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Developing a PlantNetwork Response to Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Volume 2 Number 2 - July 2005

Matthew Jebb

Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation aims to ‘secure 60 per cent of threatened plant species in accessible ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and 10 per cent of them included in recovery and restoration programmes’.

At a meeting of PlantNetwork: the Plant Collections Network of Britain & Ireland, on 6–7th April 2005 at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, eight targets were elaborated for botanical collections in Ireland and Britain to develop a co-ordinated response to support efforts to meet the 2010 target. 

In particular the role of ex situ collections in serving the broader remit of plant conservation through public awareness, building and sharing cultivation expertise, collaborating with in situ conservation programs, and in lobbying at governmental level were all seen as vital elements that plant collections and their staff can bring to conservation work in these islands. The meeting included representatives of 53 institutions in Britain and Ireland.


The following eight targets were adopted to be achieved by 2010:

PlantNetwork Target 1: 100% of critically endangered vascular plant species in managed ex situ collections


1a: PlantNetwork Gardens involved in every appropriate national, regional or local Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) or Irish Priority Species conservation programme.
1b: Species in the Extinct in the Wild (EW) category secured in no fewer than two living collections.
1c: Species in the Endangered (E) category, with high rates of decline, secured in no fewer than two living collections.

PlantNetwork Target 2: Genetically representative conservation collections established for all vascular plant species with small, limited or rapidly declining extant populations

PlantNetwork Target 3:  Cultivation and propagation protocols available for all threatened plant species


3a: On-line database of cultivation and propagation protocols launched by end of 2006.
3b: Duplication of effort minimised through the collation and dissemination of available datasets.

PlantNetwork Target 4:  Participate in species recovery or management programmes with partners


4a: 100% of UKBAP & Irish Priority Species included in recovery programmes.

PlantNetwork Target 5:  Develop complementary collections of threatened bryophytes in cultivation


5a: A PlantNetwork Conference organised with the British Bryological Society (BBS) on how horticulture and botanical collections can contribute to bryophyte conservation.

PlantNetwork Target 6:  Public and political awareness raised of native flora  and the need for its conservation.


6a: 25% of PlantNetwork gardens working with appropriate partners or community groups to develop public-awareness programmes for plant conservation.
6b: Positive stories on plant conservation promoted in the media, with articles in all major horticultural-news journals by 2007.
6c: A 20% increase in public understanding of need for conservation of native plants needs achieved.
6d: Coherent shared themes for plant conservation developed and implemented throughout PlantNetwork gardens, including the production of framework documents to assist with individual education projects.
6e: 50% of PlantNetwork member institutions participating in International Biodiversity Day (22 May) every year.

PlantNetwork Target 7:  Build the capacity required in PlantNetwork member institutions to achieve the PlantNetwork targets for Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.


7a: Side-by-side living collections of critical native species developed in PlantNetwork member institutions, with at least one such collection in each region (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland).
7b: Expertise in native plant taxonomy available and accessible in 50% of PlantNetwork member institutions .

PlantNetwork Target 8:  Best practice achieved in the implementation of actions needed to meet the targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.


8a: Website established to disseminate protocols and best-practice information, and to highlight gaps, as a clearing-house mechanism.
8b: Available guidelines for the collection, acquisition and maintenance of genetic diversity of ex situ material applied and, where necessary, developed, for the management of collections.
8c: PlantNetwork member institutions to have accessible, effective and comprehensive documentation systems for their native plant collections.

For further information please contact:
Matthew Jebb
Chairman PlantNetwork
Curator of the Herbarium
National Botanic Gardens
Dublin 9
Tel: +3531 804 0329
Fax: +3531 836 0080
Mobile: 087 637 8399