The Pha Tad Ke Botanic Garden is a regional research centre creating the first living collection of the flora of Laos that will provide an opportunity for collaboration with international botanical institutes. Pha Tad Ke has a strong focus on ethno-botany, research and education and welcomes international volunteers and student collaborations. Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden opened to the public in November 2016.
As a part of the application for international funding for Pha Tad Ke, I was asked to work with a Laotian consultancy to do a study on the environmental and social impact that the botanic garden would have. Some of the issues I addressed in the study were:
- the potential adverse environmental impacts of the botanic garden’s establishment and operating phase
- potential issues raised by the Nagoya Protocol by the development of the living collection
- recommendations to address potential adverse environmental impacts and potential issues raised by the Nagoya Protocol
In relation to the Nagoya Protocol, it was developed to provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both the providers and users of, in the case of botanic gardens, plants. The Protocol both promotes the use of plants and associated traditional knowledge while strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use. By doing so, it seeks to create new incentives to conserve biodiversity; to sustainably use its components, and; to further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being.