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Embedding sustainability in botanic gardens Suzanne Sharrock Director of Global Programmes.

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Presentation on theme: "Embedding sustainability in botanic gardens Suzanne Sharrock Director of Global Programmes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Embedding sustainability in botanic gardens Suzanne Sharrock Director of Global Programmes

2 Indonesia South AfricaRio de Janeiro, Brazil UK Mauritius Jordan Germany Over 2,500 botanic gardens in +150 countries

3 Defining the botanic garden An institution holding collections of documented and living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education Botanic Gardens Conservation International, 1998



6 Botanic gardens and sustainability Sustainable practices in the botanic garden Sustainable use of plant diversity Sustainable development Education for sustainability

7 Sustainable practices in the botanic garden Water and energy use Building design Environmentally friendly practices in horticulture and garden management Recycling and waste management Education

8 Water use efficiency e.g. – Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, Australia Upgraded delivery infrastructure (automatic, computer controlled) Professional development – training of staff Research and industry partnerships Improved application efficiency (stream-type not spray sprinklers, optimal use of rainfall) Adopt current technology Reduce water demand Diversify alternative water sources


10 Auditing programme of sprinkler system using recycled petfood tins as catch cans


12 Energy efficiency Historic botanic gardens – heated greenhouses – protected buildings. Difficult to retro-fit energy saving measures Need to look at minimum temperatures possible Turn down/off policy for staff Monthly energy consumption charts Annual targets set Alternative energy sources



15 Sustainable buildings Many new botanic garden buildings have attained LEED certification. Focus on: Energy sources (solar, geothermal, wind etc.) Site selection – avoiding impact on natural areas Recycling water and other building components Daylight and views Local materials Native plantings




19 Waste management e.g. NBG Ireland: In 2004 only 20% of waste generated in the garden was recycled Various approaches – no bin option most successful Today – 60% is recycled Volume of waste cut by 50%

20 Sustainable sites initiative Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, US Botanic Garden and American Society of Landscape Architects Focus on sustainability in landscapes, not just buildings Through planning, design, construction and maintenance of landscapes, the natural world should be viewed not as a hindrance, but as a resource

21 Sustainable Sites Initiative Creating standards and guidelines: Using appropriate plants Managing soils Waste management Water use Reducing pollution Human well-being

22 Sustainable Sites Initiative Uses ecosystem services as a framework to illustrate how sustainable sites can improve the quality of life in our communities Provides sustainability principles for any site, with or without buildings, which will be re/developed for public or private purposes

23 Sustainable use of plant diversity Botanic gardens based on the use of plant diversity Medicinal plants Plant acclimation – colonial era Restoration Amenity

24 Sustainable use of plant diversity Sustainable sources of plant-based products in the garden – including in shops and restaurants Work with local communities to develop sustainable harvesting practices Develop cultivation and propagation methods to take the pressure off wild-harvested plants



27 Education for sustainability Botanic gardens receive more than 200 million visitors per year All sectors of society Opportunity to educate and inform about sustainability Lead by example



30 Role of BGCI BGCI is a worldwide networking organisation Provides information, tools and guidance Helps in sharing experience and spreading good practice

31 Conclusions Botanic gardens are well placed to demonstrate sustainability issues Many are taking a lead in various ways Challenges relate to historical nature of gardens and buildings Education for sustainability is a key role for many gardens BGCI provides support and information exchange

32 Thank you for your attention!

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