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

acollections of preserved plant specimens that are critical to any large-scale conservation endeavorare small and have fallen into disrepair. Garden scientists will carry out training in the field and in herbaria, involving Forest Department personnel, young botanists, and university students who will gain hands-on experience in specimen collection, data recording, and the identification of major plant families and genera.

It is also important to engage local communities in the conservation and sustainable use of Myanmar's forest resources. Population growth, logging, intensification of agriculture, and rapid industrialization pose dangerous threats to the country's forest ecosystems, upon which the majority of the population depends for food, shelter, and medicine. Commercial demand for specific forest resources is pushing communities toward a destructive cycle of short-term gains, leading to over-exploitation of resources. Garden scientists will partner with communities to help ensure their natural resource use is sustainable by identifying economically important plant resources, collecting baseline data on density and yield, and developing management plans for sustainable resource use.

Myanmar Program Builds on Garden Model of Conserving Threatened Floras

The Garden's Myanmar program builds on a model established more than 20 years ago in the Brazilian state of Acre to document highly diverse but unknown and heavily threatened floras. Efforts there have led to the expansion of protected areas, greater oversight of the management of the region's timber resources, and conservation of endemic plant species. This model is now being used successfully in various places in the New World tropics and Southeast Asia.

"It's an integrated approach that considers human and institutional resources as much as it does natural resources," said Douglas C. Daly, Ph.D., Director of the Garden's Institute of Systematic Botany and B. A. Kru
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Contact: Stevenson Swanson
sswanson@nybg.org
718-817-8512
The New York Botanical Garden
Source:Eurekalert  

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