The adoption of a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) by the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2002 marked an important advance in raising awareness of the threats faced by plants worldwide, as well as providing, for the first time, a coherent framework for policy and action needed to halt the loss of plant diversity. The first phase of the implementation of the GSPC was marked by significant achievements both at the international and national levels in addressing some of the problems and pressures faced by plants. These included the development of national plant conservation strategies in many countries and regions; the establishment of a Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC); the completion of a first ever preliminary checklist of the world’s plants and many new programmes, projects and other initiatives undertaken by a multitude of individuals, institutions and organizations to support GSPC implementation.
Despite the progress made already we cannot afford to be complacent. What was achieved can only be regarded as a good beginning to this work, setting the foundations on which to build. The second phase of GSPC implementation for the period 2011 to 2020 is therefore crucial if we are to safeguard tens of thousands of plant species close to extinction and halt the loss of diversity of species and plant-based ecosystems that are threatened worldwide. The 16 updated targets of the GSPC also provide the basis for us to monitor progress towards the ultimate goal of halting the loss of plant species by 2020, and contribute towards the wider Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
This brochure is a resource for those working in plant conservation, in particular to support awareness raising amongst conservation practitioners, policy makers, funding agencies and those who can help strengthen plant conservation capacity and efforts at all levels. We welcome the continued commitment of the members of the GPPC in supporting GSPC implementation worldwide and urge others to join in this effort too, helping to ensure that the plant diversity that sustains us today will continue to be available to future generations, as an essential renewable resource, cherished and nurtured as part of a sustainable world.