Conservation group commits to cultivated plants agenda

Plant Heritage has committed itself to an eight-year programme to record and safeguard cultivated plants, as part of the aims of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Among the so called "Aichi Targets" adopted by the CBD in its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-20 in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010 was a commitment to maintain the diversity of cultivated plants.

Plant Heritage Plant conservation committee chairman Mike Buffin said that by 2020 it would produce a definitive list of threatened cultivated plants, publish an online database of cultivated plants, have 20 per cent of the UK's most threatened cultivated plants in conservation programmes and be the leading UK group on cultivated plant conservation.

Describing the project as "the only one of its kind in the world", he said: "In global plant conservation, there is generally no mention of cultivated varieties."

Plant Heritage set up a Threatened Plants Project in 2009 that revealed 62 per cent of UK cultivars were under threat, but added that 40 per cent are already in National Collections.

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