Botanic gardens around the world will sign an historic agreement on 23 May 2012 to restore the world’s damaged ecosystems. Responding to a United Nations target to restore at least 15 percent of the world’s damaged ecosystems by 2020, the following institutions have agreed to work together to form a new Ecological Restoration Alliance:
•Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK
•Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK
•Missouri Botanical Garden, USA
•Brackenhurst Botanic Garden, Kenya
•Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia
•National Tropical Botanical Garden, USA
•Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden, Brazil
•Instituto de Ecología, A.C. “Francisco Javier Clavijero Botanic Garden”, Mexico
•Royal Botanical Gardens, Canada
The Alliance has ambitious aims, with a plan to restore 100 damaged, degraded or destroyed ecosystems. Restoration projects will be conducted on six continents, drawing on the proven restoration knowledge, capacity and experience of the allied botanic gardens, arboreta and seed banks. The places to be targeted include tropical forests, prairies, wild places within cities, wetlands and coastal sites – ecosystems that are under threat and are no longer able to provide essential services and resources for sustaining human livelihoods and biodiversity.
Other botanic gardens in China, South Africa, UK, USA and Venezuela are committed to joining or supporting the Alliance. The combined expertise of members will be drawn together to build global capacity for pragmatic yet well-informed ecological restoration. The lessons learned from the initial flagship projects will be applied to other places, enhancing the contribution of restoration to achieving a healthy and sustainable planet. A new generation of practitioners will be trained and guidance provided to industry and governments toward best practices for land restoration. This ambitious 20 year initiative, developed by botanic gardens and facilitated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), responds to urgent global needs expressed in both the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity and the Millennium Development Goals.
For more info see Ecological Restoration Alliance