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What is the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation?

In 2002 the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) was adopted at the 6th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In 2004 Plantlife helped to establish the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) to support the national implementation of the GSPC by bringing together international, regional, and national organisations.

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation was renewed and revised in 2010, alongside the Aichi Targets (intended to be met by 2020), when it was agreed upon by the UK and 195 other governments worldwide.

Why is Plantlife involved?

In that renewed GSPC 16 Targets across 5 Objectives were established, and a number of organisations were responsible for the various Targets, with Plantlife coordinating the Important Plant Areas programme – an important tool for achieving Target 5, under Objective 2: “At least 75 per cent of the most important areas for plant diversity of each ecological region protected with effective management in place for conserving plants and their genetic diversity.”

Why is a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation necessary?

We know that life on earth depends on its extraordinary diversity of plants and fungi, yet two in every five wild plants are threatened with extinction. Far too often, the world’s flora and fungi are relegated to a green background for more charismatic wildlife. To tackle this, Plantlife has been working with our partners over the past twenty years to make sure that plant conservation is given priority within global biodiversity agreements.

What’s happening now with the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation?

Since the timeframe for the last GSPC and associated Targets has elapsed, the hope from the plant community was that there would once again be a request for a renewed GSPC, to sit alongside the new GBF for 2020-2030.

In December 2022 Plantlife attended the 15th CBD CoP in Montreal, alongside the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and together with the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation and Botanic Gardens International, called on the world’s governments to back a draft decision on plant conservation action as part of an ambitious and effective post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

where the new Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was adopted. Nestled among the 23 Targets and 4 Goals in Decision 15/5 Monitoring Framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework paragraph 14 is the following:

Invites the Global Partnership on Plant Conservation, with the support of the Secretariat and subject to the availability of resources, to prepare a set of complementary actions related to plant conservation to support the implementation of the global biodiversity framework aligned with the final Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, other relevant decisions adopted at the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties as well as previous experiences with the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation as described in the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook and the 2020 Plant Conservation Report, to be considered by a meeting of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice [SBSSTA] following the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

Plantlife will now work alongside the other members of the GPPC to create this set of complementary actions to be agreed upon at the SBSSTA meeting later in 2023.