BERC-Til Botanic Gardens
The Biodiversity & Environmental Research Center (BERC) has established the BERC-Til Botanic Gardens (BERC-Til BGs) in 2003 with the mission of contributing towards better management of the earth environment by increasing knowledge and understanding of plants on the basis that they constitute the foundation of life on earth.
One of the gardens main purposes is to display the plants and also to establish genetic stores of these plants. The gardens and the existing BERC research facilities have formed a good basis for educational and research programs directed towards promotion of plant biodiversity conservation, environmental and plant conservation education, and horticulture
The management program of the BERC-Til BGs includes the following operational objectives:
- The establishment of botanic gardens, as a national leader in the interpretation and teaching of systematic botany, conservation of a wide range of endangered and threatened wild plants and their habitats, biodiversity assessment and management, and herbarium and botanic gardens management.
- The development and implementation of an educational and research program that would carry out applied research aiming at plant conservation using advanced technologies, and disseminate knowledge and understanding of the value and importance of plants to the public.
- The production of basic and applied information on biodiversity and environmental resources and to manage and communicate this to all our stakeholders.
- To assist actively in capacity-building biodiversity, environmental sciences, and related biotechnology.
- To network effectively with leading universities, research centers, colleges, schools and other similar institutions to develop research and education in biodiversity and environmental sciences.
- The implementation of a targeted educational and environmental awareness raising program for local schools, youth and decision makers.
- The preparation of good practice guidelines for effective management of BERC-Til BGs based on international best practices and knowledge.
- To provide a recreation site by making use of plants multipurpose uses including their effects on environmental health and aesthetic values.
The BERC-Til BG is managed under a participatory approach by a Board of Trustees comprising 3 members of Til Village Council, 3 members from BERC, 2 members from the community, and 2 reserved for women. Technical, Scientific and educational aspects of the Gardens are solely the BERC’s responsibility. A small fee is now being collected from visitors, and being used for maintaining living plant collections and gardens services.
BERC-Til BGs policy and procedures, and contribution to national CBD implementation:
BERC-Til BGs actively contributes to national CBD implementation
- BERC-Til BGs comprises more than 15 main units (gardens), in addition to a herbarium (1030 specimens representing 776 plant species) and seed bank (251 seed accessions of local landraces, 30 core collection of cultivated and wild,166 Wheat RILs (hyprids of Hybrid between elite durum wheat cultivar “Svevo” and highly drought tolerant wild emmer accession “Zavitan”). and 474 seed accessions of Cucumis melo subsp. melo var. flexuosus).
- BERC-Til BGs maintain more than 220 species of native plants (mainly trees and shrubs, and annual plants), some of which are considered threatened (Red list, 2002).
- BERC-Til BGs maintain two field gene banks for local fig varieties (18) and local and international olive varieties (23), which can be used as resource for propagation, and research (Table Palestinian Fig Collection and Table olive collection).
- Botanic Gardens education and awareness.
Access and benefit sharing
Assess the Range of gardens’ collections (living and preserved; from in situ and/or ex situ sources), activities and research interests, and the principal users of the collections, as a first step towards developing an institutional policy on access and benefit-sharing.
BERC collects and works with traditional knowledge, we therefore ensure that researchers are aware of and comply with relevant codes of practice and national and customary laws, and that research is carried out with the approval and involvement of local communities. When working with traditional knowledge in the public domain, we consider opportunities for acknowledgement of the original knowledge-holders, and benefit-sharing.