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Who we are

Our Mission
Our History
Our People
Our Mission

Know, grow, protect and enjoy South Africa’s indigenous flora

Our mission is to win the hearts, minds and material support of individuals and organisations, wherever they may be, for the conservation, cultivation, study and wise use of the indigenous flora and vegetation of South Africa.

The Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society of South African is a member-based organisation striving to be part of the solutions to biodiversity challenges in the greater Cape Metropole and beyond.

Our History

The Botanical Society of South Africa

There would be no Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden without the Botanical Society of South Africa. The history and development of both are inextricably linked.

The land for the Garden was granted on condition that a civil organisation be formed to support the development of the National Botanical Garden. The Society was formed in June 1913 to encourage the public’s involvement in the development of Kirstenbosch, to augment the Government grants, to organise botanical shows, and to enlighten and instruct members on botanical subjects. These aims are virtually unchanged today and the Botanical Society has grown with the old NBG and now SANBI to extend its support to the nine other National Botanical Gardens as well as Kirstenbosch.

Our People

Committee, Staff and Volunteers

The Kirstenbosch Branch is steered by a volunteer committee elected each year by members at the Branch AGM.

A team of eight full-time and part-time staff take care of the administration of the Branch Office and the two Bookshops at Kirstenbosch.

Over 150 Volunteers assist with projects, the annual Plant Fair, and with work on the Kirstenbosch Estate.


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Projects we support


Ingcungcu Sunbird Restoration Project

Princess Vlei Rehabilitation Project

Biodiversity matters

Ecosystems

Plant diversity underpins the functioning of all ecosystems which provide the fundamental support systems upon which all life depends.

Habitat loss

Habitat destruction from human activity is the primary threat for 83% of endangered plant species. Plant diversity is being lost at an alarming rate.

Extinction

It is estimated that at least 25% of the 400,000 plant species in the world are now threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and degradation.

Invasive species

The deliberate or inadvertent introduction of alien species has altered many native ecosystems and resulted in the decline of many native species.

Climate change

An increase in temperature of 2-3°C over the next hundred years could result in half the world’s plant species being threatened with extinction.

Employment

For each job dedicated to protecting biodiversity there are five that depend directly on using biodiversity, estimated at almost half a million jobs.

At the Botanical Society we believe that we all have crucial role to play in ensuring that we conserve plant diversity for the benefit of all.

The Cape Floristic Region is home to over 9500 plant species, with floral diversity, density and endemism among the highest worldwide.


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3
%
of the world’s plant species occur in the Cape Floristic Region
20
%
of Africa’s plant species occur in the Cape Floristic Region
70
%
of the plant species in the Cape Floristic Region are endemic