Botanic Gardens worldwide have been recognised for their work in plant science, horticulture, education and providing beautiful public spaces. In 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed by approximately 175 countries at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the ‘Earth Summit’ in Brazil. It highlighted the importance for botanic gardens to become actively involved in global and national conservation issues and the sustainable use of biodiversity. It also clearly outlined the ‘activities which botanic gardens need to engage in to assist governments in achieving their objectives on maintaining biological diversity, and that botanic gardens must play an integral role in both species and habitat management’ (Glowka et al, 1994)
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) has recognised the importance of conserving plant biodiversity and this is expressed in our vision statement.
‘The Vision of the RTBG is to create and maintain an exceptional garden that enriches Tasmania’s social and cultural life, educates the community about the importance of plants and contributes to the conservation of the flora of Tasmania and the world.’
In 2005 the RTBG signed up for the 2010 targets highlighted in the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and is committed to contribute to global plant conservation initiatives, with particular regard to Tasmanian flora. The RTBG subscribes to the philosophy that in-situ conservation is the primary goal for species conservation and all ex-situ measures are to provide support mechanisms for this goal. Plant conservation and research are core functions of the RTBG and critical to its role as a botanic garden. The commitment to biodiversity conservation (including through educational programs) and more broadly, sustainability as a management philosophy, is reflected in the RTBG Strategic Master Plan 2008-2028, and in our conservation and sustainability policy documents. Conservation Policy (pdf).
A guide to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Lyle Glowka, Francoise Burhenne-Guilmin, and Hugh Synge in collaboration with Jeffrey A. McNeely and Lothar Gunding. Gland, Switzerland : IUCN–the World Conservation Union, 1994.