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Project information

Saving species with small botanic gardens

Supporting the world’s small botanic gardens towards increased impact protecting plant diversity

January 2019 - January 2024

Charity information: Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Botanic Gardens Conservation International logo
  • Need


    Botanic Gardens have long been centres of excellence for plant conservation; collectively they conserve more than 40% of threatened plant species in their living collections and seed banks. However, many small gardens have limited resources to pursue plant conservation, particularly those in developing countries, where often the greatest plant diversity is found. Such gardens may be in need of garden infrastructure, trained staff or funding to dedicate to conservation activities.


    BGCI will manage a Global Botanic Garden Fund, allowing small gardens to apply for grants of £1,000. Gardens will submit short applications detailing their conservation problem and how the funds will be spent. Botanic gardens themselves are best placed to comment on their own needs to increase their capacity for plant conservation. Providing highly targeted small grants enables resources to be directed where they are most needed and where conservation impacts are greatest.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Identify botanic gardens in need of funding


    » Publicise the availability of small grants through our botanic garden network, website and social media platforms
    » Support gardens to develop applications with a conservation focus

    What success will look like

    Applications from a wide range of gardens across the world, with grants made to the most innovative and highest impact applications

    Aim 2

    Develop conservation activities at small botanic gardens


    » Support the grantees to complete their project goal
    » Using BGCI’s network appropriate expertise will be sought to assist depending on the needs of the project

    What success will look like

    Plant diversity conserved in botanic gardens, which will be measured by more collections of threatened species, greater capacity to care for threatened plant collections etc.

  • Impact


    Our project will help develop plant conservation activities at small botanic gardens across the globe. Each individual grant will help gardens to develop an aspect of their garden to better contribute to the conservation of the world’s plant diversity, be that through improved facilities for propagating plants, increased public engagement through new signage or seed collection trips for threatened species. Success will be demonstrated with tangible outcomes from all grants made.


    Our on-the-ground projects rely on cooperation with local communities; without their input and participation, achieving plant conservation is much more difficult. BGCI will minimise this risk by ensuring that projects are designed in collaboration with local communities to maximise their support and the project’s success.


    1. Regular updates to the BGCI website and social media detailing grants given
    2. Large donors will receive annual reports on our progress and full details about the projects funded

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Grants Grants of £1,000 to 15 gardens
      £5,000 Staff costs Promotion, project management
  • Background


    BGCI provides technical and financial support to small botanic gardens around the world. Many of these gardens are found in countries rich in biodiversity, but with few resources to implement effective conservation. In recent years, we have supported small gardens in Haiti, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Fiji. Funding from the Big Give would enable BGCI to broaden their support of small botanic gardens.


    Small botanic gardens are often important institutions within their region providing front-line conservation action, employment, education and recreational services to the local community. Enhancements to the botanic garden will therefore have positive impacts on visitors and residents. Improvements in conservation capacity for a single species for example can allow the garden to scale up their activities for other species.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    BGCI is the largest plant conservation network in the world, linking 800 botanic gardens and other plant conservation organisations across 100 countries. BGCI is the only global organisation that represents botanic garden professionals, and our members include the largest, most renowned gardens on the planet but also many smaller gardens situated in the world’s plant diversity hotspots. BGCI offers small gardens the opportunity to link to expertise that can help fill their capacity gap.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Yvette Harvey-Brown

    Yvette Harvey-Brown is a Conservation Assistant at BGCI and will manage the project.