Plant Diversity ›› 2011, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (01): 75-79.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10234

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The Austrian Botanic Gardens Work Group, an Example of Active  Networking to Promote Small Botanic Gardens

Roland K.EBERWEIN   

  1. Regional Museum of Carinthia, Carinthian Botanic Center, Klagenfurt/Woerthersee, Austria
  • Received:2010-12-10 Online:2011-01-21 Published:2010-12-25


The continuously increasing demands on botanic gardens during the last few decades have led to a huge in increase administration and an urgent need for additional specialized personnel, especially botanists, teachers, database specialists and administrative staff. Instead of meeting these requirements, many botanic gardens are faceing a severe decrease in funding and personnel. Larger gardens provide the opportunity to distribute several tasks to different employees, whereas small gardens are short staffed and often run by a single curator who has to fulfill all functions. In order to meet actual demands more easily, the Austrian botanic gardens are linked nationally via an active workgroup. This network not only allows the distribution of information but also facilitates the sharing of duties. A listserver speeds up the communication and correspondence within the workgroup, collection priorities and projects (e.g., GSPC) are coordinated, seedbanking becomes decentralized, printed matters are shared and distributed, etc. Small gardens with only few employees can participate in projects by taking on small-ideally using with their special resources-in order not to fall behind. In addition, there is also an urgent need for international networking by means of plant and seed exchange (Index Seminum), BGCI membership, discussion groups, personal contacts and projects. Mission statements, special marketing strategies for public relations, integrating projects of other workgroup members and adapted public awareness programs are important to focus attention to small gardens and to help them keep alive.

Key words: Active networking, Small botanic gardens, Implementing of standards, Task sharing, Mission statement

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