GSPC Target 3

Objective I: Plant diversity is well understood, documented and recognized

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

Objective III: Plant diversity is used in a sustainable and equitable manner

Objective IV: Education and awareness about plant diversity, its role in sustainable livelihoods and importance to all life on earth is promoted

Objective V: The capacities and public engagement necessary to implement the Strategy have been developed


Relevant techniques are being developed and used by many individuals and institutions around the world and methodologies that have been developed in one place may well have useful applications elsewhere. However these are not necessarily known about or accessible. The aim of this target is to ensure that useful information and technologies are shared amongst the global community and that information gaps are identified so that they can be filled with newly generated knowledge.

Download an introduction to Target 3 here.

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Conservation biology research, and methodologies and practical techniques for conservation are fundamental to the conservation of plant diversity and the sustainable use of its components. These can be applied through the development and effective dissemination of relevant models and protocols for applying best practice, based on the results of existing and new research and practical experience of management. "Protocols‟ in this sense, can be understood as practical guidance on how to conduct plant conservation and sustainable use activities in particular settings. Key areas where the development of models with protocols is required include: the integration of in situ and ex situ conservation; maintenance of threatened plants within ecosystems; applying the ecosystem approach; balancing sustainable use with conservation; and methodologies for setting conservation priorities; and methodologies for monitoring conservation and sustainable use activities.

The implementation of this target relates to Target 19 of the Aichi targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020:

T19: By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied.  


This toolkit attempts to address this target as it provides a space for the sharing of information, research results and methodologies.

Tools and resources

Tools and resources specific to each target are listed by target. Resources shown here are more general sources of information on plant conservation projects.   

Please also check in the database of Tools of Resources for Case Studies relevant to this target.



 The aim of this target is to ensure that useful information and technologies are shared amongst the global community and that information gaps are identified so that they can be filled with newly generated knowledge.
Examples of sharing platforms
•    GSPC toolkit
•    Smart phone applications- Leafsnap (NHM), I-Spot
•    Traditional and wild” toolbox (TRAFFIC)

In 2012, the BGCI launched an internet based ‘toolkit’ available in 6 UN languages, providing important information on the implementation methods for all 16 targets. The toolkit also has a number of useful tools, links and downloadable case studies.  

GSPC Targets 

Tools available


 Target 1

 The Plant list


The Plant list is a working list of all known plant species. The list aims to cover vascular plants (flowering plans, conifers, ferns and their allies) and Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).


E monocot is a web-based platform for Monocots aimed to  provide support and tools in the form of nomenclature, taxonomic descriptions, images, identification guides, and map, with additional information focusing on ecological, DNA sequence and conservation

 Virtual Herbaria

  • NHM       

  • BSBI@home

  • Kew

  • Jstor

The role of these online herbaria is to digitalize herbarium specimens making plant type specimens more widely accessible.

Target  2


This tool enables geo-spatial analysis using data from a variety of sources GBIFF included. It can also be used for Red Listing process.

Plants for people

This initiative launched by the IUCN aims to asses the threatened status for the highest priority species Plants for People Project


 Target 4

 Protect the Planet

This a newly updated interactive map which allows to observe  how many protected areas there are worldwide and the current project on going project, in each country.

 IUCN- The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA)

This is a comprehensive database for global protected areas compiled for terrestrial and marine habitats.

 Target 5


Plantlife support the conservation of Important Plant Areas (IPA) and have produced an an interactive map accessible on the link provided. The web-link also provides publication on IPA projects and future work

 Target 6

 Food and Agriculture Organisation for the United Nations (FAO)

This website offers a wide range of publications and information regarding on-going projects related to food security and sustainable land management.

Sustainable Forest Management ToolBox

SFM is the sustainable use and conservation of forests with the aim of maintaining and enhancing multiple forest values through human interventions. The Toolbox is an online platform which offers a wide range of tools and resources (case studies, manuals, training modules, guides for ecosystem management and useful weblinks) It has been created to provide forest owners, managers and other stakeholders easy access to those resources for the implementation of SFM.

 Target 7

 Species Action Plans – IUCN

Since 1986 more than 60 Species Action Plans have been published by IUCN. These action plans provide details on the conservation status of species and their habitats, and outlines conservation priorities.

 Target 8

 Plantsearch BGCI

Is a database of plants in cultivation in botanic gardens around the world, linked to IUCN Red Lists and other databases.

 Target 9

 Crop Wild Relatives Portal Bioversity International


This is a web based portal for crop wild relatives and their in-situ conservation through comprehensive case studies, manuals and guideline.

 Global Crop Diversity Trust - An Interactive map 

This interactive map allows the user to explore the work being carried worldwide by the Global Crop Trust, with information on individual projects and the species they are conserving. 

 The Svalbard Seed Portal

The seed portal is a way to find basic information about the seed samples conserved within the Seed Vault

 The Crop Wild Relatives Atlas  (KEW)

This Atlas provides information on distributions and collecting priorities for the wild relatives of important crops. This information is presented via an interactive map showing occurrence data points, potential distribution maps, and maps displaying areas identified as of priority for collecting and for conservation and use.

 Target 10

 The  Invasive Species Compendium- (CABI)

This database contains a wide range of information, datasheets, maps, images, abstracts and full text on invasive species of the world.

 The U.K Overseas Territories Conservation Forum

Has been actively involved in work on invasive alien species, the forum provide resources, publications and a databases of projects the UKOT have been involved in.

Target 11

CITES Database

The CITES Trade Database currently holds more than 13 million records of trade in wildlife and 34,000 scientific names of taxa listed by CITES. Currently, more than 750,000 records of trade in CITES-listed species of wildlife are reported annually.

 Target 12

 Traditional and wild” toolbox (TRAFFIC)

TRAFFIC has launched an interactive online resource aimed at preserving knowledge about sustainable harvesting of wild plants in Central Europe.  The format of the toolbox allows both a learning experience for non scientific purposes as well as technical training material.

 The FairWild Standard

Version 2.0 Of The FairWild Standard applies to wild plant collection operations wishing to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable collection, social responsibility and Fair Trade principles.

 Target 13

 Traditional Knowledge Information Portal

This portal set up by the CBD, aims to provide useful up-to-date information regarding traditional knowledge events. It also provides detailed information about traditional knowledge, innovations, practices and issues.

Target 14


An online platform for taxonomist or scientists to upload, share and publish biodiversity data online. It has recently been used for creating monographs.

 Vibrant Project

This virtual facility allows sharing, reuse and publication of biodiversity data.  It also promotes communication between specialists and scientists

 Target 15

 Kew Education and Science

Kew provides a wide range of training course and has recently launched a new MSc in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation

 Eden Project

Darwin Initiative Programme to assist capacity in Seychelles for propagation and reintroduction of their endangered flora.

 CITES Virtual College

The CITES Virtual College has become an essential resource in efforts to enhance capacities of Parties, increase awareness of the Convention and provide learning and training materials on CITES.

 Target 16

 Global Partnership for Plant Conservation

The Global Partnership for Plant Conservation brings together international, regional and national organisations in order to contribute to the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)



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