Global Island Plant Conservation Statement
The Global Island Plant Conservation Statement, developed at the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress, Dublin, Ireland, June 2010.
“The rich, singular and extremely fragile insular endemic floras of the world are facing unprecedented risks as a consequence of the additive impacts of various biological and socio-economic factors such as habitat loss, population fragmentation, decline of pollinators, invasive species, and increasingly climate change. A recently published biodiversity audit estimated that at least 7000 insular endemic plant species worldwide may be highly threatened, some 3000 of them are considered to be critically endangered. We emphasise that the dire situation of many island plants also endangers unique ecosystems including its fauna, thereby triggering a further cascade of extinctions.
The threats faced by insular endemic floras are global, and only a coordinated international effort will provide the critical mass of knowledge needed to guide practical conservation work, applied conservation research and policy. We therefore highlight the critical problems that insular floras are facing, and recognize the urgent need to develop a global, oceanic island plant conservation network to share knowledge and expertise, discuss common challenges, and participate in the formulation and implementation of multi-disciplinary conservation objectives, political decisions and actions. We recognize that island plant conservation has grown substantially over the past decades and many successful good practice case examples are documented. Nevertheless, conservation action needs to be scaled up rapidly and gaps need to be identified and filled at local and international levels. The global conservation of island plant diversity should be recognized as a potent contribution to the sustainable development of islands, the restoration of natural capital and in particular watersheds and traditionally used plant resources.
We therefore recommend that:
- Island plant diversity be considered an immediate conservation priority;
- Good practice examples be scaled up and conservation gaps identified and filled; and
- Botanic gardens and other relevant conservation institutions collaborate through the Global Island Plant Conservation Network established at this congress."