnerability of local species and communities; encourage public involvement in data collection through citizen science projects.
5. Call for Botanical Gardens to develop detailed plans for their response to climate change and to engage with their management authorities, funding agencies, sponsors, visitors, local communities, and other stakeholders to ensure that these plans are carried out.
6. Recommend the further development of mechanisms for sharing data among Botanical Gardens, and with other potential users, with clear criteria and standards to ensure quality, reliability, and transparency.
7. Acknowledge that many Botanical Gardens are already making significant contributions in all these areas, but identify the urgent need to scale up existing activities and make more use of the opportunities presented by national, regional, and global networks of Gardens.
8. Support the establishment of new Botanical Gardens, or extensions of existing ones, in areas with climatic and biogeographical characteristics that are under--‐represented in the existing network.
9. Ask also that Botanical Gardens ‘live the message’ and convey it to others by training their own staff and implementing appropriate sustainability policies in areas under their control.