What state are the world’s tree in?
The vital effort of creating a Global Tree Assessment (GTA), coordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International had the primary objective to understand and quantify the conservation status of every known tree species. This ambitious task took a little bit more of five years and the effort of dozens of specialists around the globe. This global network had over 60 institutional partners and over 500 experts.
Some of the most important findings are that the assessment quantified 58,497 tree species worldwide from which 30% of tree species are threatened with extinction. Arboreta and Botanic Gardens around the world are doing a major effort to do ex situ conservation. However, in situ conservation is also vital, that’s why BGCI and ITF are spearheading an effort to plant more trees of threaten species in all the 10 counties of Kenya where ITF and partners are active.
In Kenya there are 140 tree species threaten with extinction from the 1,400 native tree species found in the country. BGCI and ITF have been delivering surveys and workshops since June 2021. The objectives of these are to find trees from the threaten species, collect seeds and include them in the nurseries and reforestation projects that ITF and all its partners are currently operating in the country.
Kirsty Shaw from BGCI, Teresa Gitonga and Ricardo Romero from ITF worked hard since 2020 to make this project possible. Now thanks to the financial support of Franklinia Foundation we were able to hire a Threaten Tree Species Officer, the brilliant Herbert Ongubo. Until September 2021 we have been able to run these surveys and workshops in 4 counties already, and we’ll keep pushing forward until we reach the 10 proposed project areas. We are happy to report that seedlings from the threaten tree species are already growing in the nurseries.