6. Conserving Australian Plants
Aim: To contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of Australias
The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity recognised both the opportunity
and responsibility of botanic gardens to promote public awareness of the values
of natural heritage and the importance of its preservation and sustainable use
and management. The Gardens achieves this through horticultural displays, indoor
exhibitions, education programs, cooperation with other conservation organisations,
and research into Australian plants.
The Gardens established the original national flora collection, and at a current
total of around 7000 species, it remains the most comprehensive display in existence
of living Australian plants. This includes some 367 rare or threatened species,
of which 57 are on the national endangered list. In establishing the collections
and displays, horticultural techniques have been developed that are useful in
ex situ cultivation, reintroduction and population rebuilding, and vegetation
restoration works. The Gardens cooperates with State and Territory conservation
management authorities in a number of specific regional recovery plans, such
as those concerning Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides, Grevillea
iaspicula, Grevillea wilkinsonii, Hakea pulvinifera
and Astrotricha roddii.
Through its collaboration with the CSIRO in the CPBR, the Gardens contributes
to the assembling and updating of the inventory of Australian plant biodiversity,
and to the clarification of conservation biology of the flora and vegetation.
National and Regional Roles
The Gardens gives a high priority to working cooperatively with other organisations
involved in plant conservation both within Australia and overseas. It played
a leading role in the establishment of Botanic Gardens Conservation International
by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 1987.
The Gardens promotes the concept of a nationally integrated network of plant
conservation activities, particularly by hosting the national office of the
Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC). The integrated approach to
plant conservation adopted by the ANPC draws together botanic gardens, conservation
management organisations, private sector businesses and individuals committed
to the conservation of rare or threatened Australian plants and plant communities.
The Gardens also contributes to a range of Commonwealth Government programs
including wildlife permitting and enforcement activities, threatened species
protection, and several programs within the Natural Heritage Trust, such as
the National Weeds Program and Bushcare.
- The Gardens will conduct public programs to raise public awareness of plant
- Horticultural and botanical research relevant to the conservation, sustainable
use and management of Australian plants will be undertaken.
- The Gardens will provide a national focus for, and national and international
leadership in, the conservation of plant biodiversity. In particular, it will:
- contribute to a national database of rare or threatened Australian plants;
- cooperate with other conservation-oriented groups in species recovery
- provide support for a network of Australian regional botanic gardens and
kindred institutions to promote conservation and sustainable use of Australian
- develop an ex situ collection of plants and seed of rare or threatened
taxa for use in recovery plans and interpretive and educational programs,
and as a gene bank.
- Biodiversity conservation and environmental sustainability will be strong
underlying messages in education programs, indoor exhibitions and interpreted
planting themes. Threatened plants will be grown and interpreted in prominent
places within the Gardens and their status will be indicated where appropriate.
- The Gardens will support the Australian Network for Plant Conservation and
continue its involvement with Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
It will cooperate with kindred organisations in staff exchange activities
related to conservation.
- The Gardens and the CPBR will work closely with other government agencies
on programs promoting vegetation and landscape conservation, threatened species
conservation, and the protection of natural ecosystems from invasive weeds,
both on and off reserves.
- The Gardens and the CPBR will contribute to the ongoing development of a
national threatened species database, and document threatened plants in the
Herbarium, the living collections and the photograph collections.
- The Gardens will collect and maintain genetically significant living stocks
of threatened species including variants, particularly those of the local
region, and collaborate with other institutions in developing a national endangered
- Development of horticultural protocols for conservation purposes will focus
on propagation and seed storage.
- There will be maintenance and further development of the seed bank as a
repository for rare or threatened species.
- Propagation material of rare or threatened plants will be made available
to regional botanic gardens and kindred organisations with a conservation
- Regional botanic gardens and kindred institutions will be encouraged to
raise awareness of conservation issues with the loan of relevant display material
and educational resources developed at the Gardens.
15 December, 2004
, webmaster, ANBG (firstname.lastname@example.org)