By: Taylor Eisenstein
Fowler claims that there are two ways to conserve diversity: frozen in a seed bank or within one’s garden. Seed banks are essentially gene banks that store seeds, so as to preserve their genetic diversity. While most biobanks maintain specimens such as blood, saliva, and purified DNA—mostly human specimens—seed banks are essentially “plant gene banks,” for the purpose of preserving plant diversity.
One prominent conservation project featured in Seeds of Time is the “Potato Park,” which is located in rural Peru and aims to preserve and protect native potato species. The Potato Park “focuses on protecting and preserving the critical role and interdependency of indigenous biocultural heritage (IBCH) for local rights, livelihoods, conservation, and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity.” It is home to more than 700 local potato varieties in addition to over 400 varieties that were repatriated from the International Potato Center. There are over 6000 local people from a variety of tribes and villages involved with the park who are very passionate about protecting their native potato species from elements such as climate change.