This is the title of an international workshop organised by Missouri Botanical Gardens and the William Brown Center, in St Louis, USA on 1–2 May 2013.
The experts convened for the meeting considered the ways in which the global crisis of the loss of tens of thousands of plant species, especially those useful to people, can be addressed. These threatened plants include species vital to the lives of people throughout the world, including plants used for food and nutrition, medicine, cultural and spiritual purposes, and the maintenance of livelihoods; they are needed to redress poverty, provide food security, and ensure sustainable development in many nations. The experts recognised the essential role that plants and their associated biocultural knowledge play in the ecosystem services that support all life on Earth. A major outcome of the meeting was the statement “A Global Program on Conservation of Useful Plants and Traditional Knowledge: A Call to Action“, in which an appeal to the international community to address the tragic loss of plant diversity and makes a call for the development of a concerted effort worldwide to address the loss of essential knowledge about plants and their uses, especially at the level of local communities.