International Diploma in Plant Conservation Strategies
The International Diploma in Plant Conservation Strategies offers an overview of the range of in situ and ex situ options for conserving plant diversity, taking into account the targets and aims of international conservation conventions.
The Plant Conservation Strategies Course includes visits to in situ plant conservation projects (Image: RBG Kew)
As threats to the world’s vegetation continue to increase, plant conservationists must adopt a range of approaches to conserve plant diversity at habitat, species, population and gene levels. This course reviews the options available, from protected area management to botanic gardens, seed banking and cryopreservation, taking into account the provisions of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).
During the intensive eight-week course, specialists will discuss the merits and limitations of different plant conservation strategies and consider the international legislative framework for these activities. Using case studies, group discussions and focused research, course participants develop the skills necessary to plan and implement conservation actions, together with an applied approach to conservation biology as a science and management tool.
Dates of next course: dates to be confirmed
Duration: 8 weeks
Course venue: the course is based in the Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives building at Kew
Course fee: £2,900
The fee covers the cost of tuition, all course notes and organised field trips. It does not include accommodation, subsistence or transport to RBG Kew from participants’ home countries.
Who is the course designed for?
People who are actively working in plant conservation and managing conservation projects, perhaps within Government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or community-based organisations (CBOs), Universities, botanic gardens, herbaria or seed banks, or as protected area managers.
Candidates must have good conversational and written English, and a knowledge of the appropriate technical terms.
Whilst aimed primarily at colleagues from tropical developing countries, participants from other regions of the world are encouraged to apply.
Read testimonials from course participants from Millennium Seed Bank partner organisations.
- To enhance participants’ awareness of the issues and methods used in plant conservation.
- To develop an analytical and problem-solving approach to plant conservation.
- To facilitate individual, more specialised studies related to each participant’s ecological, economic and social context.
- To develop a network of contacts with other professionals working in plant conservation.
Gathering information during a role-play activity (Image: Colin Clubbe, RBG Kew)
- historical development of conservation ideas
- the biodiversity crisis
- the legislative framework for conservation with special reference to the CBD and the GSPC
- role of CITES in conservation
- potential impacts of global change
- strategy planning for plant conservation
- international conservation organisations and sources of funding
- community participation in plant conservation
- information gathering and management
Visiting Kew's conservation nursery (Image: Colin Clubbe, RBG Kew)
- herbarium collections and the role of systematics in plant conservation
- habitat management and restoration
- inventory and monitoring
- applied population biology for conservation and management of small populations
- development of species recovery plans
- role of botanic gardens in conservation
- seed banking and cryopreservation (this is a one-week module taught by staff from the Seed Conservation Department and based residentially at the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place)
- impact of alien invasive species
- communication skills
- individual project work.
This course consists of a five-week taught module followed by a three-week project-based module. The project provides a practical focus for the taught element and acts as a basis for the eventual application of skills and knowledge obtained from the course.
Through a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars, tutorials, practical activities and field-visits, this course enables participants to develop their skills in a range of plant conservation strategies.
Lecturers include recognised authorities in their fields with staff from a range of disciplines at Kew and other international institutions including the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), and UK universities.
All the sessions are taught in English.
For the award of the International Diploma in Plant Conservation Strategies, participants will be assessed by:
- a written project
- an oral presentation
- an interview with an external examiner.
All assessments are moderated by an external examiner.
Successful candidates will be awarded the International Diploma in Plant Conservation Strategies at the end of the course. Candidates who complete the course but do not achieve a pass standard will receive a certificate of attendance.
How to apply
Please complete an application form using the application guidance notes
If you are unable to print out an application form, please contact the Course Co-ordinator for an application form and further details.
International Diploma in Plant Conservation Strategies
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Surrey, TW9 3AB
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5625/5634
Fax: +44 (0)20 8332 5278
Print out a course leaflet
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