National action plan for ex-situ conservation in Finland to be funded by the EU LIFE programme
The European Commission has approved funding for 202 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. The projects cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, climate change and information and communication on environmental issues.
One of the projects that is to be funded is the ESCAPE project of the University of Helsinki which addresses Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.
The project aims to implement a national action plan for ex-situ conservation in Finland and create a national gene bank for threatened native species, including both vascular plants and bryophytes, which have so far been largely ignored in ex-situ conservation
The project will look at the development of integrated approaches to conservation involving a combination of ex-situ and in-situ methods in order to increase the population size and ensure the genetic diversity of threatened plant species in Finland. Manuals on ex-situ plant conservation will be compiled for use by the conservation officers who are responsible for local species protection activities in Finland.
The project will also include research on micropropagation and subsequent cryopreservation of plants for long term conservation.
Another objective of the project is to use ex-situ conserved plant material to test the possibilities for assisted migration of plants and the reintroduction of plant species to sites from where they have disappeared.
Finally the project will develop exhibitions and organize seminars in order to increase knowledge about plant conservation among decision-makers, the general public, school children and their teachers.
Further information is available from Dr. Marko Hyvärinen, University of Helsinki (email: email@example.com)