Friday, 16 October 2009

A Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Taking advantage of a delayed deadline to send ideas for sessions at the 2010 Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology, I submitted a proposal on the role of local people in the policy and practice of plant conservation. Through a multi-media presentation, roundtable and open discussion, we plan to explore revised targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) that address indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices. As reworded during a Liaison Group Meeting of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) I attended in May 2009, the strategy argues that we must conserve the genetic diversity of crops and other socio-economically valuable plant species, and maintain associated indigenous and local knowledge. In addition, it calls for a halt in the decline of plant resources and associated indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices that support sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care. Both of these targets are directly related to Convention on Biological Diversity articles 8j and 10c, which draw attention to the key role that indigenous people and local communities play in maintaining the world’s biodiversity.

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