Conserving the wealth of species in biodiversity hotspots

New paper from the Global Conservation Consortium for Erica

In a paper recently published in the journal ‘Plants, People, Planet’, the international steering committee of GCC Erica set out the general challenges for conservation in biodiversity rich regions and describe a global approach to address them.


22 April 2022



The Global Conservation Consortia (GCC) aim to pool efforts and expertise across national boundaries and between disciplines to prevent species extinctions in focal plant groups. GCC Erica coordinates an international response to such threats in the heaths, or heathers, of which hundreds of species are found only in South Africa’s spectacularly diverse Cape Floristic Region (CFR) and many are threatened with extinction.

This paper sets out several major challenges for countering these threats and the approach of GCC Erica to address them. The challenges will doubtless be familiar to conservationists working in the world’s biodiversity hotspots. The clustering of so many of the world’s threatened unique habitats and species richness within areas such as the CFR places a disproportionate burden of responsibility for in situ conservation on a minority of the international community. Inevitably there are shortfalls in the resources needed for example for monitoring, research, and ex situ conservation. GCC Erica seeks to address the challenges through a series of specialised working groups spread across botanic gardens and institutes worldwide.

Read more in the paper, freely available (open access) at

Pirie, M.D., Blackhall-Miles, R., Bourke, G., Crowley, D., Ebrahim, I., Forest, F., Knaack, M., Koopman, R., Lansdowne, A., Nürk, N.M., Osborne, J., Pearce, T.R., Rohrauer, D., Smit, M., & Wilman, V. (n.d.). Preventing species extinctions: A global conservation consortium for Erica. PLANTS, PEOPLE, PLANET n/a.
A display of ericas at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden, Cape Town
A display of ericas at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden, Cape Town.