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Protecting Myanmar's rich plant biodiversity is major goal of new NYBG program
Date:6/10/2014

As Myanmar emerges from decades of upheaval and isolation, The New York Botanical Garden has launched an ambitious conservation and training program to document the country's remarkably rich plant life, build the country's capacity to carry out plant research, and promote the sustainable use of its forests.

Myanmar is a major biodiversity hotspot, with diverse habitats boasting a wide range of plant species that are likely found nowhere else, yet it has probably the most poorly studied flora in the Northern Hemisphere. The country's scientific infrastructurethe human and institutional resources needed for significant researchhas suffered from decades of neglect. As a result, conservation efforts in Myanmar are hindered by a lack of basic information.

To address this fundamental problem, the Botanical Garden is undertaking a two-phase project designed to inform future conservation and natural resource management efforts. In the first phase, now under way, Garden scientists are establishing collaborations with national and regional institutions, providing training for young botanists, collecting preliminary data about Myanmar's flora, and documenting natural resource usage in key areas. That phase, which will last a year, will guide the design of the second phase, envisioned as a major, multiyear program to implement a plant conservation and capacity-building initiative.

The first phase of the Myanmar programLaying the Groundwork for Plant Conservation and Forest Resource Management in Myanmaris supported by a one-year, $200,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

"As Myanmar opens up for business, tourism, and research, the country is at a pivotal moment for biodiversity conservation," said Gregory Long, Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of the Garden. "The Garden has decades of experience in exploring difficult and poorly understood habitats and helping countries bui
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Contact: Stevenson Swanson
sswanson@nybg.org
718-817-8512
The New York Botanical Garden
Source:Eurekalert  

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