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As humans adapt to a changing climate and planet, there is a pressing need for wild plant seed banks, and an urgent effort to conserve all plant diversity. Kew's Millennium Seed Bank is a unique, global asset. The largest seed bank of its kind in the world dedicated to wild plant species, it contains the world's most diverse seed collections. Over the past 10 years more than 3.5 billion seeds from nearly 25,000 species have been collected and stored in seed banks both in their country of origin and in Kew's Millennium Seed Bank. In October 2009 Kew's Millennium Seed Bank celebrated collecting, banking and conserving 10% of the world's wild plant species and the partnership now spans more than 120 institutions in 54 countries.
This book describes the importance of seed collecting and the work of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the process of collecting and taking care of seeds, the uses of banked seed, and the future of seed conservation worldwide.