St Andrews Botanic Garden has launched a new strategic plan, setting out our commitment to biodiversity research and practical conservation over the course of the next twelve years. This Biodiversity Plan “Plants on the Move”, considers a new plan for conservation, research & education, ecology and evolution under climate change.
There has never been a more pressing need for the combination of expertise and opportunities that can be found in a botanic garden. As we enter a period of mass extinction and rapid shifts in plant ranges, there is an urgent need to understand more about where plants are moving to, why, and what implications this may have on evolutionary dynamics, ecological communities and, as a consequence, ecosystem services. Almost every answer to the climate and biodiversity challenges that we face requires a better understanding of the interactions between plants and people.
St Andrews Botanic Garden’s wide-ranging Biodiversity Plan is the result of considerable research and development and marks an important step in the development of The Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden has been through a period of profound change over the past three years - during this time, we have not only reflected on the role of a botanic garden in the Anthropocene (the era in which human activity has had a significant impact on the planet's climate and ecosystems), but begun exploring the potential for botanical infrastructure and research & conservation projects that will help design our way out of this era.
St Andrews Botanic Garden has had a long-standing ecological emphasis in its mission, and to this we have added the perspectives of climate change and partnerships - the most pressing challenge we face today, and the most viable solution to these challenges. These three perspectives have established guiding principles for this Plan:
- The importance of Fife’s landscape and place identity in shaping our research and engagement
- Making effective use of our resources by ensuring that our work supports collaborative endeavours
- Designing long-term botanical experiments that support evidence-based decision making
Our full Biodiversity Plan can downloaded 230622-SABG-Biodiversity-Plan.pdf (PDF).
Alongside this Biodiversity Plan, St Andrews Botanic Garden is developing a Master Plan which identifies both key areas of investment and the spatial layout for our on-site conservation work, and a Development Plan that shapes the roles of partnerships, education and community engagement in our charitable mission. Together, these three plans will deliver a step change in the Botanic Garden’s ability to contribute to sustainability strategies at a local, national and global level.