MOU between Kunming & Balipara Foundation
Located in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, China, is a renowned research institute, Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB). This important research institute is directly affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and dedicated to research in the fields of Botany and Phytochemistry. It is largely dedicated to exploration of the world of plants, to generate knowledge about them and develop their sustainable use to benefit people.
NaturenomicsTM team members, Dr. Gitamani Dutta, Gautam Baruah and Planter Rinku Deka had the privilege of visiting the Kunming Institute of Botany to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Balipara Foundation. The MoU purposes to enhance association in the areas of scientific research, expert exchange and international collaborations, while working together in the Eastern Himalayan region.
During the visit, NaturenomicsTM team had an opportunity to explore the Xiongda tea market of northern Kunming, which is one of the best place to explore the world of tea. Ms. Ma Huaxia, who is a student of KIB accompanied the team to apprehend the process of tea cake making. The tea cake making, is a very popular form of tea in the tea markets of Kunming and is a specialty of Yunnan. The tea cake is composed of three blended raw material from Lincang, Simao and Menghai sun-dried tea leaves, compressed in form of a tea cake. The tea cake was designed in remembrance of the opening of the newer second section of the Jin Shi Kunming wholesale tea market. The team was taken through the entire tea making process, and subsequently also prepared a tea cake.
NaturenomicsTM team had an opportunity to share with the staff of Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies, Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) and Prof. Jianchu Xu about the Balipara Foundation Vision of Conserving & Preserving the Natural Heritage of the Eastern Himalayas. The team defined their clear Mission to Develop Symbiotic Models around Conservation-Community-Technology Imperatives and revealed their primary Objective to Facilitate Co-existence through Interdependence.
Furthermore, the team shared an overview on how the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark was launched to showcase the grandeur of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity and promote conservation.
Followed by this, the team visited the Herbarium of Kunming Institute of Botany, which contains 248,000 collections including fungi - 87000 (types 350), lichens - 52000 (types 50) and Bryophytes- 109, 000 (types 120).
Subsequently, the NaturenomicsTM team visited Germplasm Bank of Wild Species facility, which was established by the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) with the help of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The bank is a pioneer in the nation’s biodiversity conservation and bio-resource development strategy, which includes the seed bank, micropropagation unit, animal gene bank, DNA bank and nurseries.
On the following day the NaturenomicsTM team visited the captivating Kunming Botanical Garden, which is situated 12km away from the center of Kunming. The team was fascinated by the diversity of plants inside the glass house. The garden has collection of live plants such as exquisite Yunnan flowers, Yunnan Chinese herbal, Yunnan essential trees and most of the rare and endangered plants in Yunnan Province. The Kunming Botanical Garden site, has various specialized gardens such as YUESAI Rhododendron Garden, Rock Garden, Medicinal Herbs, Magnolia Garden, Camellia Garden, Exhibition Greenhouse, Gymnosperm Plants, Ornamental Fruits and Foliage, The Garden of the Rare and Endangered plants, Sweet gum Avenue which is a major attraction in the Autumn, Rose family Section and the Begonia Collection.
Along with Doctor Peter and Doctor Anne, the NaturenomicsTM team visited one of the phosphates mining habitat restoration site, to comprehend how agroforestry practices help restore the mining sites.
The NaturenomicsTM team attended a rewarding workshop on modern nursery techniques, which implied that technologically they are extremely innovative and effective compared to the technology used at Balipara Foundation. The technology comprises of the two operators that can produce 12000 bags per day by using light substrate container seedling machine. The machine has various benefits, like the structure is simple, the package speed is high, and the finished product rate is high too.
With the staff of Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies, KIB and Prof. Jianchu Xu, the NaturenomicsTM team attended the Pre-Chinese New Year Dinner Party, which is the most important dinner for the Chinese.