4 November 2019

Kew awarded £2.6 million from the Arcadia fund to safeguard rare and threatened plants

The threatened biodiversity hotspots programme will support plant conservation in seven countries.

By Kew Science News

Researcher wearing large protective coat, holding jar of seeds, in the vault of the Millennium Seed Bank

Kew has been awarded a five-year grant from Arcadia to safeguard rare and threatened species, particularly those which are endemic, in the biodiverse regions of Indonesia, Thailand, Mozambique, South Africa, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

With one in five plant species threatened with extinction, identifying and protecting important species for the future is crucial. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the largest ex situ plant conservation programme in the world and works with a partner network in over 100 countries.

The grant, which will fund the new threatened biodiversity hotspots programme, will allow Kew to undertake work to support and develop partner seed banks. Botanists in each of the target regions will be trained in seed collecting while countries will be equipped with seed conservation facilities and technology to successfully support a variety of plant conservation and research initiatives both during the programme and beyond. The programme aims to conserve up to 5,000 species.

Yellow arcadia logo

Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $663 million to projects around the world. 

Kew was last awarded a grant by Arcadia in 2013. The funding supported the development of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership in 30 regions, making it a stronger, more diverse network able to support research and restoration.

Stored seeds at the seed bank in the freezer

Banking the world’s seeds

Safeguarding wild plant diversity and enabling sustainable utilisation through global partnership.

Read about our Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

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