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Plantlife seized the opportunity presented by the global gathering of world leaders at COP 15 to inspire conservation action for plants and fungi.
We made the most of an unmissable opportunity to inspire conservation action for plants and fungi when world leaders gathered for UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Canada.
Held in Montreal, December’s event gave us the chance to showcase the significance of our Important Plant Areas (IPAs).
We spent several months before COP15 working with the Global IPA Network to gather stories and data. Information from every national IPA programme was brought together into a single global resource. Its aim was to inform stakeholders, answer their questions and inspire further action for these special sites and species.
From our joint exhibition stand with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, we then spoke passionately about the value of IPAs. Our audience included governments, non-government organisations, researchers, youth groups and indigenous communities, who listened enthusiastically as we explained:
We also held a COP15 side event, called ‘IPAs – A tool for implementing the Global Biodiversity Framework’. Speakers from Armenia, Bolivia, South Africa and the UK were all invited to share their experiences and discuss the impact of their country’s IPAs. This demonstrated first hand their value in tackling the ecological, climate and societal crises we currently face.
As a result of the interest and enthusiasm shown by so many delegates at COP, Ian Dunn, Plantlife CEO, was invited to give a keynote speech at the Global Centre for Biodiversity and Climate conference at Kew. This focuses on progress and perspectives on IPAs and their role in avoiding plant blindness on conservation.
Our close partnership with Kew also continued as we began collaborative research into the past 20 years of the global IPA programme. We hope that this work will help us to better understand its impact and challenges, as well as pointing the way forward so that we can expand this valuable programme across the rest of the world.
Ruth Delgado, Amigos de la Naturaleza, Bolivia, speaking at the COP15 IPA even
The collaborative work of the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, of which Plantlife is a leading partner, could be finally starting to turn the fortunes around for this internationally-important habitat.
We are continuing to act as a voice for wild plants and fungi by helping to shape the new Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.