Japan: Two short months till Nagoya and COP 10


front cover of the global strategy for plant conservationTwo months to the day the 10th Conference of the Parties will open in Nagoya, Japan. In this International Year of Biodiversity it will be an important milestone in the calendar.

A key element of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), which has been hailed as one of the most successful outcomes of the Convention. According to BGCI a revised version of the GSPC has been developed and will be considered at the CBD COP 10 in Nagoya where governments will be asked to ratify the new document, which includes 16 targets to be met by 2020 that have been developed to address the greatest challenges facing plant species, including climate change and the global trade in endangered species.

Bob Bloomfield, IYB-UK coordinator based at the Natural History Museum London, has nicely framed the importance of the International Year of Biodiversity in the context of the CBD COP 10:

"The primary reason for the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 is of course to help raise attention to the importance of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP10 which will take place in Nagoya in October. However what can we expect of this meeting which, I think it can be said, is hardly high on the media agenda? How big are the issues at stake? What will the agreements be focused around? The CBD COP10 will be about establishing new smart targets for measuring and future effort towards reducing the loss of biodiversity. It is also about looking at the political and social context of preserving biodiversity."

We'll hear more from Bob Bloomfield on this issue in the coming weeks in the lead-up to Nagoya.

Meanwhile famous British TV presenter Chris Beardshaw said: “Plants in all their shapes and sizes, known and unknown, are fundamental to our lives and to our enjoyment of our open spaces.”  

Beardshaw is supporting the global call to all governments to commit to saving the world’s plant species from extinction by endorsing a vitally important global plan of action at the biodiversity summit in October.

"But we need to be aware that plants are not just here for our benefit; we must recognise the role they play in complex habitats such as rainforests, prairies, woodlands and grasslands around the world. We cannot afford for plants to be threatened and made extinct – we need a cohesive directive from the highest level of worldwide government,” he continued.

Plants for the Planet’ is the new online campaign launched by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) to raise the profile of plants in the biodiversity debate and demonstrate popular support for plant conservation. BGCI wants to show world leaders that people care about and recognise the fundamental importance of plants.

BGCI will use the campaign to persuade governments to adopt a strong Global Strategy for Plant Conservation for the coming decade. Politicians, prominent figures from conservation and many members of the public have already joined the campaign.

Related links:

International Year of Biodiversity

International Year of Biodiversity, UK

Plants for the Planet