[QODLink]
earthrise

The Great Seed Bank

A British initiative tries to ensure the survival of the world's plants through seed conservation.

Last Modified: 12 Aug 2013 08:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership, based at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, is the largest off-site plant conservation project in the world. Working with partners across more than 50 countries, they had by 2009 banked the seeds of 10 per cent of the planet's wild plant species.

Their new goal: save 25 per cent by 2020.

The partnership targets plants from regions at risk from climate change and human destruction as well as near-extinct, rare and useful species. Sharing expertise with international botanic gardens, universities and NGOs, they work to ensure the survival of plants through seed conservation.

A typical seed collecting expedition comprises several collectors from different organisations, travelling to remote areas and using previously established tools and guides to locate target plants with ripe fruits or seeds.

On average three seed collections are made every day. Most collected seeds are kept in seed banks in the country of origin, the samples are sent to Wakehurst Place for testing and long-term storage. The processing and conservation involves several scientists who make sure the seeds remain viable. Extensive data on the plants is also recorded and compiled for scientific use.

A new phase in the long-term conservation project is about to begin - an initiative to bring the seeds back to the soil, rejuvenating priority habitats worldwide. This process will start with the restoration of several grasslands and meadows across Britain and extend over several years.

261

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
Mail Chimp Subscription Form 2
join our mailing list