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KIB’s Director Receives an Honorary OBE Award
source:     author:     2010-09-14

On 8th September, Dr. Li Dezhu, the Director of Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), was awarded an honorary OBE by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, on the United Kingdom National Day in the Shanghai EXPO Park. Dr. Li’ contribution to UK/China botanical collaborations and biodiversity conservation makes him the first mainland Chinese since 1949 to get this award. Sebastian Wood, Britain’s Ambassador to China and officials of the UK National Pavilion also attended the ceremony.

While chairing the investiture ceremony, Ms Carma Elliot OBE, the Consul-General to Shanghai, said that the UK/China botanical relationship is one of the strongest, but perhaps lesser known, of bilateral scientific relationships,and was celebrated this year by the UK Pavilion's Seed Cathedral, displaying 60,000 seeds co-donated by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew's Millennium Seed Bank and KIB’s Germplasm Bank of Wild Species. KIB was twinned with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RGBE) in 1992, although links can be traced back as early as the late 19th century. This strong bilateral partnership has helped to establish both the Jade Dragon Field Station and Lijiang Alpine Botanic Garden, which provide vital research platform for the study of rich mountain flora in China's pre-Himalayan foothills. In 2004, with support of CAS, KIB signed a ten-year agreement with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew on the conservation of germplasm resources, contributing to the conservation of world’s biodiversity.

The OBE award was originally established by King George V of the UK in 1917, as an order of chivalry to honour those who had achieved outstanding merit in fields outside of the military and civil service which has been given in the past to individuals from fields as diverse as the arts, diplomacy, humanitarian, education, law and medicine.

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