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Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

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The Millennium Seed Bank's global network, The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP), is the largest ex situ plant conservation programme in the world. Our focus is on global plant life faced with the threat of extinction and plants of most use for the future. The State of the World's Plants Report highlighted that 21% of global plant species are threatened with extinction. The seeds we save are conserved in seed banks as an insurance against the risk of extinction in their native habitat.

Working with our network of partners across 100 countries and overseas territories, we have successfully banked over 13% of the world's wild plant species. One of the nine strategic outputs from the Kew Science Strategy (2015-2020), Banking the World's Seeds, aims to have banked 75,000 species by 2020. We target plants and regions most at risk from the ever-increasing impact of human activities, including land use and climate change.

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership newsletter, Samara, is published twice annually. It contains interesting stories and experiences from our partners across the globe. Issues of Samara can be accessed here.

Seeds are available for distribution to bona fide users, view the MSB Seed List here. There are also a number of different MSBP resources for use by our partners and other parties. See our Resources page to view what is available.

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank currently holds 81,533 collections of 37,614 species from 189 countries.

The targets of the Millennium Seed Bank help to achieve Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, one of the Cross-Cutting Issues of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Why Kew saves seeds

21% of global plant species are threatened with extinction.

Plants are dying out largely due to the activities of people. Clearing of primary vegetation, over-exploitation and climate change are all causing species losses.

We need plants, because plants are useful. Plants provide the air we breathe, they provide clean water, fuel, building materials, fibres, resins and we all rely on plants for food.

Plants also play a vital role in combating climate change. Plants maintain the atmosphere and counteract climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide, turning it into plant material. Kew's projects are supporting plants in mitigating and adapting to our changing climate.