Plants and the products derived from them, such as food, fuel, fibres and building materials have huge economic importance to humans. Many medicinal products are also derived from plants such as Taxol, a chemotherapy drug that is produced from the Endangered tree Taxus contorta.

The ability of plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen is critical to human survival. Plants also cycle water and their roots hold soil together helping to prevent devastating landslides and coastal erosion. Life as we know it would not continue without plants and their conservation is essential.

Many plant species face an elevated risk of extinction due to habitat destruction, overharvesting, and climate change. 63% of cycad species and 34% of conifers are threatened on The IUCN Red List.

Plants for People (P4P) is a major new initiative to assess the threat status (using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria) of at least 1,500 highest priority species in each of the following groups: crop wild relatives; medicinal plants; timber trees; and palms (6,000 in total). 

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