Newly Inaugurated National Botanical Garden of China to Better Protect Plant Diversity | Kathmandu Grandstand
By Chang Qin, People’s Daily
The recently inaugurated National Botanical Garden of China in Beijing is bursting with dynamism and vigor. The garden is home to many important plant resources, including sea coconut seeds, which can weigh up to 25 kilograms; rattlesnake plantain seeds as light as floating dust; as well as more than 200 Chinese and foreign varieties of peony.
The National Botanical Garden serves as the base for conserving plant diversity in China. Acting on the principle of finding a balance between conservation in situ and conservation by translocation, China has begun to build a system of national botanical gardens in places like Beijing and Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province (southern China ), Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the Leaders’ Summit. of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The recently inaugurated National Botanical Garden of China, an essential part of the national botanic garden system, was built on two sites and is the result of the improvement and integration of the resources of the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (the southern site) and the Beijing Botanical Garden (the northern site).
With a projected area of nearly 600 hectares, the botanical garden will bring together more than 30,000 species of plants and house five million plant specimens representative of five continents, leading the country in scientific research and ex situ conservation of plants.
The National Botanical Garden of China will continue to complete projects, including a plant science research center, an ex situ conservation research center, a genetic resources preservation center, the second phase of a specimens and greenhouses for plant specimens from five continents, and will build 28 special gardens parks with special characteristics.
Rich collections of plant species are a highlight of national botanical gardens in China. There are two fundamental approaches to the conservation of plant resources: in-situ conservation and ex-situ conservation. Unlike traditional botanic gardens and parks, China’s national botanic gardens are mainly for scientific research and ex situ conservation of plant resources.
Rich collections of plant species are the basis of many efforts, whether for the ex-situ conservation of plant resources, research in plant sciencescience popularization or garden and horticulture exhibition.
More than 15,000 plant species are conserved ex situ in the National Botanical Garden of China, of which nearly 1,000 are rare and endangered, including more than 300 species listed on China’s Major Wild Plants Protected List.
Since 2004, Beijing Botanical Garden has conducted Cypripedium resource survey and research on Cypripedium conservation and breeding in Beijing, restoring the population of Cypripedium tibeticum King ex Rolfe, an endangered species.
The National Botanical Garden will continue its efforts to establish and improve a dynamic plant protection system that encompasses the entire life cycle of plants to successfully protect endangered plant species, endemic species and species of significant economic importance. .
Apart from integrating beneficial resources, expanding the social service function is also an essential part of transforming a botanic garden into a national botanic garden.
The National Botanical Gardens of China not only carry out scientific research and ex situ conservation of plant resources, but function as integrated facilities for science popularization, garden and horticulture display, and ecological leisure activities.
Visitors can acquire so much knowledge in the southern part of the National Botanical Garden of China, which houses magnolias, roses, shellfish and other groupings of plants, that they feel like they have opened a book. about the evolutionary history of plants. The northern part of the National Botanical Garden is home to a science museum, which allows visitors to closely observe and learn about living plants, plant specimensscientific botanical illustrations, etc.
While carrying out scientific research and ex situ conservation of plant resources, the National Botanical Gardens of China also provide visitors with plant science education, technical training and health, tourism and recreation related services to help further of people to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of nature. . These functions are the charms of the national botanical gardens.
China is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 37,000 known higher plant species, which make up about 10% of the world’s total. Plant science research in China has seen rapid development in recent years, but the field still needs to improve weak links in some aspects.
By selecting and constructing a number of national botanic gardens and realizing organic connection and mutual complementarity between these botanic gardens and China’s in situ conservation system with national parks as the mainstay, the country will be able to realize comprehensive coverage of plant diversity conservation. and sustainable plant use, and finally achieve the goal of putting more than 85 percent of its native wild plant species and all major protected plant types under ex situ conservation.