Ancillary Botanic Gardens in Lebanon: Empowering Local Contributions to Plant Conservation

Salma Talhouk, Yaser Abunnasr, Matthew Hall, Tony Miller, Asaad Seif

Abstract


Botanic gardens are integral to the process of plant conservation and development, but international conservation targets set down in the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation are unlikely to be met in countries such as Lebanon, where land is limited, real-estate value is high, conservation as a national priority is low and scientific botanical knowledge is not prevalent.
This paper proposes the recognition of a complementary category of gardens, ancillary botanic gardens (ABGs), which formalise local garden initiatives and facilitate options to tackle space limitations. ABGs are informal, deregulated gardens for the conservation of plant diversity and cultural plant knowledge; they are established by local communities in open sites which have existing levels of land protection owing to their primary purpose as archaeological sites, educational institutions, religious landholdings, private institutions and touristic sites.

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