Taiwan assists Solomon Islands in conserving rainforest species 索羅門雨林物種滅絕 台灣助原生植物保種

Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - Page 15

The Solomon Islands, one of Taiwan’s South Pacific diplomatic allies, has an area of 28,000 square kilometers, over 90 percent of which is covered in tropical rain forest. The country has abundant forestry products, and it is estimated that it is home to over 7,000 indigenous species, and dotted with deposits of minerals such as gold, nickel, copper, cobalt and aluminum ore.

Over the past few decades, however, due to mass deforestation and the planting of cash crops such as coconut and cocoa, the area of virgin forest has gradually shrunk. With this, species are struggling to survive, and many are on the verge of extinction.

For this reason, Taiwan has implemented a joint program with the Soloman Islands’ Ministry of Forestry and Research, and sent a botany survey team to collate the Solomon Islands’ plants, establish greenhouses and improve the National Herbarium and digital preservation facilities in the country. At the same time, the team is training Solomon Islands’ botanical conservation staff, to improve their basic scientific knowledge in botany. Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund is also helping to publish an illustrated catalog of the flora of the Solomon Islands, to bolster the country’s natural conservation efforts.

(CNA, translated by Paul Cooper)