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

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


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.

Full Text:



ABOU EL ROUSSE-SLIM, S. (2007). The Greek Orthodox Waqf in Lebanon during the Ottoman Period. Orient Institute, Beirut.

ABUNNASR, Y. & HAMIN, E. (2012). The Green Infrastructure Transect: An Organizational Framework for Mainstreaming Adaption Planning Policies. Springer, New York.

AHERN, J. & LE DUC, E. (2006). Biodiversity Planning and Design: Sustainable Practices. Island Press, Washington, DC.

ALI, N.S. & TRIVEDI, C. (2011). Botanic gardens and climate change: A review of scientific activities at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Biodiversity Conservation 20: 295–307.

BALLANTYNE, R., PACKER, J. & HUGHES, K. (2008). Environmental awareness, interests and motives of botanic gardens visitors: Implications for interpretive practice. Tourism Management 29(3): 439–444.

BEAUVAIS, N. (2008–2009). The machine as the garden. Harvard Design Magazine 29: 1–4.

BENEDICT, M. & MCMAHON, E. (2006). Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities. Island Press, Washington, DC.

BOTANIC GARDENS CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL (2012). Available at: (Accessed: 1 May 2014).

CRANE, P.R., HOPPER, S.D., RAVEN, P.H. & STEVENSON, D.W. (2009). Plant science research in botanic gardens. Trends in Plant Science 14(11): 575–577.

DESMOND, R. (2007). The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2nd edition. Kew Publishing, Kew.

DONALDSON, J.S. (2009). Botanic gardens science for conservation and global change. Trends in Plant Science 14(11): 608–613.

FORBES, S. (2008). How botanic gardens changed the world. In: Proceedings of the History and Future of Social Innovation Conference. Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies, University of South Australia.

FORMAN, T.T. (2008). Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

FORMAN, T.T. & GODRON, M. (1986). Landscape Ecology. Wiley and Sons, New York.

FORNI, N. (2003). Land Tenure Policies in the Near East. FAO Corporate Document Repository. Available at: (Accessed: 1 May 2014).

GALBRAITH, J. (2003). Connecting with plants. The Curriculum Journal 14(2): 279–286.

GARDNER, M. (1999). Managing ex situ conifer conservation collections. In: ANDREWS, S., LESLIE, A.C. & ALEXANDER, C. (eds). Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants: Third International Symposium, 19–23. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

GARROD, G., PICKERING, A. & WILLIS, K. (1993). The economic value of botanic gardens: a recreational perspective. Geoforum 24(2): 215–224.

HAVENS, K., VITT, P., MAUNDER, M., GUERRANT, E.O. JR & DIXON, K. (2006). Ex situ plant conservation and beyond. Bioscience 56(6): 525–531.

HEYWOOD, V.H. (1987). The change role of the botanic gardens. Proceedings of an International Conference Botanic Gardens and the World Conservation Strategy, 3–18.

HEYWOOD, V.H. (2011). The role of botanic gardens as resource and introduction centers in the face of global change. Biodiversity and Conservation 20(2): 221–239.

KAHF, M. (2003). The role of waqf in improving the Ummah welfare. International seminar on Waqf as a Private Legal Body, Islamic University of North Sumatra, Indonesia, 6–7 January.

LEITAO, A., MILLER, J., AHERN, J. & MCGARIGAL, K. (2006). Measuring Landscapes: A Planner’s Handbook, Springer, New York.

LUCAS, A.M., MAROSKE, S. & BROWN-MAY, A. (2006). Bringing science to the public: Ferdinand von Mueller and botanical education in Victorian Victoria. Annals of Science 63(1): 25–57.

MAFFI, L. (2001). Linking language and environment: a coevolutionary perspective. In: CRUMLEY, C.L. (ed.), New Directions in Anthropology & Environment. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, CA, pp. 24–48.

MAFFI, L. (2005). Linguistic, cultural, and biological diversity. Annual Review of Anthropology 34: 599–617.

MAKHZOUMI, J. & PUNGETTI, G. (1999). Ecological Landscape Design and Planning: the Mediterranean Context. E & FN Spon, London & New York.

MAUNDER, M. (2008). Beyond the greenhouse. Nature 455(2): 596–597.

MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT (2012). Available at: (Accessed: 21 May 2014).

MORGAN, S.C., HAMILTON, S.L., BENTLEY, M.L. & MYRIE, S. (2009). Environmental education in botanic gardens: exploring Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s project green reach. The Journal of Environmental Education 40(4): 35–52.

MOUTERDE, P. (1966). Nouvelle flore du Liban et de la Syrie. Editions de l’Imprimerie catholique, Beyrouth.

PARMENTIER, I. & PAUTASSO, M. (2010). Species-richness of the living collections of the world’s botanical gardens – patterns within continents. Kew Bulletin 65: 519–524.

PERLMAN, D. & MILDER, J. (2004). Practical Ecology: For Planners, Developers and Citizens. Island Press, Washington, DC.

PINHEIRO, M.H.O., DE ALMEIDA NETO, L.C. & MONTEIRO, R. (2006). Urban areas and isolated remnants of natural habitats: an action proposal for botanical gardens. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 2747–2764.

POST, G.E. & DINSMORE, J.E. (1932). Flora of Syria, Palestine and Sinai: A handbook of the flowering plants and herbs, native and naturalized, from the Taurus to Ras Muhummad and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Syrian Desert. American Press, Beirut.

SANDERS, D.L. (2007). Making public the private life of plants: the contribution of informal learning environments. International Journal of Science Education 29(10): 1209–1228.

SHARROCK, S. (2012). GSPC: A Guide to the GSPC. All the Targets, Objectives and Facts. Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond.

SHEPHERD, I.A.G. (1992). The Friendly Forester? Archaeology, Forestry and the Green Movement. In: WICKHAM-JONES, C.R. & MACINNES, L. All Natural Things: Archaeology and the Green Debate, Oxbow Books, Oxford, pp. 161–168.

SODERSTROM, M. (2008). Botanical Gardens. In: JORGENSEN, S.E. & FATH, B. (eds). Encyclopedia of Ecology, Academic Press, Oxford, pp. 495–502.

TALHOOK, S. (2008). Vegetation Zones. Available at: (Accessed: 1 October 2014).

THE PORTICO GROUP (1997). Master Plan for the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, The Portico Group, Seattle, WA.

WALKER, B. & SALT, D. (2006). Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, Island Press, Washington, DC.

ZENT, S. (2009). Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and biocultural diversity: a close-up look at linkages, delearning trends and changing patterns of transmission. In: BATES, P.,

CHIBA, M., KUBE, S. & NAKASHIMA, D. (eds). UNESCO, Learning and Knowing in Indigenous Societies Today. UNESCO, Paris, pp. 39–58.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh