Australian Seed Conservation and Research

CASE STUDY: Plant conservation

At the end of 2008, I was contracted to review the Strategic Plan and Business Plan of the Australian Seed Conservation and Research.  This was, at the time, the name of the group of Australian institutions which had been involved in the Millennium Seed Bank Project since 1998.  The network was established in 2007 and the Draft Business Case Strategy has been has been prepared for 2010-2019.  It was intended to provide some of the background information and proposals for the network’s future activity.

As a part of the development of the business case strategy, an independent perspective was being sought. The review was to assist in identifying the gaps and deficiencies in the document and present some solutions to rectify these.

The contract was to determine whether the Strategy:

  • sufficiently described the current role and responsibilities of AuSCaR
  • promoted the activities of the partners in a way that demonstrates that they have met conservation objectives and proved that seed banking has a role in biodiversity outcomes
  • clearly differentiated AuSCaR from competitors for funding in the conservation field and for agricultural seed banks
  • sufficiently linked objectives, priorities and outcomes and demonstrated a strategy for the next ten years

The Australian Seed Bank Partnership has since been established to safeguard Australia’s plant populations and communities by developing a national network of conservation seed banks.