Kimberley Community Seedbank
The Kimberley Community Seedbank works with Indigneous groups to collect local seed and preserve the flora of the Kimberley. The catalyst for launchinig this project was a clear under-representation of Kimberley seed in national seedbanks and a limited supply of provenance seed for revegetation projects across the region.
Many of the groups involved are Indigenous women rangers. The rangers have been collecting seed from rare, endangered and culturally significant plants in order to rehabilitate degraded areas of country. As well as utilising the seedbank for longer term protection of important plant species, the rangers grow them on country, in their nursery. The nursery and seedbank projects work hand in hand to safeguard local plants against the ongoing threats of feral animals, weeds, fire, development and climate change.
The Kimberley Community Seedbank began in 2015 and runs as a not-for-profit, community focused enterprise. It promotes good revegetation practices, supports conservation and management activities and provides an avenue for community groups to develop a small economic return.
The aims of the seedbank project are to:
- provide support, training and information for Indigenous people, rangers and other community groups in how to collect, store, clean and propagate viable native seed;
- have the broader community utilise the seedbank as a resource hub;
- become a self-sufficient community driven enterprise, allowing people to participate in an emerging conservation economy; and
- develop resource guides to broaden community awareness of biodiversity threats, restoration practices and the role of seedbanks.
Our partners include Kimberley ranger groups (Bardi Jawi Oorany, Nyul Nyul, Karajarri and Yawuru), State NRM, World Wildlife Fund – Australia, North Regional TAFE, Kimberley Land Council, and SKIPA (Society for Kimberley Indigenous Plants and Animals). Our partners enhance our ability to provide outreach support and ensure the sustainable collection of viable, diverse-provenance seed, reliable seed supply and successful propagation.
Training opportunities have included:
- introductory seed collection training on country;
- experience in operating a commercial and community-based nursery and seedbank; and
- formal seed collection training in the Kimberley with seed collection experts.
Our vision is to provide development opportunities in seed collecting and plant products to more groups across the Kimberley.