Dr Pv lakshmaiah IAS Study Circle > Current affairs > Environment > Botanical gardens and life on earth
Botanical gardens and life on earth
- April 22, 2023
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Environment
- Tamil Nadu government’s recent decision to establish Chengalpattu Botanical Garden is a welcome piece of news.
- Plants form the basis of civilization and humanity has had a long association with gardens.
- Gardens capture a part of earth’s biodiversity for our enjoyment; modern academic gardens often have hundreds and thousands of dried plant specimens for research.
History of Botanical Gardens:
- Rulers, from ancient civilisations to modern ones, owned botanical gardens rich in native plants and plants collected from distant places.
- European explorations led to the establishment of several academic botanical gardens between the 15th to 17th centuries.
- The oldest of the Indian academic gardens, the Acharya Jagadish Chandra (AJC) Bose Indian Botanic Garden, in Howrah, Kolkata, was established in 1787.
- Today, these botanical gardens are major centres of research and education on plants as well as famous tourist destinations.
Botanical Gardens in India:
- The exact number of botanical gardens in India is not known, but the published number ranges from between 10 to 35.
- Only a handful of botanical gardens have plant exploration and education programmes.
- Indian botanical gardens have often lacked a wider perspective compared to their global counterparts.
- India is among the countries with a high diversity of plants and animals.
- Our knowledge of our vast botanical heritage is extremely limited.
- Scientific and educational institutions in India have neglected many aspects of plant biology.
The Importance of Chengalpattu Botanical Garden:
- The ₹300 crore Chengalpattu Botanical Garden (CBG) will be India’s largest botanical garden spread across 138 hectares.
- CBG has the potential to become a major centre for the exploration and discovery of our plant wealth, a centre of research, education, citizen science, and outreach in plant biology, and be a forceful voice in conservation.
- The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew has been chosen as a key partner for technical expertise on what plants to use and how to maintain them.
- Collaboration with botanical gardens in Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, could be immensely beneficial.
Botanical Gardens as a Metric of National Success:
- Botanical gardens represent a metric of national success, from the perspectives of science, technology, and outreach.
- In this era of climate change and declining biodiversity, we need every inch of our backyards and elsewhere to nurture native plants and associated living organisms.
- The establishment of the Chengalpattu Botanical Garden is a significant step towards exploring and discovering India’s plant wealth and conserving its biodiversity.
- Botanical gardens play an essential role in education, research, and outreach on plant biology and biodiversity conservation.
- Collaboration with global botanical gardens can provide technical expertise and set new standards in India’s botanical gardens.