BGCI Launches Accreditation Scheme For Botanic Gardens
TopicServices for Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) announced the launch of an international Botanic Garden Accreditation scheme and the first accredited botanic gardens at the Eighth European Congress of Botanic Gardens in Lisbon, Portugal.
BGCI Accreditation will distinguish botanic gardens from non-botanic gardens and recognise achievements in plant conservation. The scheme aims to raise awareness and recognition of the activities that botanic gardens do exceptionally well to policymakers and funders.
Accreditation can result in tangible benefits for participating gardens – such as recognition, peer review, creating standards for excellence, and funding – and will act as a motivator for botanic garden leadership. BGCI will provide three different accreditations:
- BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation
- BGCI Conservation Practitioner Accreditation
- BGCI Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation
The BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation, which has been developed in collaboration with a number of BGCI member gardens, is aimed at botanical institutions wishing to establish their credentials as botanic gardens adhering to internationally recognised standards. The BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation assesses and places a high value on the unique skills, knowledge and data in botanic gardens. This accreditation is open to both BGCI members and non-members.
The following botanic gardens are the first recipients of BGCI’s Botanic Garden Accreditation:
- Gullele Botanic Garden, Ethiopia
- Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, USA
- Jardín Botánico Universitario – BUAP, Puebla, Mexico
- National Botanic Garden of Wales, United Kingdom
- Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden, Laos
- University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Wollongong Botanic Garden, Australia
The BGCI Conservation Practitioner Accreditation recognises botanic gardens with a conservation-oriented approach and is designed to motivate gardens to engage in plant conservation. It is only available to BGCI members.
The BGCI Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation recognises botanic gardens with a focus on conservation actions that support local, national or global conservation goals. It is only available to BGCI members.
BGCI’s Conservation Practitioner and Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditations will not be immediately available as they will be further developed in collaboration with BGCI members. Institutions may apply for more than one accreditation.
Statements from the First BGCI Accredited Botanic Gardens
Gullele Botanic Garden
“The accreditation to the Gullele Botanic Garden means creating an opportunity to introduce ourselves to the family of Botanic Gardens worldwide and develop partnerships with other BGCI members to contribute our share to the conservation of plants in botanic gardens for the sustainable future for ourselves and for our children both nationally and globally,” said Prof. Sebsebe Demissew, Executive Director of Gullele Botanic Garden.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
“The Huntington is honored to have received accreditation through the newly established BGCI program,” said Sean Lahmeyer, Plant Conservation Specialist at Huntington Botanical Gardens. “This recognition acknowledges our institutional commitment to curating ex situ living collections as one method of addressing the serious need for multiple approaches to plant conservation. This new BGCI program challenges institutions to commit greater effort toward affirming the intrinsic value of plant biodiversity and making a real difference in appreciating and conserving the biological wealth we have inherited.”
Jardín Botánico Universitario – BUAP
“We are delighted to be among the first gardens to be part of BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation,” said Dr. Maricela Rodríguez Acosta, Director of Jardín Botánico Universitario – BUAP. “This important initiative will undoubtedly do a great deal to both inspire and recognize the efforts of Botanic Gardens around the world and we look forward to a continued and fruitful association with BGCI.”
National Botanic Garden of Wales
“We at the National Botanic Garden of Wales are delighted to have been accredited as a BGCI Botanic Garden,” said Will Ritchie, Curator of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. “The award acknowledges the team’s hard work and commitment to conservation, education and research since opening in May 2000. Everyone involved with the Garden is proud of its achievements as a champion for biodiversity in Wales and internationally. From producing the first national DNA barcode library to forest regeneration in Borneo, the Garden continues to deliver its key objectives of conservation, inspiration and education.”
“With the recognition gained from the Scheme and BGCI’s community, the Garden can only develop further. We will be able to better communicate our role and importance to local stakeholders, collaborators and visitors. Looking to the future, we hope to work closely with other BGCI Botanic Gardens and create new relationships based on the shared values and high standards endorsed by the Scheme.”
Wollongong Botanic Garden
“The Wollongong Botanic Garden is thrilled to be one of the first gardens worldwide to receive the BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation,” said Paul Tracey, Curator of Wollongong Botanic Garden. “Our team work very hard to present a quality garden for the enjoyment of our visitors, but our efforts are focussed on expanding and improving our contribution to the global plant conservation effort, particularly the ex-situ conservation of threatened plant species found in the south east of New South Wales.”
“We hope as a regional garden within Australia, we can use our BGCI accreditation to raise our profile, but also inspire other smaller Australian gardens to seek accreditation and join the global effort in saving our most threatened plants.”
Further Information on BGCI’s Botanic Garden Accreditation Scheme
BGCI’s Botanic Garden Accreditation is designed to be as inclusive as possible, but still ensure a level of standards across botanic gardens. For this reason, the criteria it measures will assess and value the fundamental components of a botanic garden.
To be accredited as a BGCI Botanic Garden, institutions will need to show that they carry out a range of conservation-related policies, practices and activities. For the Conservation Practitioner and Advanced Conservation Practitioner accreditation, botanic gardens will need to show that they are carrying out a wide range of conservation actions.
For successful applicants, Certificates of Accreditation will be issued together with a logo that recipients can use on their website, letterhead, etc. Recently accredited gardens will be highlighted on the BGCI website and in the BGCI newsletter, Cultivate. In addition, recently accredited Advanced Conservation Practitioners will be publicised in BGjournal, the journal for botanic gardens. Accreditation will be granted for a period of 5 years, after which gardens will have to renew their application. Gardens can apply to move up a level at any time.
Wherever possible, BGCI will work with national and regional associations to co-brand and manage accreditation.
BGCI was established in 1987 to mobilise botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet. BGCI now has 508 members in 92 countries. Please visit www.bgci.org for more information.