Countries highlight importance of plants at UN Conference
The importance of plants and the need to continue to support the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) was highlighted at the recent Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
More than 20 Parties (including the European Union and Egypt speaking on behalf of all Arab States) spoke out in support of the GSPC. The need for capacity building to implement the GSPC was highlighted by a number of countries, while others urged for strengthened linkages with the agricultural and health sectors and enhanced partnerships at the national level.
A decision on the GSPC was adopted by the Parties. This decision requested the CBD Executive Secretary, in collaboration with BGCI, members of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation and other partners, and subject to the availability of resources:
- to continue supporting capacity-building activities on plant conservation;
- to facilitate technical and scientific cooperation and to promote collaborative research as appropriate;
- where feasible, to catalyse and promote cross-sectoral linkages among agricultural, health, food and environmental agencies with regard to plant conservation.
The full text of the decision can be seen here.
BGCI organised a side event on the GSPC at the Conference, where the Plant Conservation Report 2014 was launched. Presentations during the event showcased the progress that is being made in plant conservation in Korea, China and South Africa, while a representative from TRAFFIC reported on initiatives that support the sustainable use of plant diversity.
Notable progress is being made by some countries, with botanic gardens often playing a major role. In Indonesia for example, it is a national priority to develop at least one botanic garden in each province with a focus on conserving the local plant resources. To date, 27 new gardens have been established, and these are cultivating over 15,500 plant species. More information about GSPC implementation in Indonesia is available here.