Millennium Seed Bank Project

The Millennium Seed Bank Project (MSBP) International Programme is a nine year international plant conservation programme (2001 -2010), conceived, developed and managed by the Seed Conservation Department at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK.

The two principal aims of the Programme are to:

  • Collect and conserve 10% of the world's seed-bearing flora (some 24 000 species), by the year 2010.
  • Develop bilateral research, training and capacity-building partnerships worldwide in order to support and advance the seed conservation effort.

These partnerships are formalized through Access and Benefit Sharing Agreements, inspired by the Convention of Biological Diversity. The MSBP have to date developed partnership projects in more than fourteen countries worldwide.

The MSBP partner in South Africa is the National Botanical Institute and the project was formally launched in May 2000.The national aim is to contribute seed of around 2500 (representing approximately 10% of South Africa's flowering plants) of South Africa's indigenous species to this conservation effort through the collection of verified and well-documented seed collections. Collecting is focused on endangered species, species endemic to South Africa, and also species of known potential value to humankind that may become endangered due to over-exploitation.

For more information visit the MSB Project International Programme website or contact Erich van Wyk.

© South African National Biodiversity Institute
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