Saving Kenya’s Biodiversity through Applied Research

For a long time, the country’s Biodiversity has been experiencing rapid and alarming degradation as a result of socio-economic factors such as overpopulation and over-exploitation.

This situation is poised to change following the convergence of more than 50 scientists in Nairobi, Kenya drawn from China and Kenya, to engage in deliberations aimed at actualizing the establishment of the Botanical Garden project at JKUAT.

Prof. Odhiambo makes remarks during the workshop

The scientists are currently attending a two-day inaugural Sino-Kenyan Scientists seminar that kicked off Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Addressing the participants during the official opening of the Seminar, Acting JKUAT Vice Chancellor Prof. Romanus Odhiambo said, Kenya is endowed with plenty of natural resources that need to be preserved in their natural state.

The Seminar is jointly organized by JKUAT’s Directorate of Sino-African Biodiversity Resource Conservation (SABREC), China’s Wuhan Botanical Garden and the Chinese Academy of Sciences who are signatories to a joint venture to put up the Botanical Garden.

One of the participants makes a contribution during the forum

When complete, the JKUAT Botanical Garden will facilitate conservation of indigenous African Plants and introduction of useful plants from other parts of the world. The Garden will also host a research centre which will provide students and staff with laboratory facilities to conduct research and also provide conference and accommodation facilities for guest researchers.

During the seminar, the scientists will give presentations on plant and animal taxonomy, conservation and utilization, astronomy, epidemiology and pathen discovery, agricultural technology and horticultural crops and monitoring and management of water quality and physics.

Kenyan scientists will get to learn from their Chinese counterparts how to use research and technology to develop the country, said Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Esther Kahangi noting, these technologies have propelled China to rapid development in the recent past.

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