Ensuring the survival of endangered
plants in the Mediterranean

About the project

Clematis elisabethae-carolae The Mediterranean Basin is one of the world's most bio-diverse regions with 25,000 different plant species. The region has been classified as one of the world's 25 biodiversity hotspots. It contains one in ten of all known plants on Earth, of which over half are found nowhere else in the world.

The region's flora however is critically threatened from human development and requires urgent protection. The Mediterranean Basin is recognised as amongst the four most significantly altered biodiversity hotspots on the planet. Less than 5% of the hotspot is protected in nature reserves, leaving the majority of plant species unprotected.

Even with an increase in legal protection, the region's plant species will remain vulnerable to changes in climate, extreme weather events, invasive alien species and other impacts that require proactive management. It is necessary therefore to complement in-situ conservation action through ex-situ techniques, such as seed banking and habitat restoration, to safeguard the region's flora.

The Mediterranean Seed Conservation Partnership, funded by the MAVA Foundation, was established in order to ensure the survival of endangered plants in the Mediterranean. The project is an initiative led by seven conservation organisations. The organisations work in partnership to address both short-term and longer-term needs, including:

  • The urgent ex-situ conservation of the region's most endangered plant species
  • The dissemination of research on these species to aid conservation and restoration activities
  • The development of a local conservation network to foster long-term co-operation and collaboration

The key outcomes of the first phase of the project include the protection of over 900 endangered plant taxa, the development of seed specialists in the region, increased collaboration between plant conservation agencies and public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the local flora. These outcomes are in line with the mission and aims of the MAVA Foundation for conservation work and networking in the Mediterranean.