Climate Change Alliance Inaugural Summit

From 3 - 6 December 2018, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens hosted an inaugural Botanic Gardens Climate Change Summit. Ten botanical organisations from around the world, as well as three peak botanic gardens bodies, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the International Association of Botanic Gardens and Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand, attended the summit.

During the Summit, a series of public talks were held, featuring influential experts in the field of climate change and botanic sciences. These public talks discussed the future of botanic gardens and the solutions they can offer for a warming world. They are all now available to view online at the bottom of this page.

The outcome of the Summit was the formation of The Botanic Gardens Climate Change Alliance. The Alliance aims to use global collaboration to tackle the climate change threats facing plant species. The co-creators of this Alliance signed a declaration "to safeguard life by protecting landscapes" and agreed that "the time for action is now."

The purpose of the summit was to share expertise and to build a platform for international partnerships in the knowledge gap area of climate change adaptation for living collections and landscapes. As part of this the delegates attended a number of sessions and talks, which aimed to develop a strategy to mitigate the threats of climate change.

Other objectives included:

  1. Establishing an Alliance and laying the foundation for the establishment of a worldwide alliance into the future;
  2. Share and develop expertise, strategies and methodologies for dealing with climate change and management of living collections
  3. Create a roadmap for ongoing engagement within botanic organisation networks and ensure momentum is maintained

This summit was developed as a result of the Landscape Succession Strategy objective to ‘lead and facilitate networks and partnerships with relevant organisations in landscape-related conservation of biodiversity, human health, urban greening and water management.’


Delegates in attendance of the Summit include:

  • Nanshan Botanic Garden, China - Dr Anna Quan
  • Jerusalem Botanic Garden, Israel - Tom Amit
  • Beijing Botanic Garden, China - Dr Ling Guo and Dr Ran He
  • Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand - Paul Tracy
  • South African National Biodiversity Insititute (SANBI), South Africa - Dr Moshibudi Rampedi
  • Morton Arboretum, USA - Dr Nicole Cavender
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Australia - Dr Tim Entwisle
  • City of Melbourne - Urban Forest and Green Infrastructure - Ian Shears
  • Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI) - Dr Paul Smith
  • University of California Arboretum, USA - Mary Burke
  • Buenos Aires Botanic Gardeb, Argentina - Professor Graciela Barreiro
  • Royal Botanic Gardens CSIC Madrid, Spain - Professor Esteban Manrique Reol
  • Eden Project International, England - David Harland and Mike Petty


Botanic Gardens Climate Change Summit Public Talks

During the summit, a series of public talks were held at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens, presented by influential international speakers in the field of Botanic Gardens and Climate Change.

These engaging talks delved into the role of gardens in the survival of humanity and how previous botanic sites can offer solutions in a warming world.

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria have now made those talks publicly available online, and can be viewed below.

Episode 1

Dr Paul Smith, Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International discusses how Botanic Gardens are essential for humanities survival in an ever-changing world.

Introduction from Prof Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Episode 2

David Harland, Chief Executive of Eden Project International discusses how Botanic Gardens may be the answer and how they offer solutions for a warming world.

Episode 3

A public Q&A with Dr Paul Smith, Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Prof Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and David Harland, Chief Executive of Eden Project International.