Transforming of a unique global treasure
The true value of Scotland’s investment in environmental innovation, conservation, education and support for wellbeing has been at the heart of a visit by Mairi McAllan MSP, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).
Welcomed to the Garden’s historic Botanic Cottage by Chairman of the RBGE Board of Trustees, Dominic Fry, Ms McAllan received the latest news on achievements in a briefing from Regius Keeper Simon Milne MBE. Updating the Minister on science and conservation work at home and around the world, Mr Milne also provided new insight on education provision and the burgeoning appetite for public engagement that support health and wellbeing in a post-pandemic world
At the heart of discussions was an update on the progress of the Edinburgh Biomes project, the most ambitious undertaking of RBGE in its 352 years. In committing to this radical overhaul of the Garden’s heritage Glasshouses and replacement of its deteriorating research houses and associated facilities, RBGE is creating a new template for the future of plant research, education and engagement.
Explaining the crucial need for the Edinburgh Biomes, Simon Milne commented: “More than ever before there is a sense of urgency in the work of RBGE and its partners. Our world is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis to which an immediate response is required. This initiative will not only protect the future of the 24,000 plantsalready housed within our Glasshouses, it can influence lives across continents and generations. From welcoming school classes, visiting researchers and members of the public to inspiring engagement with nature, in the very widest sense we have an opportunity to promote real change for the better.”
Reflecting on her time at the Garden, Ms McAllan concluded: “Addressing the global threats of the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency is the great long term challenge of our time. The Scottish Government is committed to leading the way in tackling the crises in a way that is fair and leaves no one behind. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a crucial key partner in helping to achieve a sustainable, healthy and prosperous future here at home and around the world.”
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