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Acacia tree at sunset in the Lolldaiga Hills Farm. Credit: Juan Pablo Moreiras/FFI.

World’s threatened trees to benefit from new conservation partnership

Posted on: 25.04.14 (Last edited) 25 April 2014

Thousands of trees will be planted across the USA today as part of national Arbor Day celebrations. On this important day in the tree conservation calendar, The Global Trees Campaign shares some exciting news…

A new partnership between the Global Trees Campaign (GTC) and Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Partnership will boost conservation for some of the world’s most threatened tree species.

Through a four-year project supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Global Trees Campaign (a partnership between Fauna & Flora International and Botanic Gardens Conservation International) and the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership will work with partners around the world to provide training on seed collection and establish ex situ seed collections for threatened tree species.

The seed collections will be established in each species’ country of origin, while back-up collections will also be established at the Millennium Seed Bank, a secure underground vault in the UK. The Millennium Seed Bank is already a repository for over 30,000 plant species, making it the largest ex situ plant conservation project in the world.

This joint programme will add another level of conservation security to many of the threatened tree species already being looked after through Global Trees Campaign projects, as well as offering training opportunities for partners on the ground. It will also allow GTC to expand its work programme and bring additional threatened tree species into secure conservation collections.

Seeds from Acacia nilotica. Credit Kirsty Shaw/BGCI.

Seeds from Acacia nilotica. Credit Kirsty Shaw/BGCI.

Seed conservation is of vital importance for trees, as it allows genetic diversity to be preserved without demanding the large amounts of space and care required for living tree collections. These collections not only safeguard species against extinction, but can also be used in reintroduction and restoration programmes.

The Global Trees Campaign is committed to integrated tree conservation, involving in situ protection and reinforcement to prevent extinction in the wild and ensure healthy wild populations, as well as ex situ approaches. GTC will continue to look for further funding to expand its in situ and species reinforcement programmes to secure the future of some of the most threatened trees in the world.

This article was originally published on the GTC website. To learn more go to www.globaltrees.org, or visit www.globaltrees.org/support to support tree planting at GTC project sites.

Arbor Day is celebrated in the United States of America on the last Friday of April each year to mark the birthday of J. Sterling Morton, an advocate for tree planting who declared the first Arbor Day in 1872.

Written by
Kirsty Shaw

Kirsty Shaw is a Conservation Officer at Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), working on the Global Trees Campaign in partnership with Fauna & Flora International. She is also responsible for a number of botanic garden led forest restoration initiatives in Africa.

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Seed collections not only safeguard species against extinction, but can also be used in reintroduction and restoration programmes.

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