Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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International Plant Sentinel Network





The increasing globalisation of trade in plants and plant material, together with the impacts of climate change, has led to an increase in the introduction and spread of new and damaging plant pests and pathogens. Past examples of the devastating impact these organisms can have on plant populations, such as Dutch elm disease on UK elm trees and the emerald ash borer on U.S. ash populations, illustrate the significant threat these alien pests and pathogens pose to global plant health. 

The International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN) is being developed to facilitate collaboration amongst institutes around the world, with a focus on linking botanic gardens and arboreta, National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) and plant health scientists. The aim will be for these institutes to work together in order to provide an early warning system of new and emerging pest and pathogen risks. Member gardens will help to provide scientific evidence regarding known quarantine organisms and potential new risks to NPPOs in order to inform plant health activities and thus help safeguard susceptible plant species worldwide.

The IPSN aims to:

  •     seek and share examples of best practice;
  •     develop standardised methodologies for monitoring and surveying of damaging plant pests and pathogens;
  •     provide training materials to increase capability among member gardens;
  •     facilitate access to diagnostic support;
  •     develop databases in order to share and store information; and
  •     communicate scientific evidence with NPPOs.


Further information

For more information please go to the International Plant Sentinel Network website

We are keen to hear from any botanic gardens and arboreta, or any institutes / individuals involved in plant health, who are interested in the project. For more information please contact Katherine O'Donnell ( - IPSN coordinator) or to join the network click here

You can also follow us on twitter @IPSN_BGCI