Plants are essential to human existence, providing food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and the raw materials to meet many other needs. Research and conservation at the Botanical Garden includes a focus on useful plants, both those that are global resources with great economic impact as well as species used regionally by indigenous peoples and local communities.
The diversity of useful plants on Earth is inherently linked to cultural diversity. Garden scientists study biodiversity-based traditional knowledge systems around the world and the often complex relationships that exist between plants, people, and culture. In the 21st century, this understanding of plants and people at local, regional, and global levels is critical to finding solutions for conserving and sustainably managing the plant resources on which the well-being of humankind depends.
NYBG’s Plants and People Projects:
Belize Ethnobotany Project
Community-based Natural Resource Management in Sagaing Region, Myanmar
Comparative Exploration of Plants and Local Knowledge in Portland Parish, Jamaica
Cultural Competency Training Program for Health Care Providers
DNA Darcoding of Dietary Supplements
Improving Health Care for Underserved Immigrant Caribbean and Latino Communities in New York City
Plant Conservation and Forest Resource Management in Myanmar
Plants and People of Micronesia
Plants and People of Vanuatu