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The greenhouse for tropical crops is property of the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture GmbH(Deutsches Institut für Tropische und Subtropische Landwirtschaft) or DITSL. The University of Kassel has leased the house since 1971.
Within the university, the greenhouse belongs to the department of Ecological Plant Production and Agroecosystem Research in the Tropics and Subtropics (Ökologischer Pflanzenbau und Agrarökosystemforschung in den Tropen und Subtropen).
The preservation and protection of biodiversity is a key topic in sustainability. The foundational documents for the botanical garden are the “Convention on Biological Diversity” from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development/Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit of 1992 and the Nagoya protocol 2010.
The cultivation, documentation, preservation, and presentation of crop plants is the core task of our botanical garden. The crop plant collection with a horticultural and agricultural emphasis is situated in the 1,200 m² tropical greenhouse. It is arranged by databank supported, documented collections of cultivars and varieties.
The operating site includes an educational garden (Lehr-und Lerngarten) and climate chambers. Management follows the principles of the university’s ecological agricultural science department (Fachbereich Ökologische Agrarwissenschaften), and therefore the guidelines of organic farming.
The tropical greenhouse is a universal space to support research and education, both in the scientific agricultural field as well as in environmental education/education for sustainability itself. Accordingly, courses and exercises on agricultural/horticultural topics such as crop science, botany, sustainability or plant protection take place in-house, along with seminars on the didactics of educational events.
The plant collection and premises are a learning and teaching space for the members of the University of Kassel. The house is accessible to the public as an open university facility, providing a “green window” into the university’s work and structure.
The educational work follows criteria of education for sustainable development, for example the global development orientation framework of the Conference of Ministers of Education. The goal of events is to encourage environmentally just actions in all living situations in the spirit of the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit of 1992 and the sustainable development goals.