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Seed Banks are crucial to biodiversity

One of the world’s foremost seed banks is in deep trouble after a Russian court ruled yesterday that the Russian Housing Development Foundation can take the land the seed bank is on and sell it to private home developers.

Currently, Pavlovsk Experimental Station is home to 5,500 varieties of edible plants, mostly fruit. The collections survived World War II and many of the varieties can be found nowhere else on Earth. Losing a seed bank would represent more than just a loss of biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. Collections like this can be used as breeding stock, imparting useful traits like drought tolerance or weed resistance to more commonly grown varieties. As the effects of global climate change increase, such breeding could become crucial…

The only chance left to stop the razing of Pavlovsk is a direct appeal to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

That’s where you come in. The Global Crop Diversity Trust is collecting signatures on a petition that will be presented to Medvedev and Putin. The hope is that the show of global support for the Pavlovsk station might incline the men to step in and save it.


Russian Housing Development Foundation