(ST. LOUIS): The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew), the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), have announced plans to develop the World Florathe first modern, online catalog of the world's plantsto be made available by the year 2020. This massive undertaking will include the compilation of information on up to 400,000 plant species worldwide. It will also achieve a primary target of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, an ambitious effort first adopted by the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity in 2002, to halt the continuing loss of plant biodiversity around the globe. Representatives of the four botanical gardens recently met to organize a framework to guide their efforts and respond to this need for a baseline survey on the plants of the world that has been called for by the international community. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing plans to create the World Flora was recently signed into effect by the four institutions.
Professor Stephen Hopper, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said, "Using the wealth of resources available at our institutions, we will help to provide the baseline data needed to develop plant-based solutions for a rapidly changing world. Botanical institutions worldwide have much expertise to contribute to this effort to capture the information necessary to better conserve and sustainably use the planet's plant diversity."
"Botanic gardens have led the way in spearheading international conservation strategies and programs, and are a natural partnership for mobilizing much needed information on plant biodiversity," said Professor Stephen Blackmore, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. "This is a large task, but with many contributors we can deliver what is needed."
"The world's great botanical gardens are proud to lead this effort," said Gregory Long, Chief Executive Officer and Th
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Missouri Botanical Garden