Conservation and climate change news

Plants have an essential role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change, because they take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Conversely, if forests are destroyed by burning, then carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere. Deforestation accounts for about one fifth of the world’s carbon emissions.

However, plants are threatened by environmental changes including climate change. Conserving plants is therefore critical to any sustainable solution to environmental change.

Kew's work in this area | Adopt a seed for £25 and help Kew protect plant life

Sempervivum marmoreum in Bulgaria

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership – Continental Europe

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership seeks to safeguard the world’s wild plant species. To optimise conservation efforts, networks and collaborations have been established and Kew is working hard to maintain conservation efforts closer to home as well as worldwide.

MSB training course in China

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership - China

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank and partners in China are working together to conserve flora in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Home to many plants found nowhere else, China’s rapid development is placing some species under threat.

Seed collecting in Chile

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership – Chile

Seed banks provide an insurance policy against the loss of plants in the wild and provide options for their future use. Seed banking is vital as part of our conservation efforts in Chile where several plant species found nowhere else are on the brink of extinction.

Seed collecting in Botswana

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership – Botswana

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is working in Botswana to help safeguard wild plant species. Climate change and human activities are contributing factors that are threatening plant life. By sharing knowledge, developing local facilities and increasing conservation skills we can help reach our goal of saving Botswana’s wild plants.

Checking seeds in Burkina Faso

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership - Burkina Faso

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is working in Burkina Faso to help safeguard wild plant species. Combined efforts will make direct contributions to national and global conservation programmes, the results of which include helping to maintain the wellbeing of local populations.

Breathing Planet Seed Close up

Support the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership and Kew's global conservation work

Help Kew save the world’s plant life and habitats at risk of extinction and support our work helping to combat climate change by making your donation today.

MSB Montserrat seed collecting

Working in partnership

We rely on plants to feed, house and clothe us, but have long been using the Earth’s resources at an unsustainable rate. Kew’s mission is to inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide. To meet this aim, we work with a network of partners and collaborators around the world.

Mozambique forest

Why Kew saves plants

All life on Earth depends on plants. They are the basis of ecosystems in which all animals, including humans, live, survive and grow. They also provide vital ecosystem services, such as producing the oxygen we breathe, removing carbon dioxide from the air and purifying water.

Plant collecting in Madagascar

How Kew saves plants

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation is the first target-driven strategy developed under the Convention for Biological Diversity. Kew has placed it at the heart of its plant conservation aims.

Analysising seeds

Prioritising plant species for conservation

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the world’s most ambitious plant conservation initiative. By 2020, it aims to have seeds from 25% of Earth’s seed-bearing flora saved for posterity. Doing so acts as an insurance policy.

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Fact Box

Actinidia deliciosa fruits

Actinidia deliciosa
kiwi fruit

Although native to China, it was commercialisation of this climber in New Zealand (and clever marketing under the name kiwi fruit) that made it the popular and widespread fruit it is today.

Find out more about this species

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