Plant Diversity ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (02): 36-49.doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.10.001

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Conserving plants within and beyond protected areas—till problematic and future uncertain

Vernon H. Heywood   

  1. School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AS, UK
  • Received:2018-08-23 Revised:2018-10-15 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-05-18

Abstract: Against a background of continuing loss of biodiversity, it is argued that for the successful conservation of threatened plant species we need to ensure the more effective integration of the various conservation actions employed, clarify the wording of the CBD targets and provide clearer operational guidance as to how they are to be implemented and their implementation monitored. The role and effectiveness of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and in particular plant species in situ are discussed as are recent proposals for a massive increase of their extent. The need for much greater effort and investment in the conservation or protection of threatened species outside protected areas where most plant diversity occurs is highlighted. The difficulties involved in implementing effective in situ conservation of plant diversity both at an area- and species/population-based level are discussed. The widespread neglect of species recovery for plants is noted and the desirability of making a clearer distinction between species recovery and reintroduction is emphasized. Key messages from a global overview of species recovery are outlined and recommendations made, including the desirability of each country preparing a national species recovery strategy. The projected impacts of global change on protected areas and on species conservation and recovery, and ways of addressing them are discussed.

Key words: Plant conservation, CBD targets, Protected areas, Species recovery, Conservation approaches