In keeping with the 2011–2020 Strategic Plan adopted by the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, France scaled up its biodiversity action with a new National Biodiversity Strategy (NBS) for 2011–2020. Target 16 aims at strengthening international solidarity and ensuring greater mainstreaming of biodiversity into French development assistance, and target 17 addresses reinforcing green diplomacy and international governance for biodiversity. In this context, France launched in 2015 the Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable (SEP2D) program, a five-year multilateral program aiming at sustaining the scientific communities in 22 francophone countries in western and central Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. Focusing on the sustainable management of plant biodiversity, SEP2D is supported by Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French Global Environment Facility (GEF), and Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement International (MAEDI), as well as other public and private partners among which are the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). SEP2D is making every effort to bolster partnerships and collaboration on plant biodiversity, building bridges between research, education, and societal demands. In this regard it encourages the scientific community to work on applied topics, such as the major challenges associated with conservation and tropical plant biodiversity assessment. It advocates the national authorities, public stakeholders, private sector operators, and associations to meet societal demands by developing a culture of public-private partnership and backing vocational training for the green economy job market. The Program Steering Committee includes the institutional funders, southern representatives, and key partners. It relies on a Scientific and Pedagogical Council articulated around four themes: forestry and mines; the valorization of plants for medicinal, cosmetics, and agrobiodiversity purposes; research and collections; and training and awareness. The program and its context, planned actions for research, innovation, training, and transversal activities are presented in this paper.
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