North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation is a tool for anyone. It is meant not only for botanic gardens but others as well such as zoos, natural history museums, universities, governments, native plant societies, and any other interested groups. From the smallest organization to the largest, all can find utility and the inspiration to action.

This document is organized by action areas and paired with related resources and case studies as a starting point for interested readers. Appropriate sections relevant to common questions you might have are highlighted below for quick reference.

Where could one get a basic understanding of North American plant conservation and its relationship to global biodiversity goals? See the Prologue (page 4), the Foreword (page 5), and the Introduction (page 6-9)

Is there a history and quick overview of the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation? See the Introduction (page 6) and the Summary of Objectives and Targets (pages 10-14)

What is the status of creating North American and global plant checklists? See the Prologue (page 4), the Foreword (page 5), and Objective A “Understanding and documenting Plant Diversity” and Related Resources (pages 15-16)

Where is information related to the care and preservation of rare and threatened plant species? See Objective B “Conserving Plant Diversity” and Related Resources (pages 18-19)

How would one ship, trade, use, or produce plants or plant products sustainably and understand their cultural uses? See Objective C “Using plant diversity sustainably” and Related Resources (page 28)

How can public outreach and educational resources be used to support plant conservation? See Objective D “Promoting public awareness about plant diversity” and Related Resources (pages 31-32)

How can I connect to a larger community of professional botanists and horticulturists? See Objective E “Building capacity for conservation of plant diversity” and Related Resources (page 33)

How can I incorporate plant conservation goals into our institutional policy and plans? See Objective F “Supporting the North American Strategy” and Related Resources (page 37)



This section offers a condensed view of the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation, as an overview of all objectives and to allow quick reference for interested readers. To view more information about the sub targets, please download the PDF.

A1 – All botanic gardens in North America with the capacity for programs in plant systematics will review and contribute to the achievement of the GSPC Target 1 to have a complete online flora by 2020. Botanic gardens will contribute to their respective national flora projects and, where relevant, help document the floras of other parts of the world.

A2 – All botanic gardens with the capacity will review and contribute to assessments of the conservation status of plant species, using criteria and standards developed by NatureServe and the IUCN.

B1 – Botanic gardens will work collaboratively to support in situ conservation of threatened natural areas, habitats, and ecosystems locally, regionally, and internationally.

B2 – Botanic gardens will expand ex situ conservation efforts and partnerships.

B3 – Botanic gardens will increase their participation in formal recovery planning and implementation for species in their regions, working with state, provincial, and federal agencies.

B4 – Botanic gardens will contribute to the conservation and preservation of economically and culturally important plants, including crop wild relatives.

B5 – Botanic gardens will increase their roles in the management and control of invasive species and in raising public awareness of invasive species issues.

B6 – Botanic gardens and their networks will increase support and contributions to conservation biology research.

C1 –  Botanic gardens and their networks will support and contribute to the sustainable use of plant resources.

C2 – Botanic gardens will contribute to the awareness and protection of ethnobotanical knowledge, and cultural and indigenous uses of plants.


D1 – Botanic gardens will educate their visitors, community members, partners, staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders about the importance of plant diversity such that its irreplaceable value to human and ecosystem well-being is recognized.

D2 – Botanic gardens will be leaders in operational sustainability practices and provide guidance to fellow institutions and others.

E1 – Botanic gardens will build national and international capacity for conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity.

E2 – Botanic gardens will work with appropriate stakeholders to develop tools and methodologies to support policy formation and implementation and obtain resources to affect plant conservation activities.

E3 – Botanic gardens and their associations will identify and create partnerships to improve plant conservation within botanic gardens and the broader conservation community.

E4 – Botanic gardens and their networks will better share and promote existing information and resources on how to achieve plant conservation objectives.

F1 – Botanic gardens will demonstrate their support by inclusion of plant and habitat conservation in their institutional priorities and plans.

Joint Effort

A consortium has been formed to strengthen the network of botanic gardens active in plant conservation. The resulting Initiative led by this group will support the implementation of the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation by coalescing existing activities and facilitating wider participation across the continent.