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Championing plants and fungi on the international stage

Montana (c) David Hanna

We continued to fly the flag for global action during the year after launching a collaborative campaign to place the conservation of wild plants and fungi at the heart of global biodiversity agreements.

We renewed partnerships which have spanned decades to raise awareness of the importance of protecting plants and fungi during negotiations as part of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Geneva in March.

This included developing a briefing on a global strategy for plant conservation, which was broadcast in an interview across the CBD’s communications channels. We also launched a social media campaign, which was promoted by UN agencies and international non-government organisations.

Our partnership campaign celebrated success when the CBD parties in Geneva recommended that specific plant conservation actions should be developed to guide countries in meeting their biodiversity commitments as part of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

This framework is due to be finalised and adopted by the CBD at its Conference of Parties (COP15) in Montreal in December 2022.

Jabal Makmel (c) Hicham Zein
Pambak IPA - Armenia (c) Anna Asatryan

Building a Global Important Plant Area Network

During the year, we initiated a worldwide network to identify, protect and restore Important Plant Areas (IPAs), which are some of the most valuable places in the world for wild plant and fungal diversity.

The Global Important Plant Area Network has brought together scientists and conservation organisations to promote the preservation of these vital habitats. Three network workshops have taken place so far, while we have also launched a regular newsletter and coordinated the network’s efforts to advocate globally for plant conservation.

IPAs have been recognised in 31 countries using standard international criteria established by Plantlife and our partners, while identification is in process in a further 19 countries where IPA programmes have recently been initiated.

Plantlife set up the original IPA programme 20 years ago to recognise sites which exhibited exceptional botanical richness, as well as rare, threatened and socio-economically valuable plant species and habitats. The initiative has proved such a success that it is now recognised for its evidence-based conservation methodology and as a tool for implementing and monitoring global strategies for plant conservation.

Image credits: Header image - David Hanna, image 2 - Hicham Zein, image 3 - Anna Asatryan

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Saving Scotland’s Rainforest

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