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Sustainability of wild flora use and livelihoods—framing the global CBD discussion and supporting national implementation

Hyderabad, India, 15 October 2012 -  Conservation and sustainable use of wild flora, as well as maintenance of traditional knowledge associated with plants, are critical to meeting the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  These were discussed during the first week of the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CBD (CoP11) in Hyderabad.

Under agenda item 13.7 on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) last Thursday, 11 October, Parties discussed the relevant Decision that emerged from the 16th meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 16) earlier this year, and accepted it essentially unchanged.

TRAFFIC made a joint intervention with WWF during the session, welcoming the progress in implementing CBD CoP10 Decision (X/17).  In particular, the intervention applauded development of the toolkit for implementation of the GSPC, the updating of terms and technical rationales for GSPC targets, and analysis of the applicability of the indicators framework for the Strategic Plan of the GSPC. 

“GSPC decisions were endorsed by the CoP and this good framework for delivery now needs to be supported by effective action, including implementation of the GSPC Targets at national level,” said Anastasiya Timoshyna, TRAFFIC’s Medicinal Plants Programme Leader.

Timoshyna also drew attention to the development and use of the FairWild Standard (www.fairwild.org) for socially and environmentally sustainable use of wild plant resources.

“The FairWild Standard can be used as a tool to help CBD Parties, other governments and the private sector to implement Targets 11, 12 and 13 of the GSPC”, she said.

The FairWild Standard is included in the new toolkit for implementation of the GSPC (www.plants2020.net) as a means of best practice for delivery of Target 12 and contribution to the delivery of Aichi Target 4. TRAFFIC is also contributing to implementation of the Strategy as a member of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) (http://www.plants2020.net/gppc/). 

Three side-events during the first week of CoP11 focused on a number of implementation challenges for the Strategy: 

Wild Flora Online by 2020, a side-event on 11 October, initiated by the GPPC and Missouri Botanical Garden, reported on delivery of Target 1 via “An online flora of all known plants”.

GSPC—Building Capacity to Support National Implementation, a side-event which included launching of the online toolkit developed to support national and regional implementation of the GSPC, now available in all UN languages.

The FairWild Standard was also highlighted during a side event on the Sustainable Use objective of the GSPC, entitled Towards the Delivery of Aichi Targets 4, 6 and 18 through the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation: Sustainable Use of Wild Plant Resources on Friday, 12 October.

This event was co-organized by TRAFFIC with BGCI, the Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO), the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT/I-AIM), and the IUCN Medicinal Plant Specialist Group (IUCN-MPSG).  

It discussed the challenges and opportunities for delivery on the Sustainable Use objective, in particular the halting, jointly with CITES, of international trade that endangers wild flora species, sustainable sourcing (highlighting the FairWild Standard), and maintenance of traditional knowledge related to wild plant use.  

Attended by around 40 participants, the event ended with animated discussion of the presentations made.

An extended version of this article appears at http://www.traffic.org/home/2012/10/15/sustainability-of-wild-flora-use-and-livelihoodsframing-the.html