Chris Beardshaw supports campaign to rescue plants from extinction

TV gardener Chris Beardshaw has backed a new online campaign launched by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) that calls on governments to commit to saving the world's plant species from extinction.

Plants for the Planet endorses a global plan of action for the biodiversity summit in Nagoya (18-29 October). It aims to raise the profile of plants in the biodiversity debate and demonstrate popular support for plant conservation.

Delegates at the Convention on Biological Diversity in October will aim to ratify the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which sets out targets for governments.

The BGCI said it wanted to show world leaders that people care about and recognise the fundamental importance of plants. The group will use the campaign to persuade governments to adopt a strong Global Strategy for Plant Conservation for the coming decade.

"We can't afford to lose plant species diversity. Plants in all their shapes and sizes, known and unknown, are fundamental to our lives and to our enjoyment of our open spaces," said Beardshaw.

"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."

BGCI secretary-general Sara Oldfield said: "If we don't take this opportunity then we could lose our best hope for finding a cure for cancer, the next miracle diet or a plant with drought-defying qualities that could save hundreds of millions of people from starvation. The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation needs to be strongly endorsed and implemented."

- For further details, see www.plantsfortheplanet.com

 

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