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Missouri Botanical Garden signs exchange agreement with 3 botanical institutions in China

ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Mo. USA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three of China's botanical institutions in an effort to promote conservation, education and awareness about plant diversity. The mutually beneficial agreement between the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Nanjing Botanical Garden, Lushan Botanical Garden and Guangxi Institute of Botany calls for the exchange of herbarium specimens, plant materials, publications, data, scientific materials and personnel (staff and students), for the purpose of sharing experiences. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on October 28, 2011 at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

"Agreements such as these are frequently undertaken to explore a mutual, shared scientific challenge. In this case, each of our institutions are keenly aware of the current threats to our respective floras, and through these agreements we seek to work jointly in documenting the plants found in our areas of interest, study the effects of climate variation on the ecosystems and promote our respective scientific efforts through collaborations," said Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden. "The exchange of staff, literature and ideas can only enhance our botanical, horticultural and conservation research and promote our efforts to mediate the common threats to biodiversity."

The cooperative agreement calls for the Missouri Botanical Garden, Nanjing Botanical Garden, Lushan Botanical Garden and Guangxi Institute of Botany to pinpoint the relevant program opportunities and research needs at each of their institutions and identify staff and scientists to participate in the exchange. Administrators will propose, coordinate and supervise all exchange programs and projects, and each institution will provide appropriate assistance to visiting staff and research scientists.

The exchange of plant materials and herbarium specimens supports the development of plant collections and conservation work at the institutions. Providing copies of selected and relevant publications, documents, data and other materials is also addressed under the agreement.

"In addition to encouraging collaborations among our scientific staffs, these agreements facilitate herbarium study visits and field trips, as the local institution requests all visas, collecting permits and specimen transfer agreements for the visits," said Dr. Bob Magill, senior vice president of science and conservation at the Missouri Botanical Garden. "This equates to more time in the field studying plants or working directly with our colleagues in China."

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Peter Wyse Jackson, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden; Zhuang Yule, director of the Nanjing Botanical Garden Mem. Sun Yet-Sen in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province; Wu Yiya, director of the Lushan Botanical Garden, CAS in Lushan, Jiangxi Province; and Wen Yongxin, director of the Guangxi Institute of Botany, CAS in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China.

Today, 152 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display. With scientists working in 35 countries on six continents around the globe, the Missouri Botanical Garden has one of the three largest plant science programs in the world and a mission "to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life."

Garden scientists collaborate with local institutions, schools and indigenous peoples to understand plants, create awareness, offer alternatives and craft conservation strategies. The Missouri Botanical Garden is striving for a world that can sustain us without sacrificing prosperity for future generations, a world where people share a commitment to managing biological diversity for the common benefit.

Contact: Karen Hill
Missouri Botanical Garden

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