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

ld critical scientific capacity. We are very grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for its generous support for this effort to help Myanmar document the diversity of its plant life and develop the human resources and institutional tools it needs to preserve that diversity."

Myanmar Program's Goals Address Present and Future Needs for Conservation

The Garden's Myanmar program will tackle three major needs: it will create an accurate, accessible baseline of botanical data to empower informed conservation and management decisions, develop the capacity of Myanmar botanists to document their country's flora, and engage local communities in the conservation and sustainable use of their forest resources.

"The Helmsley Charitable Trust is very pleased to support The New York Botanical Garden's efforts in Myanmar as part of a holistic strategy to conserve biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of wildlife and the well-being of local communities," said Dr. Bob Cook, Conservation Program Director at the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Of all tropical Asia, the flora of Myanmar is the least documented, and existing plant collections are scattered, incomplete, and unstudied. As a first step toward adequate documentation of the flora, Garden scientists are conducting field work in two areasHtamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary in the north (part of a forest complex that hosts the largest remaining tracts of virgin forest in mainland Southeast Asia) and Tanintharyi Nature Reserve in the south. These two preserves represent contrasting major habitats and floristic areas.

Efforts to assess botanical diversity in Myanmar are hindered by a severe lack of human and institutional resources. Although the Myanmar Forest Department and university staff members are strongly interested in botanical research and its implications for forest management, few have received adequate training. Also, the nation's herbari
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Contact: Stevenson Swanson
sswanson@nybg.org
718-817-8512
The New York Botanical Garden
Source:Eurekalert  

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