Published 19 November 2012


Boost for sustainable use of plants in Central America and Caribbean

Mexico City, Mexico, 19th November 2012—Representatives from seven Spanish speaking countries in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean met last week to discuss implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) in the region.

Euphorbia antisyphilitica is wild harvested in Mexico as a source of Candelilla wax © Gary Nored / Flickr Creative-Commons

The GSPC is a programme of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), whose over-arching aim is to halt the continuing loss of plant diversity world-wide. 

The GSPC and the new Strategy implementation toolkit was last discussed internationally at the 11th Conference of the Parties to CBD in October 2012 in Hyderabad, India. 

Participants of the regional workshop included GSPC national focal points from the seven countries, plus representatives of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC), the Botanical Gardens of New York and Costa Rica, the University of Puerto Rico, the Indigenous Network of Tourism in Mexico and TRAFFIC. 

TRAFFIC spoke about the Fairwild Standard and how it could help countries implement the GSPC, specifically Objective III of both the GSPC and the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. 

While the GSPC targets are set at the global level, the Strategy is implemented nationally. TRAFFIC welcomes the update of the Mexican Strategy for Plant Conservation, and encourages other Parties in Central America and the Carribean region to develop or update their national plant conservation strategies as applicable.

Objective III on sustainable and equitable use of wild plants is a vital step in achieving the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which are central to implementation of the CBD’s Strategic Plan. 

TRAFFIC shared information about FairWild Standard with participants, stressing the relevance of the FairWild Standard’s principles, criteria and indicators in delivery on Targets 11, 12 and 13 of the GSPC. 

The FairWild Standard is highlighted as the best-practice tool to deliver on Target 12 of the GSPC’s implementation toolkit. TRAFFIC promotes the use of the FairWild Standard principles by CBD Parties and other governments to integrate sustainable and equitable use of wild flora into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), as well as specific national-level plant conservation strategies. 
“TRAFFIC’s hopes this meeting could pave the way for the Fairwild Standard to be adopted to assist with sustainable and fair use of wild plants in the region,” said Anastasiya Timoshyna, TRAFFIC’s Medicinal Plants Programme Leader. 

“Recently, the FairWild Standard was included in Japan’s National Biodiversity Strategy as an example of a best-practice private initiative for promoting use of wild-harvested medicinal and aromatic plants. 

“This is a good example of how countries can use FairWild principles for their national implementation of the GSPC.” 

The “Regional Workshop on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020” was held in Mexico City from 15–17 November 15-17 with support from the Government of Japan, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the CBD Secretariat, Mexico’s National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) and the Botanical Garden of the Biology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).