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【CGTN】China Biodiversity Protection: Second national botanical garden established to preserve biodiversity
【CGTN】                26-Jul-2022
The South China Botanical Garden in Guangzhou was officially upgraded to a "national botanical garden" earlier this month. China now has two national botanical gardens and more will follow. It's part of a new national system announced last year by President Xi Jinping. Cao Chufeng reports from Guangzhou.

Now called the "South China National Botanical Garden," this organization was founded in 1929. It's the biggest subtropical botanical garden in the world, with nearly 20,000 different species of plants. Many of them are open for view to the public.

CAO CHUFENG Guangzhou "These plants floating on the water are called Victoria Water Lily. They can support a very heavy load. A 30 kilogram child can sit on these leaves quite safely. And I'm standing just beside the conservatory. Lots of interesting plants are being planted here, so let's go and have a look.

"This is a very interesting plant. You can tear their needle shaped leaf apart, and then, put it back together.

"Pineapples are usually about this big, but here, I just found a cute mini version. These fruits are about the size of two thumbs, and they are normally used for decoration, people don't really eat them, but I do really wonder what they taste like."

This is one of the oldest botanical research institutions in China, with a mission to study and protect plants.

NING ZULIN Associate Director, Horticulture Center South China National Botanical Garden "This is Primulina Huaiji-ensis. We found it in 2010 in Huaiji, Guangdong. At that time, there were around 200 of them in the wild. Now it's completely disappeared in the natural environment. But it's well protected here in the South China Botanical Garden.

"This is its sprout. We used biotechnology to germinate its seeds."

Associate Director Yan Junhua says being included into the national botanical garden system will strengthen its ability to protecting endangered plants and preserve biodiversity.

YAN JUNHUA Associate Director, South China National Botanical Garden "One of the most important functions of our botanical gardens is ex situ conservation. In the past, this job has focused on protecting plant individuals, and driven by the interests of our scientists and their projects. Now this will become more systematic. Our focus will no longer only be protecting the plant individuals, but also their organs, seeds, DNA etc."

Yan says the establishment of a national botanical garden system in China will provide a standard for the construction of botanical gardens across the country, and give the public a better understanding of the achievements and significance of botanical gardens in plant conservation. Cao Chufeng, CGTN, Guangzhou.

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