BGCI Joins European Commission’s Global Coalition for Biodiversity
Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), a consortium of 625 botanic gardens in >100 countries has announced that it will join the European Commission’s Global Coalition for Biodiversity. The announcement, which comes on World Biodiversity Day and following the launch of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, is a further commitment from BGCI to promoting public understanding of the extraordinary scope of life on Earth and the threats facing species everywhere. This aim has been at the heart of BGCI’s mission since its inception over 30 years ago. BGCI joins similar organisations such as IPBES, WAZA, Ecsite, EAZA, CETAF, Eurosite and Europarc all of whom have endorsed the aims of the Coalition.
Dr Paul Smith, BGCI’s Secretary General, said, “We are delighted to join this Coalition. The loss of biodiversity affects us all. It drastically reduces our options for innovation, adaptation and resilience in addressing all of the major challenges faced by humanity – food, water, energy, health and climate change. On current trajectories, at least one in five plant species will be lost forever by the end of this century, a legacy that neither our children of the Planet deserve. Now is the time to act.”
The Global Coalition has adopted a common pledge, citing the IPBES Global Assessment finding that 1 million species are already at risk of extinction, and appeals to visitors to each of their institutions to “raise their voice for nature.” By signing up to this pledge, BGCI and its partners are sending a clear signal that we believe that public awareness of biodiversity and the threats it faces are more important than ever. With their collections, education and conservation programmes, research centres, national parks, aquariums, botanic gardens, zoos, science and natural history museums are the best ambassadors to raise public awareness about the dramatic effects of the biodiversity crisis. The coalition offers the opportunity for all such institutions to join forces and boost public awareness about the nature crisis, ahead of the crucial COP-15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in China in 2021 when nations will adopt a new global framework to protect and restore nature
Botanic gardens attract 750 million visitors annually, and we believe that the Global Coalition provides an opportunity to reach many more. With the current COVID-19 crisis showing clearly how biodiversity loss can affect human society, BGCI believes that the public is ready to support such measures and to call on their legislators to do the same. BGCI calls on its Members to sign up to the pledge and calls on legislators across the EU and indeed the world to take significant action to protect planet Earth, our only home.
For more information contact: Brian Lainoff, Head of Membership Strategy & Services at Brian.Lainoff@bgci.org
Notes for editors: Botanic Gardens Conservation International
There are an estimated 2500 botanic gardens and arboreta in the world attracting 750 million visitors each year. Collectively, it is estimated that botanic gardens conserve at least one third of the world’s plant species in their living collections. Established in 1987, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is at the centre of this network. Its members include the largest, most renowned gardens in the world – Kew, Paris, New York, Missouri, Singapore, Sydney and Shanghai – and they also include many smaller gardens situated in the world’s plant diversity hotspots. All of these gardens share a commitment to making sure that no plant species becomes extinct, and a combined workforce of many thousands of horticulturalists and scientists is working towards that end. BGCI works as an advocate for botanic gardens, co-ordinates plant conservation action and serves as a knowledge hub for plant conservation policy, practice and education. BGCI’s membership comprises the largest plant conservation network in the world.
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