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Taiwan Botany conservation team completes field trip with new findings

Left—The Curator TY Aleck Yang and Professor Chia-Wei Li smile to the camera after interview with them yesterday

A Botanic Conservation Research team from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan completed its field trip to Makira and Western province.

The three weeks spent in the jungles of Makira and Western province in Kolombangara have been hailed a success with the discovery of few new species.

They will be transported to Taiwan’s big green house here for replication.

The trip was documented by a Taiwanese TV crew; activities taken in the jungle will be streamed later in December this year to an audience of around 200 countries worldwide.

Professor Chia-Wei Li said five years in total they have collected more than 40,000 copies of plants, meaning around 12,000 association members will have copies of the herbarium in Solomon Islands.

Regarding the species collected, Professor Chia-Wei Li said they will invite botanists worldwide to work with them to identify the species.

Profossor Chia-Wei Li said they look forward to publishing the first field guide in May this year which will include 400 species.

“About thirty of them will be introduce to the scientific world as new species,” Prof Chia-Wei Li said.

“After that there’s a book preparing these orchids of Solomon Islands which includes around 400 orchids, a huge volume of orchid show to academic world, 50 of them will be described as new species which means it’s new to the science,” Prof Chia-wei Li said.

The Curator TY Aleck Yang said they will continue working with provinces across Solomon Islands in conserving Solomon Island’s flora, and compile local names along with their scientific names.

He said this is for the knowledge of people of this country, and urges people’s cooperation.

The Chief of Taiwan Technical Mission, Mr Mars Shiue said.

“The film crew meaningful to project, that’s kind of a global norm to let people know how Solomon Islands really focus on conservation, and represent how two country working together on some important issues.

“We are looking on long term working relationship, not only Taiwan people coming to do research, we also hope to involve more Solomon Islanders.”

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