Millennium Seed Bank
The Wildflower Center was the first non-governmental organization to be invited to participate in the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP), a global plant conservation effort developed by the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, United Kingdom. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (formerly the Millennium Seed Bank Project) coordinates work by a network of partners across 80 countries and is the largest off-site plant conservation program in the world. In fact, it has successfully banked over 13 percent of the world’s wild plant species so far.
The Wildflower Center took part in collecting and storing seeds toward the MSBP’s initial goal, which aimed to collect and store seeds for 10 percent of the world’s dryland flora by 2010. Having reached that goal, the MSBP has since broadened into a second phase and set forth a new goal: to save seeds for 25 percent of the world’s plant species (roughly 75,000 species) by 2020. The MSBP prioritizes “plants and regions most at risk from the ever-increasing impact of human activities, including land use and climate change.”
The Wildflower Center was charged with Texas seed conservation, which was no easy task in a state that is larger than some countries. Our efforts focused on collecting and storing the seeds of common plants, gathering 10,000 to 20,000 seeds for each targeted species. (The project did not include species that are rare, endangered or threatened, as collecting in such large numbers could has pushed such populations into extinction.) Browse the list of all 550 species collected.
The goal of the MSBP is to “combat potentially catastrophic threats to human well-being by safeguarding wild plant diversity and enabling its sustainable use through global partnership.” The Wildflower Center is proud to have been a part in contributing to that goal.
“Global Seed Banking Milestone Celebrated by Wildflower Center, 122 Other Organizations” – UT News
Web Extra: “Millennium Seed Bank” – Texas Highways