Institute News

Conference 2003
Greening the City:
Bringing Biodiversity Back
into the Urban Environment


Globalisation, Conservation and the Urban Environment

David R. Given (IUCN Species Survival Commission Plant Programme and Botanical Services Manager, Christchurch City Council)

Plant conservation has moved centre-stage globally with the adoption of a Global Plant Conservation Strategy by the Convention on Biological Diversity in April 2002. This novel programme includes 16 targets to be reached by the year 2010. A number of these relate to urban environments: cities are themselves often located within areas of significance for biodiversity, cities impose a distinctive set of threats to indigenous species and ecosystems; and, while it is well recognized that the activities of people are a primary cause of biodiversity decline it is also the activities of changed people that are crucial to restoration of biodiversity and the processes that maintain it.

Within the urban fabric botanic gardens play an increasingly major role as a primary interface between people and nature. The implications of this are briefly explored, especially in relation to the International Conservation Strategy for botanic gardens. But there are many other opportunities for taking the global picture down to the local level in urban environments as part of an enlightened greening of cities, not only in a physical sense but also intellectually, socially and spiritually. Innovation, sparked by passion and backed by good science, along with developing community confidence in the conservation movement, is essential to achieve global targets in a local setting.

Conference sponsored by:

British Council NZ
The Community Trust
Landcare Research

Follow this link to view other organisations supportive of the conference

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Last updated: August 8, 2003