Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Natural History Museum (NHM), UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of genetic/taxonomic studies, research and training, conservation in India, including species and habitat conservation assessments.
According to an official release, the MoU was signed by Dr Paramjit Singh, Director, BSI and Dr Sandra Knapp, Head of the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division, NHM in the presence of Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The MoU will pave the way for BSI staff to work in Natural History Museum, London and vice-versa and they will share fairly and equitably the benefits that may arise from the collection, study and conservation of the plant materials such as seeds, herbarium specimens and tissue samples and exchange associated data and images, an official release said.
NHM will help BSI in capacity building in areas of systematic botany and long-term conservation of plant genetic resources in India.
Botanical research has a long history in India, and modern scientific institutions have developed over two centuries. The collections of Indian plants held in UK institutions, together with India’s own tremendous collections, are an invaluable resource for modern Indian botanical science.
According to the Ministry, collections, digitisation and study by Indian scientists will make these openly available for wider scientific use in India in areas such as biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, and preservation of plant resources for use in traditional health systems by rural communities.