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The Alpine Plant Conservation & Research Programme receives funding from the David and Claudia Harding Foundation to ensure the survival of endangered plants and habitats in the European Alps.

The Alpine Seed Conservation and Research Network is part of the wider Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, initiated and run by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (United Kingdom). The network brings together partners from five plant science institutions housed at leading universities and botanic gardens across the Alps to deliver an integrated programme of conservation and research for alpine flora. The project started in December 2015 and its first phase will run until November 2018.

The partner institutions in Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland work together to achieve the main aims of the project, which are as follows:

  • Urgent ex-situ conservation of the region’s most endangered alpine community species
  • Dissemination of research on these species to aid conservation and restoration activities
  • Development of a conservation network to foster long-term co-operation and collaboration

The key outcomes of the project include the protection of over 500 species from the European Alps, the professionalization of seed specialists in the region, increased collaboration between plant science and conservation organisations across the region and public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the local flora.