Ex situ conservation of threatened plants in Brazil: a strategic plan to achieve Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Abstract With increasing rates of habitat destruction and species loss, ex situ conservation is gaining global momentum and reluctance in relying on ex situ conservation is rapidly giving way to a more optimistic, strategic view. Target 8 of the Global Strategy of Plant Conservation calls for at least 75 percent of threatened plant species in accessible ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and 20 percent of them included in recovery and restoration programs. Here, we provide updated information on Brazil's progress towards Target 8 through a nationwide examination of how many threatened species were conserved in ex situ collections in Brazil. Our data comprised whole plants (living collections), seed (seed banks) and tissue cultures (in vitro). Of the 2,113 threatened species, at least 452 (21.4%) species were conserved in ex situ collections, an increase in 4% of living organisms and 96% of seeds when compared to a previous assessment. Since it is unlikely Brazil will achieve Target 8 by 2020, we also discuss public policies and strategies to help overcome key bottlenecks preventing its achievement and propose revised goals for the GSPC 2020-2030.