Seed to forest: New alliance to tackle global seed shortage and scale reforestation

It will bring together businesses, NGOs and philanthropists to tackle the largest bottlenecks to reforestation at scale, focusing initially on inadequate seed supply

Net Hero Podcast

A new alliance aimed at tackling global seed shortage and directly supporting biodiverse, native reforestation has been launched.

Terraformation, a global forest carbon accelerator, joined forces with American Forests, Ecosystem Restoration Camps and One Tree Planted as founding members and 1t.org as an advisory partner to launch the Seed to Forest Alliance.

The Alliance is committed to provide a network to connect forestry teams with financial and technical support, contribute to research and thought leadership to accelerate reforestation and collaborate to share results, best practices and expertise.

It will bring together businesses, NGOs and philanthropists to tackle the largest bottlenecks to reforestation at scale, focusing initially on inadequate seed supply.

Global companies, in recent years, have committed to planting more than 3.6 billion trees as part of their sustainability plans and at COP26, around $7.2 billion (£6.4bn) of private investment was committed to protect and restore forests.

However, the Alliance suggests these targets will not be achievable without investment and innovation in global seed banking infrastructure, which is the subject of the inaugural research from Terraformation.

It found there are currently 410 seed banks across 96 countries that store native species but more are needed in almost all countries and more than half of the world’s nations have no known seed banks.

In addition, while the US, Australia, Brazil and China have the most seed banks, they also need the most new seed banks to meet their restoration potential within 10 years and the restoration movement will need to train “hundreds of thousands” of new seed collectors to preserve and restore threatened biodiversity.

Terraformation is therefore calling on businesses to invest in seed banks in their sustainability plans, governments to support seed banks as a natural resource management strategy and local restoration organisations to prioritise seed banking.

Yishan Wong, Founder and CEO of Terraformation said: “Lasting climate solutions only come from collective action across diverse stakeholders. We’re incredibly excited to be working with organisations with the expertise, influence and determination to have a real impact on reforestation around the world. Native ecosystem restoration — with the right plants in the right places — is the most effective and immediately scalable carbon capture solution.

“Together, we can restore the future of our planet by conserving one of our most valuable resources at the heart of restoration: the seeds.”