Alan at Alan at
Thu Apr 15 13:26:57 CEST 2004

Missouri Botanical Garden, New York Botanical Garden, and the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have announced their intention to join
forces in order to add momentum to ongoing efforts to compile a
working list of known plant species and to accelerate the rate at which
herbarium collection information is made available for preliminary
conservation assessment of plant species. An online directory, to be
known as iPLANTS (Integrated Plant List  with Accepted Names
and Threat Status), will directly address Target 1 of the Global
Strategy for Plant Conservation by facilitating production of a list of all
known plant species and make a significant contribution to Target 2
by providing data on and preliminary conservation assessments of
threatened plants.

Peter Raven, Director, Missouri Botanical Garden, explained, ‘This
new initiative is very much complementary to the work of
organisations such as the International Organisation for Plant
Information (IOPI), Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) who have done much to
synthesise and disseminate knowledge about biological organisms’.
Gregory Long, President, New York Botanical Garden said, ‘Our
aim now is to add momentum to the effort by enabling botanical
institutions and experts worldwide to contribute information to the
global effort at a greater rate than ever before’.  Peter Crane, Director
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew added, ‘in the initial development
period it is important to strengthen our collaboration and networking
with others. A broad and inclusive partnership will be vital if we are to

The working list will be comprehensive, documenting all names ever
published for plant species and linking accepted names and synonyms
so as to facilitate access to information currently scattered in published
literature and databases worldwide.  It will also include previously
unpublished information held in the museum collections of some of the
major botanical institutions worldwide.  Publication and interpretation
of this information on the Internet will be of huge practical value to
those working to ensure that the world’s plant resources are
protected, conserved and used in sustainable ways, now and into the

iPLANTS is being funded for an initial 8 month period by the
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation based in San Francisco.

For information about iPlants please contact Alan Paton,
A.Paton at

Dr Alan Paton
Assistant Keeper
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Tel (0)20 8332 5295
Fax (0)20 8332 5278

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