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Plant Conservation

ABGN Action Plan 2010 Targets

B) Conserving plant diversity:

5. Based on assessment of candidate taxa, 40% of threatened plant species should be held in accessible ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and 2% of them should be included in recovery or restoration programmes.

6. At least 50% of Africa's botanical gardens should participate in measures to conserve nation­ally and locally important areas of plant diversity.

7. Africa's botanical gardens must carry out invasive plant risk assessments within their collec­tions and 60% contribute to model control programmes on a total of 20 invasive species.

What is plant conservation?

Plant conservation is a broad group of activities which aim to prevent plants from becoming extinct. It includes the direct conservation of wild populations, collections of plants with gardens, education programmes, invasive species control, recovery and restoration work, research programmmes, training.........

What are some of the plant conservation challenges facing Africa botanic gardens?

  • accurate data on plants, their distribution and the threats that they face is often not known or not accessible,
  • loss of traditional land management and its associated knowledge,
  • loss of high-value species due to non-sustainable harvesting,
  • loss and fragmentation of remaining natural areas,
  • plant conservation skills and infrastructure shortages.

However the biggest challenge for plant conservation in Africa today is the challenge to make plant conservation relevant to Africa and its current priorities as outlined in NEPADs primary objectives:

  • To eradicate poverty;
  • To place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development;
  • To halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process and enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy;
  • To accelerate the empowerment of women

By addressing the wider socio-economic and political role of plants and the environment, African botanic gardens will be able to grow and gain support from their local communities and political leaders.