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World Flora Online - 10th Council Meeting

The World Flora Online 10th Council Meeting takes place in Trinity College, Dublin from Monday 3rd December to Saturday 8th December 2018. Here is some information below on the WFO and an image from the 10th Council Meeting taken outside the Botany Building Trinity College Dublin.

There are an estimated 400,000 species of vascular plants on Earth, with some 10 percent more yet to be discovered. These plants, both known and unknown may hold answers to many of the world’s health, social, environmental and economic problems. A full inventory of plant life is vital if many threatened species are to be protected and if their full potential is to be realized before many of these species, and the possibilities they offer, become extinct.

In 2010, the updated Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity included as its first target (Target 1) the need for “An online flora of all known plants.” With this background in mind, in January 2012 in St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., representatives from four institutions: the Missouri Botanical Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew—all members of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) took the initiative to meet and discuss how to achieve GSPC Target 1 by 2020. The meeting resulted in a proposed outline of the scope and content of a World Flora Online, as well as a decision to form an international consortium of institutions and organizations to collaborate on providing that content.

The World Flora Online project was subsequently launched in India, at an event held during the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October, 2012 where the COP also adopted a decision welcoming the World Flora Online initiative. In January, 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding on the World Flora Online, was opened for signature. Up to the end of August 2014, 24 institutions and organizations had signed the MOU. A range of other institutions and organizations worldwide is also being invited to participate in the WFO Consortium.

The World Flora Online will be an open-access, Web-based compendium of the world’s plant species. It will be a collaborative, international project, building upon existing knowledge and published floras, checklists and revisions but will also require the collection and generation of new information on poorly know plant groups and plants in unexplored regions.

The project represents a major step forward in developing a consolidated global information service on the world’s flora.