About The Project

The East African JRS Biodiversity Informatics Project is aimed at advancing the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) in Kenyan, Tanzania and Uganda by establishing a baseline for further investment in biodiversity informatics, conservation and sustainable use.
The project goal is to help in protecting the regions diverse plant species to improve the quality of life, better manage natural systems, sustain human health, and promote economic growth. In order to achieve its objectives the project has a strong focus on institutional strengthening, capacity building, networking at regional level and building linkages to strategic partners at global level.

Project aims:

a) Enhance understanding and build regional consensus on the GSPC and Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) priorities by hosting a regional workshop.

b) Build capacity and skills by holding training workshops on: information management; biodiversity informatics; conservation status assessments using the IUCN Red Listing Criteria; and sustainable use prioritising plants for medicinal purposes.

c) Increase regional capacity for biodiversity informatics by providing IT equipment and training to National Competent Authorities (NCAs).

d) Build on existing digitisation initiatives for plant specimens in the region to enhance availability of a widely accessible working list of plant diversity data.

e) Collate and synthesize existing sustainable use information on medicinal plants, creating an interoperable platform, which can be easily accessed by stakeholders and end-users.

f) Produce a joint Red List of Threatened Plant Species and Conservation Assessment and Management Plans (CAMP) for medicinal plants in the region.

g) Strengthen networks and linkages between stakeholders.


The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is a program of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity. The program seeks to slow the pace of plant extinction around the world by 2010.

The GSPC began as a grass-roots movement in 1999 with discussions at the 16th International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. A group of specialists subsequently met in Gran Canaria and issued the Gran Canaria Declaration Calling for a Global Plant Conservation Strategy.
Following extensive consultations, the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the fleshed-out GPSC in April 2002.

The strategy has sixteen main targets

A) Understanding and documenting plant diversity

i) A widely accessible working list of known plant species, as a step towards a complete world flora
ii) A preliminary assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species, at national, regional and international levels
iii) Development of models with protocols for plant conservation and sustainable use, based on research and practical experience

B) Conserving plant diversity
iv) At least 10% of each of the world’s ecological regions effectively conserved
v) Protection of 50% of the most important areas for plant diversity assured
vi) At least 30% of production lands managed consistent with the conservation of plant diversity
vii) 60% of the world’s threatened species conserved in situ
viii) 60% of threatened plant species in accessible ex situ collections, preferably in country of origin, and 10% of them included in recovery and restoration programmes
ix) 70% of the genetic diversity of crops and other major socio-economically valuable plant species conserved, and associated indigenous and local knowledge maintained
x) Management plans in place for at least 100 major alien species that threaten plants, plant communities and associated habitats and ecosystems

C) Using plant diversity sustainably
xi) No species of wild flora endangered by international trade
xii) The decline of plant resources, and associated indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices that support sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care, halted

D) Promoting education and awareness about plant diversity
xiv) The important of plant diversity and the need for its conservation incorporated into communication, educational and public awareness programmes

E) Building capacity for the conservation of plant diversity
xv) The number of trained people working with appropriate facilities in plant conservation increased, according to national needs, to achieve the targets of this Strategy
xvi) Networks for plant conservation activities established or strengthened at national, regional or international levels