Preserving and Developing the Diversity of Cultivated Plants

Biodiversity – a Source of Life for us and for Future Generations.

What we're about

Crop diversity...

… has developed over generations. People have cultivated and farmed plants for thousands of years, resulting in an incredible diversity of locally used and adapted crops. There was – and, in many places, still is – a close relationship between people and their plants.

… is severely threatened. 75% of all crop variety has become extinct since 1900. One of the main reasons is the industrialisation of agriculture. Commercial farming uses few species and varieties. Only about 100 crop species (of more than 4,800 known species) make up 90% of globally harvested food. Laws, corporate interests, consumer behaviour, environmental disasters, armed conflicts, the disappearance of small-scale farming, among other factors compound the danger to seed diversity on a global level.

… means life: crop diversity is part of the basis of our diet, of our life – just like air or water. It ensures that agriculture can adapt to changing environmental conditions (keyword: climate change) and new diseases or pests. It also ensures that suitable crops are also available for remote regions and extreme conditions – wherever people live who have to feed themselves.

You too can do a great deal for diversity: by growing, purchasing, and cooking, or passing on seeds, knowledge, and enthusiasm.

By the way...

“traditional seed cultivation and production” was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2014


What we do

Preserve diversity...

… for a livable future. From today's perspective, it is impossible to say which plant species or cultivars, or “genetic resources”, will be “important” one day. It is therefore irresponsible to dispose of these precious rare crops. We must preserve and continue to develop seed diversity and knowledge of cultivation. We have to make them available, to safeguard not only the basis of agriculture, but also the richness of flavours that enhance our quality of life.


ARCHE NOAH – its foundation and its activities today

ARCHE NOAH was established in 1990 as an initiative of heirloom gardeners, farmers and journalists, concerned with the future of seeds and heirloom varieties.

Over the last 100 years, the diversity of our cultivated plants has dramatically decreased all over the globe due to the industrialisation of agriculture – more than 75% are already lost.

Today, genetic engineering and various seed-monopolies, climate change and wars are threatening this precious heritage.

ARCHE NOAH responds to the loss of agro-biodiversity with a positive vision and numerous activities. All of us can contribute to more diversity through cultivation of threatened varieties in our gardens, through consumer awareness and political commitment.



This attitude connects 13,000 members involved with ARCHE NOAH today – it’s not a question of having a garden or not. It is a vision of providing respectful care for nature as our number one provider. It is to look at our cultivated plants respectfully, to value gardening and farming as a cultural achievement, to consider ethically-motivated consumption as a contribution to organic and sustainable agriculture, to make cooking a declaration of love…

Let’s share this vision!

You can become a member - here!