Plant Diversity ›› 2017, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (02): 65-72.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2016.12.003

• Articles •    

Botanical aspects of eco-civilisation construction

Alan Hamilton, Shengji Pei, Lixin Yang   

  1. Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 132 Lanhei Road, Kunming 650201, Yunnan, China
  • Received:2016-10-09 Revised:2016-12-01 Published:2021-11-05
  • Contact: Alan Hamilton
  • Supported by:
    Alan Hamilton would like to acknowledge the generous invitation of the Kunming Institute of Botany to attend the 8th National Symposium on Ethnobotany, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China,16e18 August 2016, the theme of which was ‘Eco-civilisation construction’. Comments received from two anonymous referees were helpful in making improvements to the manuscript.

Abstract: The concept of eco-civilisation refers to the need for human affairs to be contained within the limits set by nature. Plants play such fundamental roles in the functioning of ecosystems and economies that due attention must be given to them for eco-civilisation to be achieved. Species are the basic functional units of the plant world and, taking a long term perspective, their conservation with their genetic diversity should be a primary objective in eco-civilisation construction. However, standard procedures used for plant conservation have met with only limited success. Therefore, plant conservationists need social allies to boost their efforts – referring to elements of society whose primary interests in eco-civilisation construction are different, but whose efforts, if successful, will bring benefits to plant conservation too. Potential allies can be identified using an ecosystem system services framework showing how benefits received from the delivery of ecosystem services overlap with those that favour conservation of plant diversity. The concept of eco-civilisation was adopted officially in China in 2014 as a principle guiding its future development. A project at Ludian, Yunnan Province, is used to show the relationships between an ecosystem services framework and a conservation initiative.

Key words: Plant conservation, Biocultural diversity, Ecosystem services framework, China