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Carolina Jijon is Executive Director of Fundación Botánica de los Andes (The Botanical Foundation of the Andes), which funds Quito Botanical gardens, and President of the Network of Botanical Gardens of Ecuador. A biologist by training, she has considerable expertise in conservation issues and was nominated for the 1999 Global 500 prize awarded by the United Nations to prominent environmentalists from member countries.
Quito Botanical Gardens (QBG)
Home to more than 4,100 species of orchids, Ecuador is famed for its megabiodiversity. Located in el Parque La Carolina, one of Quito Botanical Garden’s main objectives is to promote the conservation of native Ecuadorian species, especially orchids and other epiphytes, to exhibit and teach the public about their reproduction, growing requirements, and their importance in the various ecosystems. This includes acting as a rescue and ex-situ conservation centre. QBG supports conservation programs, scientific investigation, and the establishment of contacts with botanical gardens and others institutions with projects whose aims are the preservation of Ecuador's rich biological heritage.
The member of the Quito Orchid Society maintain several ex-situ orchid collection of species and hybrids and both institution collaborate on a regular basis on common projects.
With the aim of setting up a propagation project, the QBG has a micro-propagation laboratory, for the preparation and sowing of orchid seed, and subsequent seedling growth under 144 square metres greenhouse and a similar shade house facility. This project also includes a space of 13.5 squares metres for a seed bank and ex-situ conservation research area.
The QBG has as part of its regular staff, an orchid specialist who takes care and supervises all the work related to conservation, classification and growing needs of the orchid at the botanical garden. The Quito Orchid Society, as a supporting partner institution, collaborates directly with the QBG, sharing, micro-propagation skills, knowledge, experience and expertise in this field.