Marsh Award for International Plant Conservation

This Award is run in partnership with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and recognises an early/mid-career individual who has made a significant achievement in the conservation of rare and endangered plant species and plant diversity.

BGCI’s vision is a world in which plant diversity is valued, secure and supporting all life. To create this world their mission is: "To mobilise botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet."

The 2015 winner is Dr Jože Bavcon

Jože Bavcon is Director of the Ljubljana botanic garden and works tirelessly for the conservation of Slovenia’s native plants. With minimum staff and a small budget he has made great progress in raising awareness amongst University staff, politicians and the general public of the importance of conserving plant diversity and developing botanic gardens.

Dr Bavcon focuses on the conservation of endangered plants and a number of species cultivated at the botanic garden are now ready to be reintroduced into their endangered natural habitats. Amongst these species are some that have gone extinct in the wild. One such species is the Fleischmann's parsnip (Pastinaca sativa var. fleischmanni), which could be found on the grounds of the Ljubljana Castle in the first half of the 19th century, and has now been introduced into the botanic garden.

Dr Bavcon has taken the lead in establishing a network of national botanic gardens in Slovenia, now including 9 gardens, and constantly shows exceptional dedication to plant conservation. A great example of this was when he decided to purchase a plot of land near Ljubljana and conserve this as a native flower meadow. He has developed close links with Slovenian media has a weekly TV spot where he demonstrates gardening and plant conservation activities. He has also worked with the authorities and has encouraged the introductions of various diverse species in the city.

Pictured (above) Dr Jože Bavcon


Descanso House
199 Kew Road



Previous Winners:

2014 Zheng Naiyuan