he Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center (KBCC), a non-governmental organization for tropical plant conservation in Taiwan, was founded in 2007 with the support of the Taiwan Cement Company, Ltd., Ho-Ping Power Company and the China Synthetic Rubber Corporation, Jiantan Temple and under the directorship of Prof. Chia Wei Li, professor of the Department of Life Sciences at National Tsing Hua University.
KBCC’s mission is to conserve tropical and sub-tropical plants and maintain rich biodiversity on earth. In order to fulfill this mission, our present goal is to collect 40,000 different taxa and become the largest shelter of tropical plants on earth by 2027. And the ultimate aim is to reintroduce plants back to the wild environment. While KBCC’s strategy focuses on ex situ conservation through an emphasis on living collections of plant species, the center also has facilities for both tissue culture and cryo-preservation and currently runs a 'Deep Freeze' cryopreservation project with a target of 240,000 specimens from the living collections at KBCC.
The 17 greenhouses of KBCC house 18 groups of plants as major conservation targets including Aquatic Plants, Araceae, Asclepiadaceae, Bambusoideae, Begoniaceae, Bromeliaceae, Carnivorous plants, Gesneriaceae, Heliconiaceae, Marantaceae, Musaceae, Orchidaceae, Palmae, Pteridophytes, Rutaceae, Succulents, Theaceae and Zingiberaceae. At the end of
, our collections have reached
As of 2013 the conservation center also began Phasianidae and turtle conservation programs which currently house 32 species of threatened birds and 29 species of threatened turtles and tortoises.
In addition to practical plant conservation, KBCC also plays an important role in research and education. Scientists from botanic gardens, research and academic institutions are invited to use the resources from KBCC for research. KBCC also actively participates in and coordinates international academic conferences and professional training courses. National and international students can join the center for high school, university and postgraduate internships during the semester as well as at winter and summer vacation for study in plant cultivation management or special study topics.
The Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center has received support and cooperation from domestic and foreign scholars and a number of research institutions, including the Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica (Begonias, Gesneriaceae, Monocotyledon and other species), National Museum of Natural Science (Census and Conservation of Plant Resources in the Solomon Islands, herbarium specimen), Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (Pteridophytes, Taxonomy), Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (banana species), Taiwan Banana Research Institute (banana species), Taitung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station (TTDARES) of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan (fern species), Xitou Nature Education Area of NTU Experimental Forest (cloud forest plant species), Ministry of Science and Technology (tropical plant species preservation plan), International Cooperation and Development Fund (Solomon Flora Project), the Edinburgh Botanical Garden (Begonia), Duke University, the Malaysian Forestry Research Institute (FRIM; Begonia, Orchidaceae, Gesneriaceae , Ferns), Beijing Botanical Garden (Nymphaeaceae), Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen & Chinese Academy of Sciences (species of Southeast China and Malay Peninsula), Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden (Begonia, ferns), Guangxi Institute of Botany (limestone plant species), Solomon Islands Ministry of Forestry and Research (Solomon Flora Project), Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden (Laos plant species).