Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 251–263 | Cite as

Creating an Online World Flora by 2020: a perspective from South Africa

  • Janine E. VictorEmail author
  • Gideon F. Smith
  • Nicholas J. Turland
  • Marianne le Roux
  • Alan Paton
  • Estrela Figueiredo
  • Neil R. Crouch
  • Abraham E. van Wyk
  • Denis Filer
  • Erich van Wyk


At the 10th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), which was held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, an updated Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) was adopted as part of the plan of work of the CBD. Target 1 of the GSPC aims to produce an online Flora for all the plants of the world by 2020. Governments that have ratified the CBD will have to report over the next several years on progress towards achieving this challenging target. Floras are still widely regarded as a means of providing descriptive information and identification tools for the plants that occur in a specified region. Historically, Floras have included identification keys; scientific names with authorship for all taxa known to occur in the area; synonymy; descriptions; distributions within the region in question; specimen citations; habitat; literature references; and illustrations. Of these, nomenclature, descriptions, identification tools, illustrations and distributions are critical components. The approach being taken by South Africa, a biodiversity-rich country, in working towards achieving Target 1 of the GSPC by 2020 is presented and discussed, outlining a methodology that may be of practical use to other countries. We hope this will urge other countries to consider how they might meet this challenging conservation target.


BRAHMS Convention on Biodiversity Flora Global Strategy for Plant Conservation Online South Africa Taxonomy Vascular plants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janine E. Victor
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gideon F. Smith
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nicholas J. Turland
    • 4
  • Marianne le Roux
    • 1
  • Alan Paton
    • 5
  • Estrela Figueiredo
    • 3
    • 6
  • Neil R. Crouch
    • 7
    • 8
  • Abraham E. van Wyk
    • 2
  • Denis Filer
    • 9
  • Erich van Wyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Biosystematics Research and Biodiversity Collections DivisionSouth African National Biodiversity InstitutePretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt Herbarium, Department of Plant ScienceUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Centre for Functional EcologyUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  4. 4.Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-DahlemFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  5. 5.The HerbariumRoyal Botanic GardensKew, RichmondUK
  6. 6.Department of BotanyNelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa
  7. 7.Ethnobotany UnitSouth African National Biodiversity InstituteDurbanSouth Africa
  8. 8.School of Chemistry and PhysicsUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  9. 9.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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