8c. Ensure that information of vital importance to human health and environmental protection, including genetic information, remains available in the public domain.

Photo: MSB Australian Partnership

We have several species in the bank which are extinct in the wild; but there are many species out there which have gone completely because we didn't get there in time to collect their seed.

Dr Paul Smith, Head of the Millennium Seed Bank, UK

It is undeniable that the Millennium Seed Bank project in Burkina Faso, through both the seed collecting and the use by local communities of wild plant species, which are particularly well adapted to increasing drastic conditions generated by climate change, is perfectly anchored in my country’s forestry policy.

Salifou Sawadogo, Minister of Environment, Burkina Faso

We have several species in the bank which are extinct in the wild

Plants provide the air we breathe, clean water and food. We already know of thousands of plants that are useful to people, but many more have that potential. Over 30,000 species are edible, but only a fraction of these are used in commercial agriculture. Only one in five plant species have been screened for use in medicine. Without plants there could be no life on earth. Yet every day another four plant species face extinction. Clearing of primary vegetation, over-exploitation and climate change are all causing species losses.

The simple idea to bank the world's wild species has grabbed imaginations around the world. Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, working together with partners in over 50 countries, has already successfully saved seeds from over 10% of the world's wild plant species.

8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.