Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change


Botanical Society of South Africa

The Botanical Society of South Africa was established in 1913, the same year that the now world famous Kirstenbosch Garden National Botanical Garden was started. The land for the garden was granted by the Government on condition that an appropriate organization was formed from civil society to support its development. The Botanical Society has faithfully fulfilled this obligation as well as extending its support to the other seven National Botanical Gardens (DEVELOPMENT FUND) around the country. It has also become involved in flora conservation and education.

The Botanical Society is non-profit organization with a registered fundraising number.

What we do

The Botanical Society presently has over 15 000 members resident in 45 countries around the world. There are sixteen branches in South Africa. Active conservation, education and publication programmes are also run under the auspices of the Society. A quarterly journal, Veld & Flora, is produced and sent to all members. The first issue of the journal came out under the name of the Journal of the Botanical Society in 1914 and changed to the quarterly new look Veld & Flora in 1975. The journal carries a wide variety of articles on the National Botanical Gardens, indigenous gardening, flora conservation, natural history and society news.

The first Flora Conservation Committee was established in 1939 but the Society had always been involved in conservation. One of the early achievements (1922) was the successful lobby for the upper slopes of the mountain above Kirstenbosch to be declared a nature reserve. The conservation effort of the Society focuses on in situ plant conservation and is achieved through awareness campaigns, projects, monitoring and lobbying. In the late 1970’s the Flora Conservation Committee decided to undertake the publication of regional field guides as part of the Society’s mission of educating the public. The first was produced in 1981 and to date eleven publications have been produced with sales exceeding the 100 000 mark.

How we work

The Society’s activities are directed and managed by an eight member Council - elected by members. Various committees of council are mandated to manage particular operations (e.g. conservation, education).

Day to day operations are overseen by the Director of the Society who reports to the council and/or its executive on a regular basis.

Council mainly deals with policy and ensuring that the Society’s programmes and finances operate in line with the constitution. Branches receive a levy from Council to assist with their local membership services and projects. Each branch has a committee and largely organises its own programmes. An annual Branch Convention caters for joint branch discussions and direct liaison with the administration and Council.

Many of the Society’s activities are carried out by volunteers with most of the committees (e.g. education, publications and Veld & Flora (journal) being working committees in the sense that many of the production components of their programmes are carried out by member volunteers.

Only the flora conservation programmes have totally project-dedicated staff. Consult the Conservation Unit pages for more information.

Click the image to enlarge: Botanical Society of South Africa
Botanical Society of South Africa
Click the image to enlarge: Image: Marten Harvey WWF Canon 1
Image: Marten Harvey WWF Canon 1
Click the image to enlarge: Bot Soc was established in 1913
Bot Soc was established in 1913
Click the image to enlarge:
Posted: 8/12/2010 (12:07:00 PM)

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