A world first: Setting the standard for reforestation


Glasgow’s Hidden Gardens was the backdrop for a major announcement at the weekend. Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and its partners Ecosia, The Botanist Gin, Plan Vivo Foundation, and Glasgow Botanic Gardens joined together to announce some exciting initiatives including BGCI’s new biodiversity standard.  This only standard of it’s type in the world lays out how to best manage reforestation at a time when one in three tree species is threatened with extinction.

The announcement came the day after global leaders discussed nature-based solutions at the COP26 climate summit in the city.

Why we need a standard

BGCI explained that by promoting the mass planting of non-native species, many well-intentioned land management initiatives are leading to the extinction of species around the world, by introducing new pests, diseases and alien species to ecosystems. As a result, despite being lauded as a solution to the climate crisis, many non-native trees damage ecosystems or fail to survive in their new environments, actively reducing our global climate resilience.


Dr Paul Smith, of BGCI, presenting

This latest move follows the publication of BGCI’s State of the World’s Trees earlier this year which revealed one in three tree species is threatened with extinction, a worrying statistic which could affect a staggering 17,500 tree species.

It is hoped the new standard will encourage a move away from carbon solutions that ‘plant a tree at any price’ and instead promote a long-term solution that puts the right tree in the right place and combines the considerations of biodiversity, local communities, and carbon capture.

The Event in the Tent

The crowd that gathered at the Hidden Gardens heard how partnerships between like-minded organisations can support reforestation, increase efforts to restore ecosystems, promote projects tackling climate change, and halt the loss of biodiversity.

A lively panel discussion with the theme ‘Trade-offs between biodiversity, carbon and livelihoods in policy and practice’ covered topics, such as perverse and progressive policy regulations and incentives, top down and bottom up market forces, Infrastructures and supply chains and traditional knowledge and value systems.

Guests were then treated to martinis and g&t’s made with The Botanist Islay Dry Gin while they made new connections that will help strengthen the fight against loss of biodiversity. Read more about The Botanist’ Sustainability Strategy here.

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