Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

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The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is a program of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity. The GSPC sought to slow the pace of plant extinction around the world by 2010. The GSPC began as a grass-roots movement in 1999 with discussions at the 16th International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. A group of specialists subsequently met in Gran Canaria and issued the Gran Canaria Declaration Calling for a Global Plant Conservation Strategy. Following extensive consultations, the fleshed-out GPSC was adopted by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in April 2002. The heart of the GSPC are five goals, expressed as a total of 16 targets.

The five objectives and their 16 targets are  :

Objective I: Plant diversity is well understood, documented and recognized

  • Target 1: An online flora of all known plants.
  • Target 2: An assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species, as far as possible, to guide conservation action.
  • Target 3: Information, research and associated outputs, and methods necessary to implement the Strategy developed and shared.

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

  • Target 4: At least 15 per cent of each ecological region or vegetation type secured through effective management and/or restoration.
  • Target 5: At least 75 per cent of the most important areas for plant diversity of each ecological region protected with effective management in place for conserving plants and their genetic diversity.
  • Target 6: At least 75 per cent of production lands in each sector managed sustainably, consistent with the conservation of plant diversity.
  • Target 7: At least 75 per cent of known threatened plant species conserved in situ.
  • Target 8: At least 75 per cent of threatened plant species in ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and at least 20 per cent available for recovery and restoration programmes.
  • Target 9: 70 per cent of the genetic diversity of crops including their wild relatives and other socio-economically valuable plant species conserved, while respecting, preserving and maintaining associated indigenous and local knowledge.
  • Target 10: Effective management plans in place to prevent new biological invasions and to manage important areas for plant diversity that are invaded.

Objective III: Plant diversity is used in a sustainable and equitable manner

  • Target 11: No species of wild flora endangered by international trade.
  • Target 12: All wild harvested plant-based products sourced sustainably.
  • Target 13: Indigenous and local knowledge innovations and practices associated with plant resources maintained or increased, as appropriate, to support customary use, sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care.

Objective IV: Education and awareness about plant diversity, its role in sustainable livelihoods and importance to all life on earth is promoted

  • Target 14: The importance of plant diversity and the need for its conservation incorporated into communication, education and public awareness programmes.

Objective V: The capacities and public engagement necessary to implement the Strategy have been developed

  • Target 15: The number of trained people working with appropriate facilities sufficient according to national needs, to achieve the targets of this Strategy.
  • Target 16: Institutions, networks and partnerships for plant conservation established or strengthened at national, regional and international levels to achieve the targets of this Strategy.

The GSPC is being put through a formal review of progress by the Convention on Biological Diversity, culminating in major discussions in May 2008 in Bonn, Germany at the 9th Conference of the Parties to the CBD.

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