The Nature Conservancy is actively working with the nursery industry and leading landscape architecture firms to reduce the use and spread of invasive horticultural plants through voluntary codes of conduct.
In 2001, experts from across the globe met in at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis to explore and develop voluntary approaches for reducing the introduction and spread of non-native invasive plants. With input and participation from The Nature Conservancy, this landmark gathering yielded the Saint Louis Declaration, which includes principles that frame the invasive plant problem as well as Voluntary Codes of Conduct that help govern decisions made by commercial, professional, recreational and government groups whose actions affect the spread of invasive plant species.
The Codes of Conduct create a process to identify and promote voluntary measures to prevent the introduction of invasive plants through horticulture. If successful, the Voluntary Codes of Conduct and related state-level efforts will engage hundreds of leading and influential horticulture businesses, institutions and professionals in taking a proactive stand in protecting the nation’s biodiversity.
This process of connecting horticulture professionals with land managers, ecologists, and scientists strengthens the resulting outcome. Plants that have been identified as invasive can be swiftly removed from the shelf and replaced with alternative plant choices that are non-invasive. The industry working in conjunction with other professionals can really make a difference.
Among the many groups who have endorsed the Voluntary Codes of Conduct, The Nature Conservancy is proud to partner with: