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Botanic leaders gather in Adelaide to tackle environmental challenges

Date posted: 22 October 2017

Scientists, botanists, horticulturalists and botanic gardens leaders from Australia and abroad will assemble in Adelaide from today to discuss ways to protect threatened species and the global challenges facing botanic gardens.
 
The Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand (BGANZ) Biennial Congress, presented by Seasol, is hosted by the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia and brings together more than 100 delegates from countries including the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.
 
The Congress, held in Adelaide for the first time, officially opens today at the National Wine Centre, with a program of world-class presenters scheduled to tackle issues –including ways botanic gardens can adapt to climate change – until Wednesday 25 October.
 
Background
 
The theme for this year’s Congress is “Preservation: Exploring and Adapting”, which underlines the need for adaptation of botanic gardens and covers the strategies required to ensure the preservation of endangered species.
 
Presenters include some of the world’s great botanic minds, Professor David Mabberley (Emeritus Fellow, Wadham College, University of Oxford); Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) Paul Smith; Curator of Papua New Guinea’s National Botanic Gardens (LAE) Michael Lovave; and associate of Harvard University Herbaria Sin Yeng Wong.
 
Quotes attributable to Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter
 
The BGANZ Congress brings together a formidable cast of botanic minds to tackle some of our planet’s most pressing environmental issues.
 
The important conservation work of botanic gardens was highlighted last month in a Nature Plants journal report, which found the world’s botanic gardens contain at least 30% of all known plant species, including 41% of those classed as ‘threatened’.
 
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the Congress delegates and hope they enjoy the hospitality of South Australia and our wonderful Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium.

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Tanalee Smith
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