Charge d’Affaires from the Republic of Venezuela, Martha Ortega Peraza, and Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, engaged in talks during a recent visit. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Barbados has extended an invitation to Venezuela and international countries to get involved in the International Botanical Gardens at Codrington, St. Michael.

Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, said Barbados was presently rolling out a programme for the National Botanical Gardens, which will also feature an international component.

This invitation was extended when Charge d’Affaires from the Republic of Venezuela, Martha Ortega Peraza, paid a recent visit to the Minister and other Ministry officials at its Warrens, St. Michael headquarters.

Mr. Forde said the next stage of the National Botanical Gardens was for the planting of trees en masse.

Manager of the Gardens and Dendrologist, Nigel Jones, said Government was inviting countries from around the globe to choose their spots and develop their gardens according to their culture and it would help to teach Barbadians about their techniques in managing plants.

Mr. Jones added that while there were a few candidates who had already taken up spots, there was still room for others to join the team.

He further noted that a technical cooperation relationship would also be welcomed, to assist Barbados in developing a herbarium to display dry plant material for educational purposes.

Mr. Jones also noted that he would welcome the opportunity to view Venezuela’s germplasm centre, where live material, such as seeds, stems and roots, was stored at extreme temperatures.

In response, Charge d’Affaires Ortega Peraza suggested that one of the main activities to mark Arbor Day in September could be held in the National Botanical Gardens.

She also noted that Barbados could work with the students of the Venezuelan Institute in developing the gardens after their last examinations were completed.

During the visit, issues related to climate change, Sargassum seaweed, biodiversity, fisheries and coastal matters were also discussed.

Barbados and Venezuela established diplomatic relations in 1969.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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