The European Plant Conservation Strategy
Planta Europa and the Council of Europe developed the European Plant Conservation Strategy (EPCS) to provide a framework for wild plant conservation in Europe, and in response to the decision by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to consider the development of a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.
At the heart of this document are 42 targets for plant conservation in Europe, to be achieved by 2007. Delegates from 38 countries developed these targets at the third Planta Europa Network conference (Pruhonice, Czech Republic, June 2001). The targets are clear, realistic and measurable, and in each case a Planta Europa partner has pledged to take the lead on their implementation. Other organisations are welcome to join the contributing organisations to assist in achieving these challenging targets. Each target has a named lead organisation who has pledged to take the target forward.
The targets are arranged under five objectives: Understanding and documenting plant diversity; Conserving plant diversity; Using plant diversity sustainably; Promoting education and awareness about plant diversity; Building capacity for the conservation of plant diversity.
The Strategy also contains long term policy objectives complementing the Planta Europa targets. Whereas many of the targets are oriented for action by NGOs and technical agencies, the long-term policy objectives (‘Suggested long term European action’) are mainly directed at European governments.
A Vision and Goal were developed for the Strategy at the Planta Europa conference:
Vision: A world in which wild plants are valued – now and for the future
Goal: To halt the loss of wild plant diversity in Europe
In April 2002 the European Plant Conservation Strategy was recognised as a contribution to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation adopted by the CBD (Decision VI/9). The decision to endorse this Global Strategy was a momentous decision alone, but the inclusion of the European Strategy will significantly help to raise the profile of the Planta Europa Network’s efforts to protect plants in Europe.
The Global Strategy also contains targets for plant conservation and these are included within final published version of the European Plant Conservation Strategy. For a copy of this document please contact the Planta Europa secretariat.
The development of the European Strategy for Plant Conservation
Following the Planta Europa conference the European Plant Conservation Strategy underwent a major consultation exercise; targets were refined and new Partners stated their willingness to help with implementation. Prior to its recognition by the CBD at COP 6 the draft Strategy was submitted to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to the CBD (SBSTTA) in November 2001 where it was well received and recognised by that body as ‘a valuable contribution to global plant conservation’.
The European Plant Conservation Strategy was also submitted to the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention in November 2001. The Standing Committee (Recommendation No 87, 2001), recognised that the European Plant Conservation strategy is a valuable contribution to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, andrecommended that Contracting Parties: formulate and implement, or reinforce, as appropriate, national plant conservation strategies or have them incorporated as an integral part of national biodiversity strategies; take note, in that context, of the European Plant Conservation Strategy as presented to SBSTTA-7.
The European Plant Conservation Strategy was considered at the second intergovernmental conference ‘Biodiversity in Europe’ (Budapest, February 2002), where it was acknowledged as ‘a good example of the implementation of the CBD activities, namely of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, at the regional level’.
The European Plant Conservation Strategy makes a significant contribution to the implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity. It also contributes to the Pan European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS).
The European Plant Conservation Strategy is published now as a contribution to, and part of, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation adopted by COP 6.