Botanic Garden’s historic links with Malawi flourish
Regius Keeper Simon Milne and colleagues at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) were honoured to welcome the President of the Republic of Malawi to the Garden today.
While in Scotland to attend the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, His Excellency, President Lazarus Chakwera and the First Lady Mrs Monica Chakwera were invited to visit the Garden in a celebration of the long-standing friendship between RBGE and Malawi. They were accompanied by the Honourable Minister of Education, Agnes Nyalonge, the Honourable Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo and other delegates from Malawi as well as members of the Scotland-Malawi partnership.
During their visit, His Excellency and the First Lady planted a Widdringtonia whytei or Mlanje cedar, a species of conifer that is endemic to Mount Mulanje in Malawi. Now critically endangered in the wild through logging, fire, tourism and pests, the cedar was grown from seed collected in 2019 by Bedgebury Pinetum as part of our International Conifer Conservation Programme.
Simon Milne commented: “His Excellency’s visit today highlights the importance of Plant Diplomacy as a way of combating the twin threats of biodiversity loss and the climate emergency. We look forward to future collaborations with our friends in Malawi.”
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