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Kew's projects in Southern Africa

Kew has worked in Southern Africa for many years, and we have built a network of successful partnerships and projects in this region. By recording the variety of plant life in Southern Africa we identify threatened species and regions and help save plant

Michiel van Slageren and Vicky Whaley on expedition in Namibia (Image: Andrew McRobb, RBG Kew)

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership in Southern Africa

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is helping to save seeds in Botswana, Namibia and the Republic of South Africa. The aim of this work is to work together to conserve the dryland flora of the world and help save the precious plant resources of native plants.

Our work in the Republic of South Africa involves supporting the collection and storage of seeds in the region and at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, located at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Our aim is continue research and improve seed propagation and the reintroduction of plants at risk into the most appropriate habitats.

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership in Botswana, Namibia and the Republic of South Africa

Saving plant life through DNA banking

Working with our partners in Southern Africa, Kew is helping to create an invaluable archive of plant genetic information, holding over 2,200 DNA samples from all South African genera.

This project will help Kew identify plant life and habitats at risk. These areas will then become a priority for plant conservation through Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership.

More about Kew's DNA Banking project

Plants for food, medicine and craft

Kew is working near Grahamstown, South Africa to promote the sustainable use of plants for food, medicine and craft. This area has been selected as it has the highest level of vulnerability to HIV with an estimated 1 in 3 people HIV positive.

In this area about 80% of the black South African population rely on traditional medicines. Because of the increase of HIV in this area combined with a dramatic increase in population the demand for traditional medicines is high. Through our work, we are helping to introduce a sustainable supply of plants for medicine and food. Find out more about Kew's work near Grahamstown.


Help Kew save plant life for our future - save a plant species outright or adopt a seed for just £25

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