CollaborationCollaboration is the hallmark of the Garden's research program. Without exception, work is conducted in partnership with institutions in host nations - the overall goal is to strengthen their institutions and form partnerships that serve the needs of all. In several countries of exceptional biological importance - Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Madagascar and Vietnam - the garden maintains resident curators who live and work there.

Developing nations are urgently seeking the tools to address their conservation concerns, but the world has been slow to respond. Despite the best intentions of many organizations and governments, conservation as a concerted, worldwide agenda is still in its infancy.

In response, the Garden's Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development is providing leadership. The Center fosters support and cooperation among partner institutions, government agencies, and non-government organizations. By building on the Garden's expertise, resources and influence, the Center promises urgently needed hope for the future. 

The Garden launched the Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development more than 10 years ago to explore and implement new approaches to protecting and using plant diversity. The Center builds on the Garden's longstanding work in developing countries to strengthen scientific expertise and assist each nation to protect and manage its biological resources.

Collaboration MadagascarIn Madagascar, Garden researchers and local institutions use the research capacity they have developed together to conduct intensive, targeted studies of the island's priceless treasure trove of unique species. The results are immediately useful to decision makers in natural resource conservation.

The Garden works closely with colleagues in Tanzania to train residents in research methods and how to apply them to their conservation activities. The program has had remarkable success in establishing collaboration and a sense of purpose among people who had been working in isolation.

In Ecuador, the Garden helped to establish the Amazon Plant Conservation Center to provide training in sustainable agriculture for local farmers and education programs for children. The Ecuadorian government has used Garden research data to help decide which areas to set aside as national parks and reserves. At the National Herbarium in Quito, the Garden's resident botanist offers on-the-job training in research and conservation techniques for young Ecuadorians, and the program has been expanded to provide internships and study grants.