How the Missouri Botanical Gardens achieve conservation

Tyrone Wallace

ST. LOUIS, MO — Conservation is the primary focus of the Garden's Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development and William L. Brown Center, as well as an integral part of its other divisions, such as the Science and Conservation Division, the Horticulture Division and Shaw Nature Reserve, and the Education and Sustainability programs.

Missouri Botanical Garden places a premium on documenting and understanding plant variety through the discovery and classification of new species and the study of their distributions and connections throughout space and time. Its conservation efforts include species conservation and recovery initiatives (both domestically and globally), risk assessments of species, and habitat restoration.

Through innovative research, garden scientists are exploring techniques for conserving plant diversity at multiple dimensions, from genes to populations of plants to entire ecosystems. To contribute to the sustainable use of plant variety, we focus on documenting, conserving, and repatriating traditional knowledge in countries such as Bolivia, Madagascar, Peru, and Vietnam, as an integral part of conservation.

The garden works to advance plant conservation in several regions by collaborating on community-based initiatives that integrate endangered species conservation and ecosystem management/recovery with community development, poverty alleviation, and the creation of more robust socioeconomic incentives for plant diversity conservation.

Capacity building is critical to much of its work supporting the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), which includes strengthening international institutions and teaching botanical scientists, ecologists, and plant conservationists at the undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and other levels. The garden's worldwide activities are founded on the philosophy and practice of developing close working partnerships with institutions and organizations in the countries where we work.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation, the Center for Plant Conservation, and the Consortium of Scientific Partners of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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