Tropical Important Plant Areas

Directing research and conservation where it matters most

One in five of the world’s plant species is threatened with extinction; many of these occur in the tropics, where species extinction continues due to destruction of natural habitats for agriculture, industry, energy and other development. We will identify concentrations of threatened species in the tropics, designating them as Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) and enabling national authorities to prioritise their protection. Many tropical countries lack the data and resources to demarcate their TIPAs, and we seek to remedy this on a global basis, initially in selected countries where we have strong partnerships and robust data sets. The Important Plant Areas initiative, established by Plantlife International, provides an effective model using simple but scientifically sound and verifiable criteria. By 2020, Kew and our local partners will have completed the first phase of TIPA analysis: delimitation and mapping in seven countries throughout the tropics, with information on the component species available through the Plants of the World Online Portal. Information from this output will feed directly into conservation prioritisation for delivery of on-the-ground conservation actions by our partners.