Guia para representação de coleção viva temática de plantas medicinais em jardins botânicos
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The world setting which started to take shape in the second half of the XX century as regards our environment, impacting on the state of living beings, led our authorities to figure out strategic actions seeking to ensure life. A new commitment from the part of botanic gardens resulted from this concern so as to develop programs on vegetable diversification conservation and environmental education to promote changes in the way to think over matters related to the environment. The living collections in botanic gardens act both as an instrument and a setting for these subjects to be dealt with in environmental issues by fostering debates and discussions on matters which affect life. In this sense, the medicinal collection is, in face of its features, a facilitator to the constructive work, articulations and connections necessary to awaken the public s interest by means of the acknowledgement of its meanings in daily life. The experience of running the collection, its continuous observation and the development of activities related to it made evidence of the potential of the medicinal collection as the place for experiment which enables the work with an array of target publics: the public in general, community groups, folk knowledge groups as well as the scientific community in the fields of medicine, pharmacology, scientific knowledge in education, environmental education, ethnobotany and biology. A guide which comprises items that facilitate the curators work is, in this way, a means to stimulate the representation of a collection of this kind in botanic gardens thus allowing that such a garden does its duty as an interlocutor between science and society and performs its leading role in a new relationship with natural resources.