Thursday, June 14, 2012

Botanic gardens come together to restore ecosystems

A global research initiativ,  the Ecological Restoration Alliance aimed at restoring damaged or destroyed ecosystems, was launched last month. The alliance which brings together ten botanic gardens from across the world, will be coordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), based in the United Kingdom.  Over the next 20 years, 100 restoration projects will be implemented on six continents, in ecosystems including wetlands, tropical forests, and wild places within cities.  BGCI records key activities undertaken by botanic gardens, particularly those engaged in ecological restoration work. BGCI's global database, GardenSearch, includes information on over 2,000 botanic gardens. According to Sara Oldfield, BGCI's secretary general, the projects must involve local communities, have secure land tenure, be based on sound science and use appropriate local species. "Some projects have been selected and we will finalise the list in the next few months. The alliance was launched in response to a UN goal to restore at least 15 per cent of the world's damaged ecosystem, by 2020.

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