Global Seed Conservation Challenge

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) launched the Global Seed Conservation Challenge (GSCC) to support and challenge botanic gardens involved in seed banking.

The Global Seed Conservation Challenge (GSCC) aims to increase the contribution of botanic gardens towards the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) which seeks to halt the continuing loss of plant diversity by strengthening networks at the national, regional & global level and facilitating the sharing of experiences & resources in seed banking. Participants of the Global Seed Conservation Challenge have access to the seed conservation Listserv where over 200 institutions are connected through email. This is a great place to share advice, experience & expertise and information on upcoming events.

Global Seed Conservation Challenge Logo

As well as supporting gardens in their seed banking efforts, BGCI wants to challenge botanic gardens to conserve more threatened species. Working together towards Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which calls for ‘75% of threatened species in ex situ collections… by 2020’. The Convention on Biological Diversity’s mid-term review of the GSPC highlighted that more needs to be done if the 2020 targets are to be achieved.

BGCI has created a suite of e-learning modules on seed conservation designed for participants to learn the basics of seed banking with the advanced modules focusing on advanced concepts of seed conservation, essential for those working in seed banks or in botanic gardens with seed collection programs.

The GSCC also seeks to highlight and commend the progress achieved by the botanic garden community in ex situ seed conservation. All gardens that actively contribute to ex situ seed conservation are making progress towards the ambitious objectives of Target 8 and are therefore participating in the GSCC.

What the GSCC Does

  • Engages more botanic gardens to become involved in seed banking, working ‘outside the garden walls’ to bring into ex situ collections threatened species that are not already conserved;
  • Strengthens networks to help botanic gardens share experiences and resources in seed banking;
  • Provide training and build capacity to support seed collecting and raise seed banking standards;
  • Maintain a seed collecting ‘hub’ at BGCI which will provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for seed banking information and training resources;
  • Awards prizes for seed conservation at Global Botanic Garden Congresses.

News on the Global Seed Conservation Challenge

New IUCN Seed Conservation Specialist Group Website

The newly designed IUCN Seed Conservation Specialist Group new website is now live!
Learn more

NEW video: Seed Conservation Directory of Expertise Dashboard

Learn more

Seed conservation in the Indian Ocean Islands

Learn more

How Can You Participate?

  • Share data- upload seed data to PlantSearch
  • Promotion- send us your seed banking stories or enter the seed banking competition
  • Conservation- collect and conserve seed from more threatened species

How is BGCI Contributing?


  • Organise training courses on seed conservation;
  • Provide resources on seed banking;
  • Support capacity building according to priorities.

Review and reporting

  • Collate information on ex situ seed collections;
  • Baseline study and gap analysis of current seed banking activities within the global botanic gardens network;
  • Work towards a major review of seed banking efforts which will be reported on at the 6th Global Botanic Gardens Congress.


  • Provide information on which species are not represented in ex situ collections;
  • Determine priorities for collection.


  • Highlight stories/news from botanic gardens on seed conservation;
  • Award prizes for seed conservation at the 6th Global Botanic Gardens Congress.
  • Set intermediary seed collecting targets and challenges.

GSCC Resources

  • BGjournal

    Tree Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Conservation Prioritisation, Seed Conservation, Conservation Horticulture, Plant Conservation, Policy and Advocacy / Publication, BGCI Journal / English, French
  • Directory of Expertise: Seed Conservation

    Seed Conservation / Video, Directory of expertise / English
  • Global Seed Conservation Challenge Advanced Learning Modules

    Seed Conservation / E-learning module, Video / English, French
  • Global Seed Conservation Challenge Learning Module Quizzes

    Seed Conservation / Quiz / English, Spanish, French
  • Global Seed Conservation Challenge Learning Modules

    Conservation Prioritisation, Seed Conservation, Policy and Advocacy / E-learning module / English, Spanish, French, Chinese
  • Global Seed Conservation Challenge Publicity Resources

    Seed Conservation / Tool / English
  • Seed Conservation Hub and Training Resources

    Seed Conservation, Services for Botanic Gardens / Tool / English