Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is promoting the concept of a cost-efficient, botanic garden-centred global system for the conservation and management of plant diversity. This system will aim to collect, conserve, characterise and cultivate samples from the world’s rare and threatened plants as an insurance policy against their extinction in the wild and as a source of plant material for human innovation, adaptation and resilience.
BGCI is establishing a series of conservation consortia with specialist knowledge of particular plant groups that are technically challenging to conserve and manage. Working with species experts, conservationists and the botanic garden community, and in alignment with the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), these consortia will use their bespoke skill sets to effectively conserve these genera to prevent extinctions.
The primary objectives of the Global Conservation Consortia are to:
- Establish and foster a network of experts
- Identify and prioritise species of greatest conservation concern
- Establish and manage coordinated ex situ collections of high conservation value
- Undertake and facilitate applied research (e.g. conservation biology, population genetics, population structure and taxonomy)
- Ensure that threatened species are conserved in situ
- Build capacity to empower and mobilise in-country partners in diversity centres
- Increase public awareness and engagement
Four Consortia have so far been established, each focusing on a particular genus and steered by leading plant conservation institutions. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, are leading the Consortium for Rhododendron; the Morton Arboretum is leading the Consortium for Oaks; the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden is leading the Consortium for Acer and Atlanta Botanical Garden is leading the Consortium for Magnolia.
For more information about the Global Conservation Consortia, please contact Dan Crowley