As part of the Geneva award ceremony for the BGCI’s 6th Global Botanic Garden Congress, the Australian PlantBank has been awarded the Greatest Progress in Seed Conservation award.
The prestigious award for Greatest Progress in Seed Conservation recognises the PlantBank science team for their world-class collecting and research efforts. The company now stores 5,300 Australian species and a total of 10,400 individual seed packets. Of this number, more than 50% of NSW’s threatened flora seeds are under the care of the PlantBank team.
Located at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan facilities, the Australian PlantBank is the largest native seed bank in Australia and one of the largest in the world, helping to protect Australia’s precious 25,000 native plant species for future generations.
The Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is a membership organisation that represents a network of 500 botanic gardens in more than 100 countries, and is effectively the largest plant conservation network in the world. By collecting and conserving samples of the world’s plants, BGCI hopes to ensure against the extinction of our diverse plantlife.
The Botanic Garden’s Executive Director Kim Ellis said it was wonderful to see the efforts and work of PlantBank receiving international acclaim, just four years after the facility opened.
“The team at PlantBank are making a remarkable contribution to the conservation of NSW flora by collecting, storing and studying viable seeds and live tissue specimens of native plant species,” Mr Ellis said.
The award was accepted on PlantBanks’s behalf by Damian Wrigley, National Coordinator of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership.
“Australia is leading the way in global efforts to save and study seeds,” Mr Wrigley said. “Plant researchers around the world see Australia as a leader in seed research, plant science and conservation.”
The expertise and efforts of the team at the Australian PlantBank will play a key role in the delivery of the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program. The program aims to secure threatened plants and animals in the wild for the next 100 years.
More information on the PlantBank and its goals can be found at www.plantbank.org.au