Plant conservation funding is often overshadowed by funding for animal conservation. Yet more plant species go extinct every year than animal species. You can read all about the state of the world’s plants in this global report.
Why are plants often forgotten when we talk about biodiversity conservation? Scientists believe it is due to a phenomenon called “plant blindness”. For example, like this photographer, many people will focus on the hoverfly in the image below, but won’t often pay much attention to the flower it is pollinating. This has serious implications for plant conservation nicely explained in this article.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden is part of a global network of Botanic Gardens called Botanic Gardens Conservation International, or simply BGCI, which is working on the global conservation of plants. Most countries around the world have signed up to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which is a programme within the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. BGCI is working hard to achieve the targets detailed in these international agreements, which are similar to the more well known international climate change agreements.
We have asked two amazing speakers to talk about their work in the world of plant conservation. By watching these presentations and engaging with the additional resources listed above, we hope you will gain a new appreciation for the importance of global plant conservation and the role of Botanic Gardens in this endeavour.
The illegal wildlife trade is a very topical issue right now in terms of its implications for the spread of novel viruses, but illegal trade in plants also has serious implications for the functioning of whole ecosystems.
Our first speaker is Anastasiya Timoshyna who works for TRAFFIC – a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
Anastasiya focuses on ensuring the trade in wild medicinal and aromatic plants is sustainable and legal. Her talk below is entitled Wild at Home: Why wild plants matter and how to save them. She will focus on the sustainability of wild plant trade.
In her talk she mentions a tree, Terminalia bellerica, which you can find growing at CUBG in our Tropics glasshouse.
Wild at Home: Why wild plants matter and how to save them.
There are many conservation organisations dedicated to conservation globally. Fauna and Flora International (FFI) is one of the oldest and has built a reputation for its pioneering work and science-based approach to conservation.
In her talk, Baobabs are mentioned. CUBG is currently growing Adansonia grandidieri from seed in the Glasshouse Range Reserve House. This seed was originally collected in Madagascar and stored in the Millennium Seed Bank.