China-Africa ties in biodiversity conservation highlighted at Kenyan forum

The international biodiversity conference taking place in Kenya's Maasai Mara University has shed light on the growing contribution of China towards conservation of rare species in Africa.

Policymakers and scientists attending the conference co-organized by Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) and Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC), noted that biodiversity conservation has become a critical feature of China-Africa bilateral cooperation.

Bai Chunli, president of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said at the opening ceremony of biodiversity forum on Wednesday that it was timely as Beijing forges strategic alliances with African institutions to promote conservation of rare species.

"By holding this forum, we wish to provide a platform for academic institutions from China, African and other parts of the world to share the experiences and showcase the best practices in conserving biodiversity," said Bai.

He had earlier witnessed the handing over of modern laboratory equipment to Maasai Mara University, located in Kenya's south eastern county of Narok, to aid research on conservation of indigenous plant species that have immense medicinal and nutritional value.

Besides donating the state of the art lab equipment, CAS has through SAJOREC supported establishment of a medicinal plants garden at Maasai Mara University as part of collaborative venture to enhance biodiversity conservation in Kenya and beyond.

Felix Dakora, president of the African Academy of Sciences, said that African countries have leveraged on China's competitive edge in scientific research, technology, innovations and skilled manpower to enhance protection of the continent's natural capital.

"Biodiversity is a major asset for the African continent but it is being destroyed due to climate change and rapid desertification. I hope both the Chinese and African scientists will come up with solutions to reverse loss of habitats," said Dakora.

(All images via VCG)

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Source(s): Xinhua News Agency