Wisdom of collaboration

THE NEPALESE GOVERNMENT AND PAST KINGS OF THIS KINGDOM, SHOULD BE COMPLIMENTED FOR ALLOWING NUMEROUS PLANT HUNTING EXPEDITIONS TO EXPLORE IN NEPAL SINCE THE COUNTRY OPENED ITS BORDERS TO FOREIGNERS IN THE LATE 1940s - WHICH HAS RESULTED IN THE FLORA OF THIS COUNTRY BEING BETTER KNOWN AND TO A MUCH HIGHER STANDARD THAN THE INDIAN HIMALAYA...AND ALL WITH A SMALL FRACTION OF INDIA'S RESOURCES


The driving force behind the plant exploration in Nepal was not botanical but HORTICULTURAL!  This was led by the Private Secretary to King George V, later Lord Wigram (who approached the King of Nepal in the 1920s and 1930s AND the Maharajah of Kashmir - which led to P.N.Kohli's role as a collector for The Royal Parks & Gardens) then George Taylor, later Sir George, Keeper of Botany at the Natural History Museum, London and Director of Kew - who was instrumental in gaining permission for the 1952 and 1954 joint BM/RHS PLANT HUNTING EXPEDITIONS to Nepal.  Many expeditions have followed since, right up to the present day, with the interest of rock gardening societies playing a major role!  So all those specialist gardeners who have supported such expeditions, as shareholders to contribute to the considerable cost of mounting them, deserve special credit.

It is only by studying a flora, can it be CORRECTLY and RELIABLY identified, the abundance or rarity of individual species discovered by surveys by competent botanists, with access to quality herbaria (this requires international collaboration - which NEPAL sets a fine example in) that the plants of the Himalaya can be conserved.  EVER-INCREASING RULES AND REGULATIONS, DISCOURAGING COLLABORATION, WHICH IS NOT SOLELY THE DOMAIN OF BOTANIC GARDENS, NOT ONLY DO NOTHING TO PROTECT AND CONSERVE FLORA, IN THE CASE OF THE HIMALAYA, IT WILL DAMAGE IT!
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