Conservation in Action
How We Achieve Conservation

Conservation of plant diversity is central to the mission of the Missouri Botanical Garden. In addressing the major challenges faced in conserving the plants of the world and their ecosystems, the Garden builds upon decades of plant exploration and research. The Garden conducts its work in conservation within the framework of the Global Strategy for Conservation (GSPC), an initiative adopted in 2002 and updated in 2010 by the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to halt the loss of plant diversity worldwide. The GSPC, which has 16 targets aimed at achieving measurable plant conservation outcomes by 2020, is the world’s most widely adopted instrument for plant conservation. The Garden is strongly committed to this international movement and links its work to each of the 16 targets of the GSPC.

Conservation is the main focus of the Garden’s Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development and William L. Brown Center and an important component of other areas of the Garden including the Science and Conservation Division, the Horticulture Division and Shaw Nature Reserve, and the Education and Sustainability programs. We give particular emphasis to documenting and understanding plant diversity by discovering and classifying plants and studying their distributions and relationships over space and time. Our work in conservation includes species conservation and recovery programs (both in the United States and internationally), assessments of the risk status of species, and habitat restoration. Through innovative research Garden scientists are developing methods to conserve plant diversity at scales ranging from genes to plant populations to entire ecosystems. To help ensure the sustainable use of plant diversity, we focus on documenting, conserving, and repatriating traditional knowledge, an essential aspect of conservation, in countries such as Bolivia, Madagascar, Peru, and Vietnam. In several regions we work to advance plant conservation by collaborating in community-based initiatives that integrate conservation of endangered species and ecosystem management/recovery with community development, poverty alleviation, and the creation of greater socio-economic incentives for conserving plant diversity. Vital to much of our work in support of the GSPC is capacity building through strengthening institutions internationally and training botanical scientists, ecologists, and plant conservationists at undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and other levels. The development of close collaborative partnerships between the Garden and institutions and organizations in the countries in which we work is a fundamental principle and practice of all Garden international programs.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation, and the Consortium of Scientific Partners of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Diversity and Distributions

Species Conservation

Conservation Genetics

Ecological Restoration

Climate Change

Plants and People

Building Capacity