La recherche et la conservation menacées à Kew Gardens

Marc Philippe relaie au réseau Tela un cri d'alerte et une pétition pour essayer d'éviter la diminution de 5 millions de livres de subventions publiques pour Kew.

Marc Philippe relaie au réseau Tela un cri d’alerte et une pétition pour essayer d’éviter la diminution de 5 millions de livres de subventions publiques pour Kew.
Nous avons reçu de Kew le message d’alerte suivant :
La recherche et la conservation aux Jardins botaniques royaux de Kew (Londres) sont menacées d’une diminution des subventions de 5 millions de livres.
Il est appelé à signer en ligne la pétition :
Chaque signature compte !
Le jardin botanique de Kew est l’une des top-5 entités de recherche botanique dans le monde.

Extrait du texte de la pétition :
Globally important conservation and science under threat at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew due to government cuts – £5M deficit will lead to loss of over 120 posts

The UK Government need to urgently reverse the existing cuts to Kew’s annual operating grant in aid funding, and to cancel the proposed and any further future cuts.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with sites at Kew Gardens, London and Wakehurst Place, Sussex is a world-leader in conservation and botanical science, with over 250 years of historical excellence in these fields.
Never before has Kew faced such a significant threat to its future. It now needs your help to ensure its globally-important plant and fungal collections can continue to be used to support plant and fungal science and conservation around the world.

In 1983, 90 per cent of Kew’s funding came from the UK Government as grant in aid. The current amount has dropped to below 40 per cent as of this year. Funding was reduced by £0.9M in 2009-10, £1M in 2010-11, and by an extra £0.5M year-on-year thereafter (see here).
Kew has now been told to expect further cuts of at least another £1.5M before the end of 2016.
Under the 1983 National Heritage Act, the UK Government committed to ensure that Kew is adequately resourced to fulfil its statutory obligations, which include: research; providing advice and education; plant-related services including quarantine; caring for world-renowned scientific collections, as national reference collections available for study; and as a resource for the public to gain knowledge and enjoy. The UK Government is no longer fulfilling its role to allow Kew to meet these obligations.

Kew has been dramatically increasing income from non-government funding streams through the work of their partner charity Kew Foundation, and via commercially-generated income, consultancy work, and research funding. Although there are plans to extend these efforts, they are no longer able to keep up with the rate of cuts in government funding and many areas of Kew’s work are not easily resourced externally.
Due to the cuts, Kew has announced that with a £5M deficit for this year, over 120 posts will be axed. The majority of posts will be lost in the areas of science and public engagement (report here.) In specialist careers measured in decades of experience, Kew will lose dedicated, expert staff, and whole areas of work are likely to be halted.

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Photo d’illustration : Museum 1, Kew Gardens, par EnglishHorn73 at en.wikipedia, licence cc by sa (3.0) via wikicommons

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