Education and Classes in the Botanical Garden
The 1992 Rio Convention on Biological Diversity contains a specific Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which was implemented in Germany in 2007 as the National Strategy for Biological Diversity. Within this plan, biodiversity is declared a necessary tool for mastering future challenges such as climate change, energy demand, sustainable industrial resources, and a healthy and secure food supply.
Due to the increasing threat to biodiversity by human population growth, changing eating habits, and non-sustainable intensive agriculture, its preservation has been set as a societal priority. For creating environmental awareness, education on the importance of biodiversity, and for activity-oriented learning for its conservation, botanical gardens also play an important role for the public. Botanical gardens, like the one here in Rostock, are therefore requested to act as concentration points of biodiversity education. Additionally, the urgence of these goals has been emphasized by declaring the years 2011–2020 the Decade of Biodiversity by the United Nations. The project 'Mysteries in the Plant World' in the Rostock Botanical Garden has been awarded UN Project of the Decade of Biodiversity.
Many plants in our garden are used for lectures and labs or as visual aids and learning tools for university students, scientists, school classes, youth groups, and others who are simply interested in plants and botany. The numerous themed areas and habitat types in our botanical garden teach about the diversity in the plant kingdom, differences between individual plants and plant families, evolutionary adaptations to living in different environments, and the use of plants by humans.
University courses at or in cooperation with the Botanical Garden usually occur within the framework of the general curriculum. Occasionally special courses are offered.
The training for aspiring secondary teachers through the Chair of Biology Didactics is continually conducted with students from both the university and the schools here in the botanical garden. For this purpose an educational garden section is being established.
Lessons on the topics of plant diversity and environmental stewardship take place in the Botanical Garden with guided tours for primary school children, through projects like "Unigarten macht Schule", and within the framework of the annual mushroom and fungus exhibition of the State.