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.
The MSB's Michiel van Slageren works with locals in Burkina Faso (Image: Andrew McRobb, RBG Kew)
It is undeniable that the Millennium Seed Bank project in Burkina Faso, through both the seed collecting and the use by local communities of wild species, which are particularly well adapted to increasing drastic conditions generated by climate change, is perfectly anchored in my country’s forestry policy.Mr Salifou Sawadogo, Minister of Environment, Birkina Faso
Plant life in Burkina Faso is under threat
One objective of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is to collect seeds from dryland areas which are useful to communities and to combat desertification in African countries like Burkina Faso.
In these areas plants play an important part in the welfare of communities as they provide fuel, food, building materials and medicine. Conserving seeds in dryland areas will provide options for regeneration and reintroduction programmes and for sustainable use of species that are overexploited.
Environment and climate
Many of the vulnerable species in West Africa are ecologically located in the semi-dry buffer zones between the Sahara desert in the North and the sub-humid, tropical forests in the South. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is supporting collection and conservation of seeds of West African Sudano-Sahelian wild species.
Saving seeds for the future in Burkina Faso
Conservation efforts are a collaborative venture between Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, Burkina Faso and Mali. Our project aims to collect and conserve seed from about 800 important wild plant species by 2010, which is about 25-30% of the region's flora.
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership has supported the Centre National de Semences Forestières (CNSF) in Burkina Faso, in developing ex situ conservation capacity through research, training, networking and provision of essential equipment. Kew scientists have trained partners in the use of research and conservation equipment, and helped design country-priority seed research and long-term conservation programmes.
Centre National de Semences Forestières scientists visited Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex, to investigate how long seeds from Vitellaria paradoxa can be stored, and studied the reproductive biology and genetic diversity of Parkia biglobosa. Both plant species are economically and widely used throughout West Africa. The results help guide seed collections and handling at Centre National de Semences Forestières and in the region.
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership has helped Centre National de Semences Forestières to diversify its activities. It is now contributing to the restoration of the Sahel in northern Burkina Faso through planting of herbaceous species such as Andropogon gayanus. This is a completely new set of activities of the institute generated by the Millennium Seed Bank programme and has now been extended to the Agriculture and other rural affairs ministries in Burkina Faso.
Discover more about our work in Africa...
Our team in Burkina Faso
Our partners in Burkina Faso
- Burkina Faso: Centre National de Semences Forestières (CNSF)
- Mali: CRRA Sikasso / Institut d''Economie Rurale (IER)
Plant stories from Burkina Faso
Scientific Research & Data
Keep up to date with events and news from Kew