IUCN Director General visits Pretoria Botanical Gardens

14 March 2011 | News story

IUCN Member, The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc), recently hosted a dinner for the IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens during her recent visit to South Africa in February 2011. Before the dinner, Botsoc and the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) took the Director General for a tour of the Pretoria Botanical Gardens.

Speaking at the event, the Chair of BotSoc Council, Michael Lawrence, commended IUCN for convening a conservation movement to which BotSoc is a Member, and expressed BotSoc’s commitment to the conservation family. He assured participants to count on BotSoc as a reliable and trusted partner in winning hearts and minds for the conservation, cultivation, study and wise use of the indigenous flora and vegetation of southern Africa.

In her remarks, the Director General commended the achievements of the partnership between BotSoc and SANBI in managing the botanical gardens in South Africa. She noted that the achievements demonstrate what can be achieved when we strengthen our capacity through working in partnership with other conservation managers, key scientists and decision-makers.

Julia Marton-Lefèvre indicated that IUCN’s “One-Programme” approach is an opportunity for IUCN Members, Commissions and Secretariat staff to work in partnership and use their collective strength in finding pragmatic solutions to the most pressing environment and development challenges. “I am pleased to note that BotSoc has developed a partnership with the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, through the IUCN Office in South Africa, and a joint proposal is under development to produce an Education Pack for South African schools aimed at educating the children on the floral biodiversity of South Africa”, said Marton-Lefèvre.

The event was attended by other IUCN Members, BotSoc members and representatives of the IUCN Commissions. Also present were the IUCN Councillor for Africa, Yolan Friedmann; the Chair of the IUCN National Committee of South Africa, Fundisile Mketeni; the Executive Director of BotSoc, Zaitoon Rabaney; the Chief Executive Officer of SANBI, Tanya Abrahamse; IUCN Regional Director, Ali Kaka; and the Head of the IUCN Office in South Africa, Hastings Chikoko.

BotSoc has been a Member of IUCN since 1984. Established in 1913, it aims to promote the conservation, wise use and study of indigenous flora and vegetation of Southern Africa as well as to promote the development of the Botanical Gardens of the National Botanical Institute. The Society brings together expert botanists and botanical enthusiasts as members. It has branches throughout the country.

For further information please contact:

Hastings Chikoko, Head of Constituency Support and Communication, IUCN ESARO, t +27 12 342 8305, m +27 76 682 1587, e hastings.chikoko@iucn.org