Herbal Essences Join Forces With the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to Help Save Endangered Plants From Extinction Through Seed Banking

Endangered plants need our help- now more than ever
Aug 3, 2020 11:00 AM ET
Blog

Plants underpin all life on Earth, providing the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat – they’re the backbone of the world’s ecosystems.

However, experts predict that one in five plant species is at risk of annihilation. This means that plants are going extinct two times faster than animals.

Herbal Essences wants to act now. So, we’ve partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to help protect some of the most threatened and endangered plant species. Biodiversity loss and threats to plant extinction exist everywhere, even close to our own backyards. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank works with local partners around the world like the Center for Plant Conservation in Escondido, California to help conserve seeds from species at risk of extinction. Banking seeds acts as an insurance policy, protecting species for generations to come and even allowing us to reintroduce plants if their natural habitat has been destroyed.

Plant Blindness

Plants play a powerful role in our environment, nutrition and medicine. Just by being around plants, we can improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

Despite this, they are going extinct at twice the rate that animals face. Endangered plants are not getting the attention that they deserve.

When we walk down the road, hike in a forest, or gaze out in our garden, there are tens or hundreds of species right before our eyes. But we are wired to ignore their details and diversity. That is a phenomenon called plant blindness, and consequently, plant extinction is an urgent crisis that is often overlooked. We don't get excited about plants the same way we are passionate about animals. We might notice a squirrel in a tree, but not the moss, fungi, and type of tree it's sitting on.

In fact, a study from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Stockholm University found that plant biodiversity loss is the biggest missed issue of the last decade, with experts predicting that one in five plant species is at risk of annihilation.

We’re at a turning point and need to act now.

“Biodiversity loss is impacted by climate change; yet more attention is paid to climate change. My research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew concentrates on how to stop biodiversity loss and in doing so realize the potential impact plants can have on a sustainable future – which is why it’s so critical to find solutions to protect against plant extinction.” said Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Seed Banking

A seed bank stores seeds to protect the genetic information of the plant species as part of conservation efforts around biodiversity as well as providing opportunities to save and research plants. Seed banking offers a way to preserve a seed so it can be reintroduced into nature in the future.

Seed banks exist all over the world and require a low temperature and low moisture environment to store the resting seeds. Seed banks are essentially seed libraries for the future. When stored correctly, seeds can remain viable for decades or even centuries.

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank works with partners and seed banks across the globe to help with the conservation of seeds from these species of plants. This helps to protect and preserve plants that face natural habitat destruction and safeguard them from extinction.

Plants Power Our Lives, Let’s Return the Favor

Plants power everything - from diet and medicine, to beauty, to making the world a more joyful place. However, plants are going extinct two times faster than animals*. They urgently need our help.

Herbal Essences is committed to continue supporting Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank to help save 300 threatened and endangered plant species by the year 2030.

We are not only supporting seed banking, but also helping drive awareness about biodiversity loss and eradicating plant blindness. We can all play a role in protecting our plants.

*research study between scientist at Stockholm University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

 

Save 20 in 2020 : Learn more about the 20 endangered plant species we are helping protect in the USA