"There are few institutions in the world that have the capacity to foster this project, and no one of us could do this alone," added Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, President, Missouri Botanical Garden. "We all want to see this come to fruition, and the entire international community will benefit from it. With the botanical resources and knowledge we each possess, it was implicit that our institutions would step forward to collaborate on this project."
Plants are one of Earth's greatest resources. They are sources of food, medicines and materials with vast economic and cultural importance. They stabilize ecosystems and form the habitats that sustain the planet's animal life. They are also threatened by climate change, environmental factors and human interaction. There are an estimated 400,000 species of vascular plants on Earth, with some 10 percent more yet to be discovered. These plants, both known and unknown, may hold answers to some of the world's health, social and economic problems. A full inventory of plant life is vital if their full potential is to be realized before many of these species, and the possibilities they offer, become extinct.
The critical situation for plants, where at least 100,000 plant species are threatened by extinction worldwide, has been recognized by the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In 2002, a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) was developed and adopted by the Convention.
In 2004, a Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) was formed, involving leading environmental, conservation and botanical organizations, which came together to support the achievement of the GSPC. The four botanical garden
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The New York Botanical Garden