Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med-O-Med member

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Area (in sqm)
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Education programmes

Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med member Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med member Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med memberWe welcome the Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden to the Med-O-Med Network of Botanic Gardens. This natural paradise, located in the northern slope of the Sierra de María, in Almería, was constituted in 1992, and is part of the Andalusian Network of Botanical and Mycological Gardens in Natural Spaces (Red Andaluza de Jardines Botánicos y Micológicos en Espacios Naturales – RAJBEN) since 2001. Its goal is to promote the preservation of biodiversity, preservation education programs and botanic tourism in the region.

Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med memberIts incorporation to RAJBEN has been a big step for this garden, giving it access to new technologies and tools (educative and management related) and contributing to the improvement of its research, conservation and diffusion capacities at a regional and local level. Likewise, its integration in the Med-O-Med Network will benefit its international projection and the exchange of information and knowledge with the different members of the 23 Mediterranean and Middle East countries that conform this network.

    Preservation of the Andalusian threatened flora

    Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med member Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med memberThe Umbría de la Virgen Botanic Garden is dedicated to the preservation of 53 protected species of Andalusia, located in an area of 400,000 m2. Within this protected species, we find endemisms such as the Centaurea mariana, the Sideritis stachydioides and the Centaurea saxifrage, among others. We can highlight also the living collection of Andalusian severely threatened species, such as the Atropa baetica, the Nepeta hispanica and the Centaurea dracunculifoli, which represent the garden’s greatest preservation success.

    Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med memberThe garden’s preservation programs are bearing fruits and, in the mid-term, the Regional Government of Andalusia is expected to launch Preservation and Recovery Plans. Within this framework, the Botanic Garden of Umbría de la Virgen will have a more active participation in the “Plan de conservación de Altas cumbres” (Plan for the Conservation of High Peaks), which includes all Andalusian species and whose habitat is located in the highest peaks of Andalusia’s mountain chains.

    Research and dissemination of knowledge

    Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med member Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med memberAnother of the tasks carried out by the Botanic Garden Umbría de la Virgen is the study of the threatened and protected taxa existing in the region. This project includes the study of 70 threatened species and is developed in collaboration with other research institutions, such as the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); university centers, both regional and national, such as the Spanish Society of Plant Conservation Biology (SEBICOP), and the SEFA Project. This task is complemented with the information gathered on the different Andalusian threatened species, which is included in the Regional Government of Andalusia’s FAME database. This tool has facilitated the dissemination of knowledge on the preservation of said species, while showing that there is still a lot to learn about the region.

    Communal Educative Programs on Sustainable Development

    Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med member Umbría de la Virgen Botanical Garden, new Med O Med member The most important lesson to highlight of this botanic garden’s work is the importance of a well-informed community and the need to promote its participation on the preservation of the flora, in order to guarantee its success. From this perspective, initiatives such as the Program Aldea stand out. This program was launched in collaboration with the Department of Education with the aim of contributing to a more solidary, fair and environmental friendly society. This program promotes educative actions for the preservation of the natural heritage and the promotion of a sustainable development in the region, allowing a comprehensive education relying on the four pillar proposed by the UNESCO: “Learn to know, learn to do, learn to be and learn to live together”. With this purpose, the Botanic Garden of Umbría de la Virgen has multiple interactive spaces dedicated to sensory activities, which involve the touch and the smell in order to better profit from the visit.

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