Plant Conservation Challenges
The Middle Eastern region is experiencing rapid population growth. The following are some of the major driving causes of the current plant diversity crisis:
- To meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of people, expanded land use, with all its negative overall environmental impacts, contributes to loss of plant diversity.
- Water scarcity is increasing.
- Food demands and market forces have encouraged substituting higher yielding cultivars for locally adapted varieties. This is diminishing genetic diversity of crops.
- Traditional dryland management practices and conservation approaches (e.g. al-hima) are being lost.
- Rangelands are experiencing overgrazing and wild lands are often plowed to secure property rights over the land.
Plant diversity can help us navigate our way through these very problems, and build a secure future for all life. To protect and cultivate plant life in this and other regions is of critical importance to our well-being and survival.
To halt and secure the loss of plant diversity in the region, integrated conservation approaches need to be promoted and strengthened, with immediate effect.
BGCI is driving change for the better, aiming to secure plant diversity in the region by strengthening capacity and activity in botanic gardens both within the region and globally.
Our goals are:
- measures for ex and in situ conservation
- the establishment of living collections and seed banks, reintroduction and recovery programmes in the original habitats,
- the protection of remaining wild habitats and unique ecosystems harboring endemic species.