A call for global action to save the world’s threatened trees

Posted on by Sarah Pocock

 

The State of the World’s Trees shows that one-third of tree species are threatened with extinction. Although this news shows the significance of the global challenge, successful GTC projects from the past 20 years demonstrate that we can effectively protect and conserve threatened tree species. Now is the time for global action.

In Securing a Future for the World’s Threatened Trees – A Global Challenge, launched today by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) as part of the GTC, we are calling for a global scale-up of conservation action to secure the future for the world’s threatened trees.

Although the State of the World’s Trees shows the substantial scale of the challenge facing tree species globally, the information now available from the report and the GlobalTree Portal, a major new tool resulting from the Global Tree Assessment, can be used to guide and plan tree conservation action. It shows us which tree species most need our help, the threats they face and which countries have a high number of threatened trees.

GTC has been focused on in situ conservation of threatened trees over the past two decades, working to conserve over 400 threatened tree species in more than 50 countries with a wide range of partner organisations. Our work shows that we can reduce threats to trees and effectively conserve them.

Securing a Future for the World’s Threatened Trees – A Global Challenge sets out tried-and-tested approaches from across the GTC partnership. In this report, GTC aims to share examples of effective tree conservation with land managers, the corporate sector, governments, conservation organisations, tree planting and restoration practitioners and the research community in order to grow the global tree conservation taskforce.

Included in the report are case studies from across the world to demonstrate the success of a range of practical approaches. These include: on-the-ground survey work that led to the rediscovery of species previously thought to be extinct in Peru and East Africa; threat-reduction actions to protect wild trees and promote natural regeneration in Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan; targeted capacity building that enabled the development of community nurseries in Bhutan and more effective conservation action in China; and mobilisation of groups to catalyse new action across the world.

Monitoring threatened trees in Vietnam. Credit: Dinh Thi Kim Van/FFI

A global response

In contrast to the numerous well-known flagship animal species, threatened trees have received little attention as a conservation priority and the current level of in situ conservation action for threatened trees needs to grow significantly.

The global challenge of conserving the world’s threatened trees requires a global response, with all sectors engaging and taking action at a variety of scales. Now, armed with the data from the GTA, threatened tree species can be prioritised and, building on what we have achieved through the GTC, effective strategies for the in situ conservation of threatened trees can be developed and implemented.

“Trees are the foundation of countless ecosystems and can play a vital role in our fight against climate change. Maintaining a diversity of tree species is central to securing the healthy, resilient natural ecosystems that are so crucial in addressing the challenges our world faces today,” remarks Mark Rose, CEO of Fauna & Flora International. “Protecting the diversity of tree species is a global challenge requiring a concerted response from governments, businesses, and civil society.”

Now is the time for collective action to halt and reverse the trend for threatened trees.

Read Securing a Future for the World’s Threatened Trees – A Global Challenge here. Find out more about the State of the World’s Trees here.

Written by Sarah Pocock

Sarah is the Programme Officer for Plant Conservation at FFI. With an MSc in biodiversity conservation and a background in plant science, Sarah is keen to get people excited about botanical conservation.

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