International recognition for botanic gardens

Article image - International recognition for botanic gardens James Beattie, Living Collections Curator with the Wollongong Botanic Garden and Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery AM with Banksia vincentia at right and Pomaderris walshii in background, both rare and endangered species which the Botanic Garden is propagating.

Wollongong Botanic Garden, New South Wales, has become the first Australian Botanic Garden to receive Conservation Practitioner Accreditation from Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BCGI).

The Botanic Garden joins a select group of 11 Gardens from the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Mexico, Slovenia and South Africa that recently received the Accreditation, which recognises excellence in plant conservation, policy, sustainable practices and education.

BCGI is an independent organisation based at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, UK.

Their aim is to unite international organisations in their commitment to saving the world’s threatened plant species. Their network includes more than 500 Botanic Gardens in 99 countries.

The Conservation Practitioner Accreditation scheme recognises the actions of botanic gardens that support local, national or global conservation goals. Conservation activities and scientific research, collections, sustainability practices and public education were all considered in the accreditation process.

Curator of Wollongong Botanic Garden [Acting], Karen Holmes, said, “This accreditation provides our Botanic Garden with global and local recognition and places us in the company of some renowned gardens across the world like Hortus botanicus Leiden, in the Netherlands and The Eden Project in the UK.

“It shows that the work we are doing in the Botanic Garden, such as monitoring and propagating the rare Banksia vincentia and our work in propagating more than 1,000 specimens of the critically endangered Bomaderry Zieria, and our support of scientific research is recognised internationally.”