Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership - Tanzania
Tanzania has a vast wealth of plant diversity and includes species with a global market appeal such as the African Violet (Saintpaulia spp.). Like the disappearing glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania's plant wealth is under threat from land clearance, a rapidly expanding population and climate change. We are working with our partners in Tanzania to help develop their capacity to save this plant life.
Mt. Kilimanjaro and Acacia woodland, icons of the African continent (Image: Tim Pearce, RBG Kew)
Plant life in Tanzania is under threat
Tanzania is thought to have some 10,000 plant species, making it one of the most botanically diverse countries in Africa. Home to the Eastern Arc Forests, one of 24 globally recognised plant diversity "hotspots", it's habitats are under threat from an ever increasing human population, increased pressures of land use and climate change.
Environment and Climate
There are many different habitats in Tanzania. From the coastal forest to the alpine vegetation on Mount Kilimanjaro, a wonderful variety of habitats and plant forms exists. The coastal forests and forest stands (?) associated with the Eastern Arc Mountains have been recognised as an area of outstanding plant diversity. Dryland areas cover some 61% of Tanzania’s total land mass. These areas are characterised by a severe shortage of water.
Saving seeds for the future in Tanzania
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is helping partners in Tanzania to play their role in improving the long-term conservation, management and sustainable use of many of Tanzania’s priority plant species.
Seeds are being collected from plants that are only found in Tanzania, rare and threatened species and also those with known value to local communities. The project focuses on the ex-situ conservation of indigenous plants from the dryland regions of Tanzania.
Experts from Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank are helping to establish a framework for seed collection and use, by establishing a regulatory structure, identifying the targets for conservation and producing guides to their collection.
We are working with our local partners to develop their capacity for seed conservation, research and education. By establishing a long-term collection of seeds and specimens we will gain better understanding of the conservation and sustainable use of Tanzania’s native species.
Discover more about our work in Africa...
Our team in Tanzania
- Tim Pearce, MSBP International Co-ordinator
Our partners in Tanzania
- National Plant Genetic Resources Centre
- Tree Seed Agency
- National Herbarium
- University of Dar es Salaam
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