Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

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Bloomberg supports conservation

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It is estimated that worldwide up to 50 per cent of plant species are at risk of extinction. By collecting, storing and researching native seeds, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust’s NSW Seedbank, located at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan is helping to protect plant biodiversity.

In April 2011 the Trust and Bloomberg established a partnership to support the conservation work of the NSW Seedbank. This builds on existing seed bank projects supported by Bloomberg through the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London. Employee engagement is a core part of the partnership, bringing real benefits not only to conservation efforts but also to the company efforts to raise awareness among employees of issues around sustainability, urban regeneration and conservation. Working closely with Bloomberg, the Trust developed a schedule of sponsorship benefits which reflected Bloomberg’s commitment to conservation. These benefits include volunteer activity days at the Australian Botanic Garden.

The Trust manages a programme of sustainable regeneration and revegetation projects designed to conserve the Trust’s scientifically and historically significant sites. A major conservation project at the Australian Botanic Garden is the African olive control program. On Wednesday 9 May, nine Bloomberg employees volunteered to travel to the Garden to assist with our African olive control program.

The African olive (Olea europaea ssp. cuspidata) is an aggressive woody weed that invades native bushland by creating a dense shady canopy that excludes the growth of native understorey plants. Originally from eastern Africa, it is a medium-sized dense crowned tree with a small black fruit. It was introduced into Australia as a hedging plant and rootstock for the edible common olive (Olea europaea ssp. europaea) in the early 1800s. Since its introduction into the Camden region in south-western Sydney, the weed has led to a decline in native plant diversity and changed the structure of endangered bushland in the region.

The Australian Botanic Garden is Australia’s largest botanic garden and contains native flora. This 416 hectare site located near Campbelltown contains regionally significant conservation value as it includes the ecologically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland, Western Sydney Dry Rainforest and Sydney Coastal River Flat Forest.

The endangered bushland located in this region is under direct threat from African olive invasion. The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust has implemented a strategic approach to African olive control over the past 10 years. The African olive control program aims to substantially reduce the amount of mature African olive trees at the Garden to a manageable level. This will reduce the amount of seed being spread into the surrounding district.

Bloomberg spent the morning removing the African olive trees and seedlings from a woodland section of the Garden. They followed this with a tour of the NSW Seedbank. The feedback from Bloomberg was that it was both an enjoyable way to spend the morning and a unique opportunity to engage with key conservation issues.

For more information about our corporate sponsorship program see corporate_sponsors & charitable grants.

Seedbank-tour
Tour of the NSW SeedBank

Olive-treatment

Clearing-olive

Clearing-olive
Bloomberg volunteers working on African Olive control

Photos courtesy of Bloomberg