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EX-SITU CONSERVATION OF THREATNED PLANTS ENDEMIC TO THE REGION

Activities: Forest & Environment


EX-SITU CONSERVATION OF THREATNED PLANTS ENDEMIC TO THE REGION
THROUGH BOTANICAL GARDENS AND CENTRES OF CONSERVATION
 
4.1 Introduction:
Conservation of plant diversity assumes greater importance when the world is facing
unprecedented loss of biological diversity. As per an estimate about 60,000 out of 2,87,655
species of plants known in the world are facing the threat of extinction. 11,824 species were
evaluated for their threat status as per the revised 1994 IUCN Red List Categories; of these 8321
species are now on the IUCN Red List 2004 ( Govaerts 2002, IUCN 2004). Oldfield et al. (1998)
documented over 7300 tree species as globally threatened. Interestingly, about 1665 of these
threatened tree species are in cultivation in botanic gardens in different parts of the world (Wyse Jackson 2002). There are over 1800 botanic gardens and arboreta located in about 148 countries and they together maintain over 4 million living plants belonging to more than 80,000 species of vascular plants. The Botanic Gardens (BG) and other plants conservation Centres in the world thus play a very crucial role as Centres for rescue, recovery and rehabilitation of rare, endangered and extinct prone species of plants and other valuable plant genetic resources. The BGs also play important role in education and as a Centre of training in areas such as horticulture, gardening, landscaping, ex-situ conservation and environmental awareness.
 
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.
 
4.1.1 The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) , a recent initiative adopted by Sixth
Conference of Parties ( COP) to CBD, aims at :
 
 Development of models with protocols for plant conservation and sustainable use, based
on research and practical experience (Target 3, GSPC);
 
 60 percent of threatened plant species in accessible ex-situ collections, preferably in the
country of origin, and 10 percent of them included in recovery and restoration programmes
( Target 8, GSPC);
 
 Networks for plant conservation activities established or strengthened at national, regional
and international levels (Target 16, GSPC);
 
The COP VI Session particularly mentions about the role of Botanic Garden in conservation
and sustainable utilization as well as in eco- education/environment education in Botanic Gardens.
 
Several countries including India have initiated relevant programs and activities for
implementation of the GESPC target at national level.
 
Responsibilities of Lead Gardens in the Post-CBD Period
 
4.1.2 The new challenges and responsibilities of Botanic Gardens in undertaking research and
development programmes on documenting bio-prospecting and sustainable use of biodiversity
are well reflected in the action programmes associated with the implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity(CBD) which came into force on 29.12.1993. CBD is a dynamic and comprehensive international legal framework on biodiversity conservation. Article 6 ( General Measures for conservation and sustainable use),Article 7 ( Identification and Monitoring of 60 the components of Biological Diversity), Afticle 8 ( in situ conservation) and Article 9 ( ex situ conservation), Article 12 ( Research and Training), Article 13 ( Education and Awareness),
Article 15 ( Access to Genetic Resources and benfit sharing),Article 17 (Exchange of
Information) and Article 18 ( Technical and Scientific Cooperation) are the important provisions
in CBD for conservation of biodiversity, which the botanic gardens of the world can implement
in several ways.
  

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