The Need for Seed Forum
Forum Materials and Next Steps
Coming soon: key slides from the presentation used to set the stage for forum discussions
The raw notes were transcribed into an online "sticky notes" platform (Mural). Notes were first organized by Native Plant Material (NPM) supply chain parts and then further compiled across those categories to allow for emergent themes across discussion topics. Click on the thumbnails below to review these notes.
This forum was part of a larger, ongoing effort, to generate a collective call around the Need for Seed for accomplishing our restoration goals in Hawaiʻi. We generated a summary highlighting some of the themes that emerged from processing the forum discussions. These will be integrated into a report capturing the results from a pre-survey, the forum, and a second more detailed survey to be distributed in Q4 of 2023.
Presentation: slides coming soon
Click any image to enlarge "sticker" board
Raw Discussion Notes--Native Plant Material Supply Chain Components
Processed Discussion Notes--Emergent Categories describing Native Plant Material Supply Chain
We asked workshop participants to think about their work in terms of a Native Plant Material Supply Chain, with three major parts – users, collectors, and producers. This was a challenging exercise for us all. For many, collecting seeds, using them to grow plants for outplanting, and putting plants back on the landscape are interconnected through the goals of our work. However, by thinking about these components (user, collector, producer) individually, we can see not only how they are connected, but where those connections need to be supported, and where those connections are strong and can be leveraged to build a network around native plant material production.
Access was central to our discussions. It shaped whether you thought there was enough biodiversity and quantity of seed to conduct your work–people working in smaller, biodiverse sites felt wild populations would be sufficient for conducting their work, whereas those working in large areas, especially lands encompassing degraded ecosystems, felt challenged in their ability to access sufficient quantity and quality of genetic biodiversity. Access also included seed sovereignty and the permitting system that regulates seed take from public lands. These aspects influence not only where and by whom collections are made, but how the distribution, sharing, and sale of seeds may (or may not be) monitored and controlled.
Planning was indicated as a crucial step in the development of a robust native plant material supply chain. Seed collection and storage are often opportunistic with inconsistencies in seed supplies, lack of secured storage space for seeds, or limited greenhouse space for containerized plants posing barriers to both production planning and the quantity of seeds collected. In addition, limited information and standards for restoration project footprints, planting density/design, and limited species selections inhibit longer-term planning. Accounting for these aspects is also heavily influenced by short-term funding cycles.
Partnerships between communities, management programs, research, and development emerged as central to building a native plant material supply chain in Hawaiʻi. There are robust examples such as the Hawaiʻi Alliance of Watershed Partnerships, the Dry Forest Hui, and the Hawai’i Seed Bank Partnership. There is a need to identify how partnerships support both region-wide and local needs, especially given the importance of maintaining place-based plant diversity. Longer-term, site-specific restoration planning across the supply chain and land boundaries is critical to projecting seed supply storage, and growing space needs, as well as for assessing what can be sustainably collected from the wild, and what scale of amplification is needed through seed orchards. Collective development of best practices is needed for nearly all aspects of the plant material supply chain including planning, species selection, collection, growing, and planting. Ultimately, the cultivation of relationships within the community of native plant material users, collectors, and producers is a key step in expanding restoration capacity for our islands.