Institutions, networks and partnerships for plant conservation established or strengthened at national, regional and international levels to achieve the targets of this Strategy
Contributor: D. Raimondo
South Africa has strong institutional capacity and a rich history of creating networks to promote plant conservation. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), formerly the National Botanical Institute, is a branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), and monitors and reports on the status of species and ecosystems and provides planning and policy advice to help safeguard all of South Africa’s biodiversity. SANBI is the focal point for the implementation of the National Plant Conservation Strategy.
Nine provincial conservation authorities and the South African National Parks (SANParks) manage protected areas and implement conservation of plant diversity outside of reserves.
The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc), established in 1913, has been promoting the conservation and wise-use of South Africa’s rich flora for over 100 years. The society now has over 20 000 members spread across the world.
Research institutions and collaborations are also strong. The South African Association of Botanists (SAAB) meets annually and represents a wide range of academic botanical disciplines, with members located at different South African universities, and academic and research institutions.
To protect South Africa’s unique biomes and to promote applied conservation research for these areas, specific biome-based research and conservation forums have been established; these include the Fynbos Forum, the Arid Zone, the Thicket Forum, and the Grassland Society of South Africa.
Research into indigenous knowledge of plants and their sustainable use is promoted by the Indigenous Plant Use Forum.
Since 2003 the capacity to conserve and monitor South Africa’s unique flora has been expanded by enabling members of the public to work as citizen scientists. The Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) programme is a vehicle through which conservation-minded citizens can participate in national plant conservation work. A powerful network has been established over the past decade by linking professional botanists and citizen scientists via the CREW programme. CREW members monitor and conserve threatened plants.
Target 16 outcomes for 2020
16.1. A South African network for plant conservation effectively implementing and updating the Strategy for Plant Conservation.
16.2. Working groups for each target ensuring that specified outputs are being achieved.
Given South Africa’s strong conservation and research capacity, the only necessary intervention to help promote plant conservation is coordination around specific areas of work. In March 2013, 46 conservationists and botanists representing a wide range institutions and organisations met to develop South Africa’s Strategy for Plant Conservation. Working groups for each of the 16 targets were established and these groups are now responsible for ensuring that progress is made towards achieving each of the outputs listed under the targets. The organisations that took part in developing this plant conservation strategy and are actively involved in its implementation are listed on page iv. Many independent botanists are also involved and committed to the implementation of this strategy.
|Target 16: Institutions, networks and partnerships for plant conservation established or strengthened at national, regional and international levels to achieve the targets of this Strategy.|
|16.1. A South African network for plant conservation effectively implementing and updating the Strategy for Plant Conservation.||16.1.1. A workshop for all botanists and conservationists involved in plant conservation strategy organised to monitor progress of the strategy.||16.1.1. BotSoc and SANBI to organise.||16.1.1. Biannually (2016, 2018, 2020)|
|16.1.2. Outputs for each target and individuals responsible updated as needs are identified.||16.1.2. Focal point for South Africa’s National Plant Conservation Strategy.||16.1.2. Biannually (2015, 2017, 2019)|
|16.2. Working groups for each target ensuring that specified outputs are being achieved.||16.2.2. Annual update reports written on work progress and posted online.||16.2.2. Working group coordinators.||16.2.2. Annual|
|16.2.3. Case studies, scientific papers, images and video links of work being done posted online.||16.2.3. Working Group coordinators and all stakeholders working to help achieve this strategy.||16.2.3. Annual|