Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh highlights partnerships with Colombia

RBGE highlighted the achievements of its decade-long research partnerships in Colombia on 2nd November at an event hosted by the UK Government at the Natural History Museum, attended by the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and HRH Prince Charles.

The RBGE Colombia research programme began in 2008 and has developed links with universities, research institutes and conservation organisations across the country. It has already trained 10 Colombian PhD students in the taxonomy, floristic inventory and evolutionary biology of plants from most biomes within the country, including the páramo, tropical dry forest and rain forests including Amazonia and the Chocó. Some of these studies have determined how these biome-specific plant groups have adapted to historical climatic changes and can be used to predict how they might adapt to future changes. The programme has a strong scientific publication record, including a paper on conservation of dry forests in Science Magazine in 2016 (with Colombian student Karina Banda as first author) as well as a record in scientific outreach to the public both in Colombia and internationally.

For the event, RBGE’s Colombian PhD students prepared an exhibit that displayed the achievements of RBGE’s research programme in Colombia.

RBGE’s Regius Keeper, Simon Milne said: “It was a privilege to be able to attend this State Visit and a meeting on UK-Colombia Cooperation on the environment covering topics of Forests, the Natural Environment and Climate Change in Colombia. I am looking forward to building on our excellent partnerships in Colombia to help to explore and conserve plant resources in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world”.

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