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Background and Consultations

Call for Action

Recognizing the critical situation facing the world’s flora, and their particular responsibility to alert the global community, botanists convened at the XVI International Botanical Congress in St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., in August, 1999, called for plant conservation to be recognized as an outstanding global priority in biodiversity conservation.

Responding to the Congress resolution, an ad hoc group drawn from major international and national organizations, institutions and other bodies involved in biodiversity conservation came together in Gran Canaria, Spain on 3-4 April, 2000 to consider the need for a global initiative for plant conservation. The group resolved that a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and associated program for its implementation should be developed urgently, within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Developing the original Strategy 2002-2010

By decision V/10, the Conference of the Parties (COP) decided to consider, at its sixth meeting in April 2002, the establishment of a global strategy for plant conservation. In the interim, feedback and relevant information were solicited from Parties and organizations through submitted views and consultations, for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in November 2001. The result was SBSTTA recommendation VII/8 on the global strategy.

Views from Parties

The Executive Secretary invited Parties and other governments, in submitting their views on the Strategy, to take note of the proposal contained in the Gran Canaria Declaration and other relevant resolutions, as well as of relevant initiatives referred to in Decision V/10. Views were received from the following Parties:

IUCN Resolutions endorsing the GSPC

Informal consultations

Adoption and refinement of the original Strategy 2002-2010

In decision VI/9, COP adopted the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and invited relevant organizations to endorse the strategy and contribute to its implementation. Parties and Governments were further invited to develop national and/or regional targets and to incorporate these into relevant plans, programmes and initiatives. National strategies and plans are now available from several Parties.

In the same decision, COP requested SBSTTA to develop ways and means for promoting implementation of the strategy and for monitoring and assessing progress. To this end, stakeholder consultations and meetings were held on various targets, to clarify the scope of activities under each target, to develop sub-targets or milestones, and to establish baseline data and a series of indicators.

Liaison Group Meeting (11-12 October 2002, Cartagena, Colombia)

In response to decision VI/9, the Executive Secretary invited a group of experts to act as an informal liaison group in order to provide additional guidance on the implementation and monitoring of the strategy. The meeting was organized in collaboration with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and supported by HSBC, through its “Investing in Nature” partnership.

Expert meeting on the GSPC (5-7 October 2003, Dingle, Ireland)

The Executive Secretary, in line with decision VI/9 and on the advice of the liaison group, convened an expert meeting to review progress in the stakeholder consultations, and to prepare advice for the development and implementation of the Strategy.

  • Report of the Expert Group
  • Documents of the Expert Group meeting, including stakeholder consultation reports on individual targets. The stakeholder consultation reports are also available here

Review and consolidated update of the Strategy

At its seventh meeting, COP encouraged Parties to identify focal points for the Strategy in order, inter alia, to promote and facilitate implementation and monitoring of the Strategy. The COP also decided to integrate the targets of the Strategy into all relevant programmes of work of the Convention, as these programmes become due for review.

Progress made in reaching the global targets were reviewed at the ninth and tenth meetings of the Conference of the Parties. An in-depth review of the Strategy was carried out by SBSTTA at its twelfth meeting in 2007. The Plant Conservation Report, published in 2009 in the six official UN languages, provides a concise review of progress made towards each of the 16 targets.

In addition to these reviews, the consolidated update of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 2011-2020 has drawn on:

As a result, the updated Global Strategy for Plant Conservation is now closely linked with the Strategic Plan and its implementation should be considered within the broader framework of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme