Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)

(Source: BGCI)

Established in 1987 as the Botanic Gardens Conservation Secretariat (BGCS) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), BGSC began to build its membership of botanic gardens worldwide and develop a programme of activities in support of botanic gardens. In 1989, The Botanic Gardens Conservation Strategy was published and the following year BGCS became independent from IUCN, and subsequently known as Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). The International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation, published in 2000, is recognised as the framework document guiding the actions of botanic gardens in conservation and has been translated into many languages. Today, BGCI is a leading international organisation working to save the world's imperilled flora.

In 2009, IOS and BGCI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that recognizes the intention of IOS and BGCI to establish a relationship to co-operate in a broad range of areas and to work together for their mutual benefit. The parties may seek to encourage and develop collaborative activities in various ways, including promotion of best practice in collections policy.

In association with BGCI, IOS is now reviving an earlier IOS initiative to promote the establishment of a network of 'Reserve Collections' of living cacti and other succulent plants and proposing measures to assess and enhance the potential of these collections as a resource for research and conservation. Initially, help is being provided by BGCI to compile an up-to-date list of specialist collections.

Support for Reference Collections has been among the aims of IOS from the outset (when they were termed 'protective collections'). These collections can play a significant role in the conservation of threatened species and the provision of material for research or re-introduction and are now of heightened importance in view of global threats to natural vegetation. Working with Botanic Gardens Conservation International, IOS shall try to promote data basing of live specimens of potential conservation and/or research or other resource value in succulent plant collections; assist collection holders in assessing and recognizing the resource value (or otherwise) of individual plants in their collections; promote good practice in the documentation and secure labelling of the plants; promote collaboration between collection holders in selecting groups to be treated as 'specialities' or as back-ups for collections elsewhere; assist collection holders and researchers to locate and obtain or exchange desiderata; and assist collection holders with plant identification or verification via contacts with IOS experts.

Botanical Gardens Conservation International also collaborates with Global Cactus Assessment (GCA), the Biodiversity Assessment Unit (established in 2001 between IUCN/SSC, Conservation International and the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science), and the IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group (CSSG), presently evaluating the conservation status of the world's cacti. The project began in May 2008 and involves a network of collaborators who help compile existing data on the estimated 1438 known cactus species. IOS contributes to the project via its present membership majority in CSSG. This is one of the striking examples for successful collaboration of the growing international network of succulent plant study and conservation.

For further information visit

Logo IOS


<br />Oreocereus celsianus

Oreocereus celsianus
Bolivia, Potosi, Atocha
© Ingrid & Rainer Mecklenburg

<br />Aechmea spec

Aechmea spec
Bolivia, Tarija, Entre Ríos
© Ingrid & Rainer Mecklenburg