Our Plants for the Planet campaign is still going strong with thousands of people pledging their support for plants and asking world governments to adopt the new Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan in October. There's still time to add your voice and help us draw attention to the plight of plants. Visit the website now and sign up! We'll be updating the website over the next month or so to include details of what you can do to help stop plant extinctions.
Botanic gardens and the implementation of GSPC Target 8
BGCI's up coming report focuses on Target 8 of the GSPC "60% of threatened plants in accessible ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin and 10% of them included in recovery and restoration programmes." Our PlantSearch database provides a unique tool to monitor progress towards the target. With data provided by over 800 botanic gardens around the world, PlantSearch now includes records for over 100,000 species in cultivation in botanic gardens. Over 9,000 of these species (nearly 25%) are known to be globally threatened. While this falls some way short of the 60% target, the report discusses the challenges in collecting and assessing progress as well as documenting the contribution of botanic gardens to addressing this target at the global level.
The report will be launched in Nagoya in October and will be available for download from the BGCI website.
BGCI has been awarded a contract by the CBD Secretariat to develop a toolkit to assist governments and plant conservation practitioners at all levels to implement the GSPC. The toolkit has been requested by the Parties to the CBD and progress is now possible thanks to funding provided by the Spanish Government. The toolkit will aim to help Parties develop national responses to the GSPC and integrate plant conservation targets into their biodiversity strategies, plans and programmes. It will also help to raise awareness of the GSPC amongst a wider audience and provide guidance on ways and means to address the individual targets. BGCI is presently developing a draft outline of the proposed toolkit and this will be made available for discussion and comment shortly.
We are aiming to engage as many stakeholders as possible in a consultation exercise to generate feedback and guidance on users needs for the toolkit as it develops.
First published in 2000, the International Agenda (IA) is a policy framework for botanic gardens worldwide to contribute to biodiversity conservation, particularly as it relates to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Hundreds of botanic gardens responded strongly to this initiative by registering with the IA. The draft Revised IA will be posted on our website soon with a call for your input.
Download the brilliant botanical capacity in the US report, with input from over 1,500 survey respondents and 30 workshop participants. The Chicago Botanic Garden and BGCI's U.S. office worked with partners across the US to assess current and future botanical capacity in the country. The aim of the grant-funded project is to understand the resources we currently have to conserve and manage native plant species and habitat, identify gaps in capacity and highlight opportunities to fill them in the future. Final report now available to download!
In another first ever study of its kind, a BGCI-commissioned report on Islamic gardens in the UK has highlighted the potential for botanic gardens to promote biodiversity conservation and ecological sustainability by actively engaging with and supporting faith-based gardening projects. The enhanced social role of botanic gardens, particularly in respect of their social inclusion initiatives, is vitally important if we are to deliver the sort of conservation and sustainability outcomes that are so urgently required. Funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Cardiff University study into Islamic Gardens in the UK set out to examine their potential for promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainability within the Muslim community, as well as fostering inter-faith understanding.
To download a copy of the report click here.
For the third year running, BGCI is teaming up with The Fairchild Challenge to offer an exciting Global Option for students aged 14-19.
This Challenge is about encouraging students to participate in the International Year of Biodiversity and communicating the importance of plant diversity. Students will create a T-Shirt design embodying Target 14 of the GSPC that will resonate with young people worldwide, and will express what they think is important about plant conservation. Students will also come up with a tagline or catchphrase, designed to help young people worldwide understand the importance of plants and why we must conserve them. For details on how to participate in this Challenge click here.
At BGCI, Per Bogstad has left us for a new role at the Rainforest Alliance. I am also leaving BGCI to do a PhD in the plant conservation and botanic garden field so will hopefully still be in touch with many of you. We welcome Andrew Wood as Communications Officer and future Cultivate editor!
That's all for now,
Don't forget to please sign your support!
Belinda and everyone at BGCI