The State of the World’s Trees reveals that one-third of tree species are threatened with extinction. Although this news underlines the magnitude of the global challenge, successful Global Trees Campaign (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 scaling-up of conservation action to safeguard the world’s threatened trees.
Although the State of the World’s Trees shows the scale of the challenge facing tree species globally, the information now available in the report and on the GlobalTree Portal – a valuable 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 species in more than 50 countries with a wide range of partner organisations. Our work shows that we can reduce threats to trees and conserve them effectively.
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.
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 Global Tree Assessment, we can give threatened tree species the priority they merit and, building on what we have achieved through the GTC, effective strategies for their in situ conservation 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. 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.
With an MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and a background in plant science, Sarah is keen to get people excited about botanical conservation.