BY BEN BILUA
THE Ministry of Forest and Research has officially launched the National Herbarium building, yesterday.
Guest of Honour, the Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Hon Manasseh Sogavare said the event marks a historical achievement in the history of the Ministry of Forest and Research more especially the National Herbarium and Botanical Garden division.
He said the building will accommodate programmes and activities that would boost plant specimen collection, storage and also improving the management of botanical garden.
“This marks yet another milestone in the infrastructure development to support government functions, especially for the work of collecting, preparing and storing the local flora or plant species specimens for the sake of research, education and reference for future generation,” Sogavare said.
He told those present that the building will play a vital role in storing plant specimens that are of great importance to the country and the region.
Sogavare said the building will resume full service when all the furniture and compactus plus the completion of retrieving the country’s plant specimen from Fiji.
He continues to say that more research must be done as plants are important resource and source of local medicines to cure some diseases and sickness that have taken many lives in the country.
Sogavare explained that the dream to build a new national herbarium is to replace the aged herbarium under the outgoing Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) plan.
He stressed that the outgoing government responded positively on the project seeing the need to enhance the capacity to accommodate future expansion of plant specimen collection and storage as well as providing better working space for staffs, a conference room to cater for meetings and presentations for in house trainings and visiting public.
Sogavare said the funds allocated enable the progressive development occurring at the botanical garden where 60 percent of fencing work has been completed and the new herbarium building.
He stressed that the newly established Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCC) is pleased to see the improvement of the management and protection of the NHBG.
Sogavare said SIDCC commitment is demonstrated in the policy to fence the botanical government and construction of a new herbarium.
He said the completion of the project materialized through the assistance of Honiara City Council and FT Building Construction.