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Best of the Best

The Pannon Seed Bank LIFE+ Programme received the Best of the Best award from the European Commission at the end of May, 2016. The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture supported Pannon Seed Bank was one of six Life+ financed projects to receive the award. Twenty-seven nature conservation, biodiversity and communication projects won the "Best Life Project" award during the first round. Among them, the Pannon Seed Bank was among the top six. The Best of the Best prizes were awarded on May 31, 2016 in Brussels during the opening of Green Week. The Centre for Plant Diversity (NöDiK) coordinates the programme, which is implemented by the Hungarian Academy of Science’s Centre for Ecological Research’s Ecology and Botany Institute, together with the Directorate of Aggtelek National Park. The first step in this unprecedented endeavour created the Pannon Seed Bank. This 5-year phase collected samples of 800 species, approximately 50% of the country’s wild flora. Within 5 years, this goal was not only successfully reached, but also exceeded its aim. By 2014, 1853 seed samples had been preserved from 910 species, including 364 seed samples from 204 protected species and 76 from 45 strictly protected species. NöDiK took charge of constructing the lab building where seeds are cleaned, tested and germinated by expert NöDiK staff. Data is recorded in the proprietary database for later evaluation and use. the Hungarian Academy of Science’s Centre for Ecological Research’s Ecology and Botany Institute successfully experimentally reintroduced 10 sandy grassland species and proved that the stored seeds are viable and may be used for suitable habitat restoration.
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)
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