International leaders meet in St. Louis to discuss plant conservation recommendations to the United Nations

World’s Botanical Garden Leaders will discuss conservation strategies for the future
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:19 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:21 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The world’s botanical garden leaders will gather in St. Louis in September to collectively commit to efforts to prevent the extinction of tens of thousands of plant species.

The Botanic Gardens Conservation International’s (BGCI) Advisory Council will hold its annual meeting in St. Louis over the course of two days. The workshop and meeting will define what specific role botanical gardens worldwide will play in achieving the goals of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).

The GSPC was first adopted by the international community in 2002, with 16 targets for plant conservation to be achieved by 2020. Post 2020, the group has been working alongside countries worldwide on a new set of plant conservation actions to halt the loss of plant species worldwide.

These discussions will continue at the September workshop, which will culminate with a declaration that endorses the new goals of the GSPC, pledges support from the world’s botanical gardens, and outlines specific objectives for botanical gardens.

“Botanical gardens play an essential role in the conservation of plants, which is of vital importance as 40 percent of the world’s plants face extinction,” said Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden. “At this meeting in St. Louis, leaders of botanical gardens around the world will come together to discuss priorities, actions, and targets for the future as we work to save the world’s plants, their ecosystems, and the life they support.”

The GSPC’s targets will focus on restoring biodiversity to the world, meeting climate change targets, and conserving rare and endangered species in their natural habitats and botanical gardens, among other topics.

The group will also call for all countries of the world to approve and implement the new GSPC, through the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Nairobi in October.

“Never has it been more critical that we take action to conserve global biodiversity. We are focused on developing an action agenda for how botanic gardens can support countries to meet essential biodiversity conservation targets. We must preserve life for future generations, it is no longer a choice but rather an obligation to them.” added HRH Princess Basma bint Ali, Chair of the BGCI Advisory Council.

HRH Princess Basma bint Ali is an advocate of biodiversity conservation and has a strong connection with the environment. She is the founder of the Royal Botanic Garden in Jordan. Princess Basma is a leading environmentalist of international renown.

The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 164 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is the world’s largest plant conservation network and a membership organization, representing more than 850 botanic gardens in over 120 countries around the world. Its mission is to mobilize botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet.