News Release

Strengthening the network of botanists in the South and East Mediterranean

08 April 2015
Ranunculus coronaria. Palestine
Photo: B. Al-Sheik

The project “Conserving wild plants and habitats for people in the South and East Mediterranean" launched in October 2014 is moving ahead. The Scientific Institute of the University Mohamed V of Rabat (Morocco) hosted the first workshop with the experts that are going to document the conservation status and distribution of selected rare and threatened plant species in ‘Important Plant Areas’ especially in those countries where information is insufficient (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine).

The main objectives of this workshop were to establish and strengthen the network of botanists in the South and East Mediterranean, and to define and harmonize the method of species data collection as well as to validate species lists to inventory in the field.

The participants, mainly coming from scientific research institutions in their respective countries, also collaborated in the drafting of the Communication Strategy and its Action Plan for this project. The workshop allowed experts to carry out a test on the agreed inventory methodology in the field at the Important Plant Area of Maamora forest.

The project is focused on Important Plant Areas (IPAs); sites of international importance for plants - a sub set of Key Biodiversity Areas. IUCN and Plantlife are working together with members of the commissions, mainly the IUCN Mediterranean Plant Specialist group and numerous in-country partner organizations.

After this first phase of data collection, the next step will be to identify the conservation measures to adopt in the field. These IPA conservation projects aims at demonstrating what may be possible across the region when authorities and citizens are empowered to work together for plant and habitat conservation.

This three year project is funded by the MAVA Foundation and with components supported by EuropeAid and the Ernest Kleinwort Foundation.

For further information please contact Marcos Valderrábano.

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