Encompassing five floristic regions, nine 'biodiversity hotspots' and one 'tropical forest wilderness', Asia is a treasure chest of botanical riches. This high diversity is partly due to the continent's huge variations in geography and climate, ranging from the boreal forests of northern Russia, through the grass and shrublands of Central Asia, down to the humid tropical forests of Indonesia. An important centre of diversity is the Malay Archipeligo, which includes Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor, Brunei, the Philippines and parts of Malaysia, and comprises over 25,000 islands, many of which support endemic species (those limited to a specific geographic area). The island of New Guinea is also particularly diverse and one of only three designated 'tropical forest wilderness' areas in the world.
Biodiversity hotspots are the Earth's biologically richest and most endangered terrestrial ecoregions, and are therefore top priorities for conservation. The Millennium Seed Bank is working towards developing partnerships in each of the hotspots areas, as well as the still relatively intact forest wilderness of Indonesian New Guinea. This will help local partners to protect their botanical heritage through seed conservation and research.
Current projects (Click project titles for details)
|Country||Biodiversity hotspot/Tropical forest wilderness||Institutions|
|Bhutan||Eastern Himalaya||National Biodiversity Center|
|China||Mountains of South West China||Chinese Academy of Sciences|
|Indonesia (Java and Bali)||Sundaland
|Center for Plant Conservation Botanic Gardens; Research Center for Biology (both within Indonesian Institute of Sciences)|
|Indonesia (West Papua)||New Guinea tropical forest wilderness||University of Papua|
|Japan||Japan||University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa|
|Kyrgyzstan||Mountains of Central Asia||The Institute of Biotechnology; the Biology-Soil Institute; the Center of Innovative Phytotechnologies; the Botanic Garden (all within Kyrgyz Institute of Science)|
|Malaysia||Sundaland||Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute|
|Nepal||Eastern Himalaya||National Agriculture Genetic Resources Center, (Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC))|
|Pakistan||Plant Genetic Resources Institute (Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC))|
|South Korea||Korean National Arboretum|
|Thailand||Indo-Burma||Bangkok Forest Herbarium (Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation)|
|Thailand||Indo-Burma||Forest Restoration Research Unit (Chiang Mai University)|
|Thailand||Indo-Burma||Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research|
|Vietnam||Indo-Burma||Plant Resources Center (Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences)|
For further information please contact Kate Hardwick, Conservation Partnership Coordinator for Asia.