Public Release: 

Global strategy for plant conservation conference to take place at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Conference to address worldwide goal to advance plant conservation

Missouri Botanical Garden

This conference, titled "Supporting the worldwide implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation," is organized by the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) in association with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). The conference is expected to attract a wide range of participants to share their experiences and further the development of plant conservation action in this the U.N. Decade of Biological Diversity.

"The adoption of the updated Global Strategy for Plant Conservation in 2010 provided a new challenge for the world to halt the loss of plants by the year 2020," said Missouri Botanical Garden President Peter Wyse Jackson. "If we are to be successful in this work, we need to be clear about our individual priorities and responsibilities."

In October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, the 10th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a decision incorporating a consolidated update of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) from 2011 through 2020, including 16 targets for plant conservation to be achieved by 2020. The role of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation is recognized by by the CBD in supporting GSPC implementation worldwide; the conference at the Garden aims to help guide future plant conservation priorities.

The conference will assist in efforts made to expand and evaluate progress in implementing the GSPC from 2002 to 2010 and how these experiences can support enhanced implementation over the coming decade. Examples will be shared from around the world on GSPC implementation, particularly during the period 2002 to 2010, to provide guidance and support for national and regional GSPC implementation entering into the new phase. Sharing experiences will assist those that are setting national targets for plant conservation or using the GSPC and CBD Strategic Plan to provide a flexible framework for their efforts in plant conservation at all levels.

Attendees will support the ongoing efforts to consider and develop further the technical rationales, milestones and indicators for the GSPC up to 2020 and synchronize with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. In addition, attendees will help evaluate a draft GSPC toolkit that is being prepared to support GSPC implementation at all levels prior to its submission for review by the Convention.

The conference will also provide an opportunity for strategic discussion on mainstreaming plant conservation in national development agendas, such as including links to the implementation of the CBD's Strategic Plan as well as providing guidance and suggestions for countries that are updating National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) to include the targets of the GSPC.

Finally, the conference aims to build leadership amongst the participating organizations for monitoring and delivery of the GSPC targets going forward.

"I have no doubt that this conference will help to set a working agenda for many participating organizations worldwide," said Wyse Jackson.

With scientists working on six continents in 35 countries around the globe, the Missouri Botanical Garden has one of the three largest plant science programs in the world, along with The New York Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (outside London). The Garden focuses its work on areas that are rich in biodiversity yet threatened by habitat destruction, and operates the world's most active research and training programs in tropical botany. Garden scientists collaborate with local institutions, schools and indigenous peoples to understand plants, create awareness, offer alternatives and craft conservation strategies. The Garden is striving for a world that can sustain us without sacrificing prosperity for future generation, a world where people share a commitment to manage biological diversity for the common benefit.

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For more information on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation Conference, visit: www.mobot.org/gppc2011

For more information about the Missouri Botanical Garden visit: www.mobot.org.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri, 63110.

NOTE: Digital images available by request. Download media materials at www.mobot.org/press.

The Missouri Botanical Garden's mission is "to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life." Today, 152 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.

Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

A Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) was first proposed at the XVI International Botanical Congress in St. Louis in 1999. It was subsequently developed and adopted through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2002, to guide policy and set priorities for implementation by each country worldwide. The GSPC highlights the importance of plants and the ecosystem services they provide for all life on earth, and aims to ensure their conservation.

The GSPC has 16 outcome-oriented targets under 5 main objectives:

(a) Objective I: Plant diversity is well understood, documented and recognized;
(b) Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved;
(c) Objective III: Plant diversity is used in a sustainable and equitable manner;
(d) Objective IV: Education and awareness about plant diversity, its role in sustainable livelihoods and importance to all life on Earth is promoted;
(e) Objective V: The capacities and public engagement necessary to implement the Strategy have been developed.

The 16 targets adopted in 2002 were set for achievement by 2010. These targets have recently been revised and updated by the CBD at its 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan, setting new plant conservation goals for 2020.

Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC)

The Global Partnership for Plant Conservation brings together a wide range of international, regional and national organizations in order to contribute to the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) worldwide. To help nations meet the targets of the GSPC, this consortium of international and national plant and conservation agencies was formed in 2004. The Partnership is working to support national implementation and the GSPC, and to provide tools and resources on how each country can plan and act to meet the targets. The GPPC was included by the Convention on Biological Diversity as part of the flexible coordination mechanism of the GSPC and plays a significant role in helping to monitor and promote GSPC implementation. A Secretariat for the Partnership is hosted by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden are members of the GPPC. www.plants2010.org

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity, The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity and The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. CBD was opened for signature on 5 June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. It remained open for signature until 4 June 1993, by which time it had received 168 signatures. The Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993, which was 90 days after the 30th ratification.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)

BGCI is an international organisation that aims to ensure the world-wide conservation of threatened plants, the continued existence of which are intrinsically linked to global issues including poverty, human well-being and climate change. BGCI represents over 700 members - mostly botanic gardens - in 118 countries. It supports and empowers its members and the wider conservation community so that their knowledge and expertise can be applied to reversing the threat of extinction crisis facing one third of all plants. BGCI also supports the development and implementation of global policy - specifically the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) - at a global, regional, national, and local level. BGCI works in a catalytic way, through its secretariat in London and regional offices in the USA and China to deliver the objectives of the GSPC. BGCI produces a range of resources and publications, organises regular international gatherings and manages a number of direct conservation programmes.

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