At the 1999 International Botanical Congress held in St Louis, Missouri, the President of the Congress, Dr Peter Raven, presented a keynote address emphasizing the importance of plants to human existence and underlined concerns that the Earth is undergoing a human-induced extinction crisis. One of the resolutions of the congress was to establish a new co-ordinating body associated with the United Nations to monitor the status of plants throughout the world and take steps to conserve them. The resolutions were followed up with a meeting in Gran Canaria on 3–4 April, 2000 when leading botanists met to formulate a declaration which could be taken forward to the fifth Conference of the Parties (CoP5) to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Nairobi in May 2000. CoP5 recognized that plant diversity is a common concern of humankind and an essential resource for the planet, with as many as two-thirds of the world's plant species in danger of extinction, and proposed that at the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP6) the establishment of a global strategy for plant conservation should be considered. A strategy with 16 targets was presented and adopted at the CoP6 meeting held in The Hague in April 2002. These targets differ from the normal approach adopted in the Convention on Biological Diversity of using general principles that can be interpreted by national policy, in that they are quantified.