The National Plant Genetic Resources Centre
The National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC) is responsible for the conservation of Namibian plant genetic resources.
The aims are:
- To conserve genetic resources of indigenous wild, cultivated and other useful introduced plant species in Namibia by both ex situ and in situ methods
- To evaluate and describe local germplasm
- To promote the use of local plant genetic resources
- To carry out research on Namibian plant genetic resources
- To serve as a contact for and collaborate with other stakeholders in this field nationally and internationally
- To create awareness of plant genetic resources issues.
The NPGRC is part of the regional SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) network and also collaborates with the Millennium Seed Bank Project (MSBP) of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Namibian Millennium Seed Bank Project.
Namibia is a Contracting Party to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). The collections of plant genetic resources listed in Annex I and maintained at the NPGRC have been included in the Multilateral System. These will be made available to users under the conditions of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement of the ITPGRFA.
Ex situ conservation of Namibian Plant Genetic Resources
For its ex situ collection, the NPGRC collects seed of both wild and cultivated indigenous plants. These seeds are cleaned, dried, sealed in air-tight foil packets and stored in deep freezers at -20°C. Further activities of the NPGRC include seed multiplication, description of plant traits of each seed sample, periodic germination tests, documentation of all information from collection to storage and distribution of seed to bona fide requesters.
In order to request samples of Namibian plant genetic resources, the following procedure should be adhered to:
- Complete the plant genetic resources request form [doc 142 kb], attach a research proposal / motivation and send it to the NPGRC curator (see details below)
- NPGRC staff will then determine whether the plant genetic resources are available
- The NPGRC may require additional information from the recipient
- If plant genetic resources are available, the recipient will be informed and required to sign a Material Transfer Agreement, forwarded by the NPGRC
- The plant genetic resources samples can now be dispatched to the recipient
- Any courier fees or other costs incurred during dispatch are for the account of the recipient
- An import permit may be required by the country of the recipient
- Plant genetic resources that are included in the Multilateral System of the ITPGRFA will be made available to users under the conditions of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement of the ITPGRFA.
In situ conservation of Namibian Plant Genetic Resources
This project has two components:
In situ conservation of wild plant genetic resources looks at the conservation of plant resources at their site of occurrence. To date the project has concentrated on the identification of Namibia's most threatened plant species by compiling a Red Data List using the IUCN categories for assessment. A Red Data book for plants was published which aims to increase awareness among Namibians of the rare and threatened plants and includes descriptions, maps and pictures. Further steps planned by the project are the identification of areas with high concentrations of rare and threatened plants worthy of conservation (in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism).