Plant conservation is a broad group of activities which aim to prevent plants from becoming extinct. All botanical gardens are called for to place plant conservation as a top priority in their missions and to engage with their management authorities, funding agencies, sponsors, visitors, local communities, and other stakeholders to increase the scale and effectiveness of plant conservation actions to ensure that no plant species goes extinct.
The news is released from the Fourth Xishuangbanna International Symposium, Saving all the Plants in a Changing World, on January 3-5, 2019.
About 200 plus scholars from 15 countries have noted that there are no technical reasons why any plant species should go extinct. Because in situ conservation in protected areas and other sustainably managed habitats, complemented by ex situ conservation in seed banks, cryostorage, and living collections, is sufficient to conserve every known rare and threatened species.
They therefor considered that the extinction of any known plant species is inexcusable.
“The unique combination of expertise, experience, skills, and resources of the world’s botanical gardens are available to undertake effective plant conservation” said Prof. CHEN Jin, director of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG).
Although many botanical gardens have been making significant contributions to plant conservation, there is an urgent need to scale up existing activities both individually and through joint actions with partner networks, agencies and other organisations.
The participants further called for establishing new botanical gardens and providing greater support for existing botanical gardens in areas of high plant diversity and with climatic and biogeographical characteristics.
“We believe that, by working together, botanical gardens can achieve the goal of zero extinction and contribute to the development of plant sciences”, said Prof. Chen Jin of XTBG.
The international symposium brought together researchers from Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), China, USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Costa Rica.
The participants agreed to work more closely and develop collaborative plant conservation networks, so as to ensure that gaps are filled in plant conservation and the supporting research knowledge needed. They also released THE XISHUANGBANNA DECLARATION ON PLANT CONSERVATION from the meeting.