Kew's Millennium Seed Bank - ENSCONET Consortium
The European Native Seed Conservation Network (ENSCONET) Consortium works to safeguard Europe's native plant species.
Fifth ENSCONET AGM members and the Seed Collecting Workshop participants during a field day at "Ciampedie Catinaccio" in the Fassa Dolomites, Trentino, Italy. (Image: Renzo Vicentini, Museo Tridentino de Scienze Naturali, Trento, Italy)
The European Native Seed Conservation Network (ENSCONET)
The ENSCONET Consortium developed from the European Native Seed Conservation Network (ENSCONET). ENSCONET was an EU project which ran from 2004 to 2009. It is now a Consortium of more than 30 institutes, European seed banks, botanical gardens and other institutes interested in seed conservation, from 17 European countries who wish to continue and spread the momentum for seed conservation in Europe generated by the ENSCONET project. The Millennium Seed Bank manages the Consortium. Other members of the ENSCONET Consortium Supervisory Committee are Adelaide Clemente (Jardim Botânico, Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, Lisbon), Costas Thanos (National and Kapodistrian University, Athens) and Gianni Bedini (Università di Pisa).
The ENSCONET Consortium will maintain ENSCOBASE, the European Native Seed Banks' database and the ENSCONET website. It will also provide a platform for discussion and exchange of experience between members. During 2011 joint ENSCONET field trips were made in Slovakia and Spain. To find out more about the Slovakian field trip visit the ENSCONET Slovakia Field Trip Image Gallery. During 2012 a joint ENSCONET field trip was made to Hungary.
Previously, the ENSCONET Project aimed to make best use of time and resources by reducing duplication of effort. By collaborating we could improve the quality, co-ordination and integration of European seed conservation practice, policy and research for native plant species. ENSCONET also assists EU conservation policy and its obligations to the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.
ENSCONET has worked on four activity areas: collecting, curation, data management and dissemination. Through these, ENSCONET has pulled the European Seed Banking community together and given seed banking a voice in Europe. It has created a platform during meetings, workshops and exchange visits, for partners to share experiences, ideas and protocols.
ENSCONET also produced:
• ENSCOBASE – ‘Virtual Seed Bank’ – access to European native seed collection data including germination tests (interactive CD)
• Virtual Seed Bank – seed bank educational presentation and interactive seed bank in English, French or Spanish
• ENSCONET Seed Collection Manual – a guide to making quality, long-lasting seed collections from wild species.
• ENSCONET Curation Protocols and Recommendations – best practice seed curation practices
ENSCONET was an Integrated Activity, implemented as a Co-ordination Action funded by the European Community's Sixth Framework Programme and was completed in October 2009.
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