Just received this fascinating press release from David Hardy at the National Botanic Garden of Wales - do read on
Conservation work carried out in Carmarthenshire takes to the world stage this week at a special symposium in Korea.
Head of conservation and research at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Dr Natasha de Vere has been invited to represent Wales at a Biodiversity Conference and Workshop.
The event is being hosted (and paid for) by the Korean Ministry of the Environment.
Natasha, who lives in Dryslwyn, near Llandeilo, flew to Korea on Monday for the three-day event. She said: “It is really fantastic that the Garden has been invited to attend and I am really excited to be able to tell people from all over the world what we are up to here in Wales.”
The invitation for the International Symposium and Workshop in Seoul came from the Ministry of Environment of Korea to celebrate the building of a new National Institute of Ecology in South Korea.
The overall focus of the event is on biodiversity conservation in the context of a changing world, with specific reference to the fate of endangered species, climate change, and other environmental challenges in an increasingly urbanised and industrial society. Biodiversity specialists from all over Korea will be joined by representatives from 10 different countries.
Alongside Natasha, participants include scientists from: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Yale University, RBG Edinburgh, Kew Gardens, Singapore Botanic Garden, Berlin Botanical Garden and Museum, Botanic Gardens Trust Sydney, and the Australian Centre for Urban Ecology. The meeting will be introduced by the world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall.
In her presentation to the symposium, Natasha said: “Our world is changing. More than one third of all plant species are under threat from extinction, with an uncertain future from climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, over-exploitation and pollution.
“Botanic gardens have an important role to play. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is dedicated to help slow the loss of biodiversity using an integrated conservation programme.
“Our plant collections act as ambassadors, highlighting the threats facing plants in the wild. We concentrate on plants from Mediterranean and temperate woodland ecosystems, as well as our Welsh native species.
“Along with the botanic garden, we have a National Nature Reserve, managed as a working, organic, livestock farm. Here we make the link between agriculture, biodiversity and people’s lives.
“We are committed to running the Garden sustainably and engage our visitors with simple steps they can take to live in a more sustainable way. Our education programme is based on the importance of biodiversity and sustainability, with a particular emphasis on getting learners of all ages out of the classroom and experiencing nature firsthand. We are also working on our conservation research programme.
“The biodiversity of Wales is amongst the best documented in the world and, with these data, we can use Wales as a nationwide laboratory for understanding the processes that affect it. We are working on creating new national datasets. We aim to be one of the first countries in the world to DNA barcode their flora and to use this to develop applications that help to conserve biodiversity.”
National Botanic Garden director, Dr Rosetta Plummer, said: “This invitation is a clear indicator of the Garden’s developing contribution on the international stage that we have been invited specifically to contribute to this conference. Playing for Wales on the World stage is a key part of our mission, and it is excellent this is now recognised as far afield as Asia.”
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