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Getting permission

Permission must be obtained before seeds can be collected in the wild.

The formal signing of the Millennium Seed Bank Project Agreement with the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide in South Australia (Image: Botanic Gardens of Adelaide)

Collectors need to get permission from owners or managers of land on which seed collecting takes place.

In many cases, such as collecting from rare or threatened species, from protected areas, or from most countries rich in biodiversity, a collecting permit is a legal requirement.

Collectors could be prosecuted for failing to follow all local, national and international laws and regulations, and so it is essential to take advice from local collaborators, government offices, and biologists who have experience in the region.

It is often a condition of the permit that a full set of specimens are provided to a national institution at the end of the fieldwork, and sometimes representatives of the environment authority or landowner accompany collectors during the work. Usually, findings from the collected specimens are shared with the host country.