15 Initiatives That Conserve Seed Diversity Around the World

| 8/6/2013 11:47:00 AM

Tags: seed saving, biodiversity,
Reposted with permission from Food Tank

Roughly 100,000 global plant varieties are endangered today. Extreme weather events, over-exploitation of ecosystems, habitat loss and a lack of public awareness threaten future plant biodiversity. Conservation techniques, such as the creation of seed banks and seed exchanges among farmers, gardeners and even nations, play an important role in preserving ancient, heirloom varieties of important food crops.

Saving seeds doesn’t only help improve agricultural biodiversity, but helps farmers and researchers findseed saving varieties of crops that grow better in different regions, especially as the impacts of climate change become evident. Many farmers’ groups, nonprofits and governments are conserving seed diversity in their own communities — there are currently more than 1,000 known seed banks, collaboratives and exchanges around the world.

The Science & Environmental Health Network (SEHN) has been spearheading work on the Rights of Future Generations for the last decade. Future Generation Guardianship is the right and obligation of all people to protect the commonwealth of Earth —and one another— today for the prosperity of Future Generations. SEHN’s dedication and public advocacy to find legal channels for the application of Future Generation Guardianship provides the framework for preserving biodiversity for centuries to come.

Food Tank is honored to collaborate with SEHN by highlighting 15 important seed-saving projects across the globe that are helping preserve global agricultural biodiversity for Future Generations.

Many of these seed banks are nonprofit organizations, but we would greatly appreciate your recommendations of more public and state-owned banks in the comments below. Many public seed banks are in danger of sale, contamination and other threats. Because they are such a valuable part of the Commonwealth, the public should be aware of these assets so that they can work to protect the inheritance of Future Generations.

1. AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center

AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty and improving nutrition through extensive research and outreach. AVRDC aims to improve the livelihoods of poor rural and urban households through the creation of more efficient vegetable varieties combined with effective production methods. Headquartered in Shanhua, Tainan City in southern Taiwan, AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center now has over 300 staff members throughout Asia, Africa, Central America and Oceania. One of AVRDC’s primary programs includes collecting, conserving, and distributing germplasms, samples of tissue from plants. Now the world’s largest public vegetable germplasm collection, the AVRDC Genebank holds more than 59,500 different germplasms from 156 countries. The AVRDC Vegetable Genetic Resources Information System (AVGRIS) is a database containing information about the germplasm collections.

8/9/2013 8:26:06 AM

so what's to stop Monsanto from taking over control of all these seed banks-?

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