The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted as its first target in 2010 the preparation of "An online flora of all known plants" by 2020. This target was subsequently adopted by a broadly-based international consortium of botanical institutions that have committed themselves to undertaking this ambitious project. The preparation of a world flora will be the first modern and large-scale and comprehensive attempt to produce a comprehensive overview and baseline of knowledge on the world's plant diversity. This article outlines previous historic efforts to document the world's known flora. It also describes the ways in which the World Flora Online Consortium was created, how it is organized and its plans to compile diverse datasets available in digital formats into a single online portal available and open to all. Such data are being combined from geographical floristic accounts, such as the Flora of China, the Flora of North America and many other regional and national projects, together with relevant monographic treatments.
Biodiversity; conservation; Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; taxonomy; world flora