A new partnership between the Global Trees Campaign and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership will step up conservation for some of the world's most threatened tree species.
Through a four year project supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Global Trees Campaign and the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership will work with existing and new partners around the world to deliver seed collection training and establish ex situ seed collections for threatened tree species. Seed collections will be established in the country of origin of the threatened species, and back up collections will also be established in the Millennium Seed Bank, a secure underground vault in West Sussex, UK. The Millennium Seed Bank already provides conservation for over 30,000 plant species making it the largest ex situ plant conservation project in the world.
This joint programme will add another level of conservation security to many of the threatened tree species already involved in Global Trees Campaign projects. It will also allow them to expand their current programme and bring additional threatened tree species into secure ex situ conservation programmes.
Seed conservation is of vital importance for threatened tree species, allowing wide genetic diversity to be preserved without demanding the large amounts of space and curatorial care required for living tree collections. As well as protection from extinction, seed collections are used in reintroduction and restoration programmes to improve the conservation status of threatened trees.