The Morton Arboretum has been awarded Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation from London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) for demonstrating leadership in the global plant conservation community. BGCI recognized the Arboretum for its plant conservation policies, practices and education initiatives that bring action and awareness to the importance of conserving trees and other plant species.
“The Morton Arboretum safeguards a diversity of trees and other plants in its collections and in the wild, while maintaining a strong focus on assessment of methods and tools to enhance conservation practices and support at-risk species,” noted Gerard T. Donnelly, Ph.D., President and CEO. “As the leading tree-focused botanical garden in the world, The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to the high standards this advanced accreditation represents. ”
The advanced-level accreditation follows an external review process and endorsement by the BGCI International Advisory Council, a global leadership forum for the botanical garden sector, which includes arboreta. With this recognition, The Morton Arboretum joins a highly select group of 14 botanical gardens and arboreta in the United States, Europe and Australia that earned the advanced conservation designation.
The accreditation recognizes the work of the Arboretum’s Global Tree Conservation Program, which among other efforts is working toward identifying and prioritizing the threat status of 450 species of oaks and all native U.S. tree species for the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Arboretum has also conducted gap analyses for native oaks, which determine the most urgent, effective and efficient conservation actions needed to protect and recover threatened species and populations.
In partnering with other gardens, universities, government agencies and organizations around the world, The Morton Arboretum has led efforts to promote and facilitate the preservation of threatened species in plant collections as well as in the wild. Conservation is also a key component of the Arboretum’s own collections, which contain 90 different kinds of threatened or endangered trees and other plants.
About Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation
Established in 2019, BGCI’s Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation program recognizes botanical gardens with a significant focus on conservation actions that support local, national or global conservation goals. BGCI accreditation ensures that gardens adhere to international standards, ensuring excellence and uniting the conservation efforts of gardens worldwide.