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Combining Foreign Aid and Conservation, TaiwanICDF to Assist Plant Conservation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Combining Foreign Aid and Conservation, TaiwanICDF to Assist Plant Conservation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

To demonstrate the importance it attaches to sustainable development as part of its foreign aid work, the TaiwanICDF will carry out a Plant Germplasm Conservation Project in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, assisting this partner country in maintaining its rich biodiversity.

Despite its relatively small land mass, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is home to the largest tropical rainforest along the chain of Caribbean islands known as the Lesser Antilles, and the United Nations has also designated the area one of 25 global biodiversity hotspots. Its unique geographical advantages contain a wealth of animal and plant diversity.

As such, the TaiwanICDF is planning to work with Taiwan’s National Museum of Natural Science and the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center to pass on Taiwan’s knowledge of botanical sciences, assisting those at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Botanic Gardens in improving both their conservation capabilities and the institution’s collections.

Founded in 1765 and nearing its 250th year, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Botanic Gardens is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, demonstrating the long tradition of natural conservation in the country. This cooperation project will carry out the first in-depth survey of plant species native to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, assisting in the establishment of the country’s own collection of rare plant materials, and the proper maintenance of such species through the collection, preparation and in vivo conservation of specimens. In addition, the photos and text generated as a result of these collection activities will be used to publish an illustrated guide, which will be used as a source material in promoting local eco-tourism.

In terms of plant conservation, the National Museum of Natural Science, the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center and the TaiwanICDF will also be combining forces to build a local conservatory in which to house St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ collections.

Also of note to the project is the fact that Gordon Shallow, the current director of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Botanic Gardens, is an alumnus of National Chung Hsing University’s Department of Plant Pathology. Studying in Taiwan through the TaiwanICDF’s International Higher Education Scholarship Program, Mr. Shallow not only gained a wealth of professional knowledge, but also learned to speak fluent Chinese, demonstrating the results of Taiwan’s bilateral cooperation with St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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  • Date:2015/3/27