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Sister cities plant a seed for future growth

Thursday 8 November

Wellington and Canberra are working together to protect rare, threatened and symbolic trees and plants from around the world.

The trans-Tasman Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) heralds a new era of collaboration between Wellington Botanic Garden and National Arboretum Canberra. It was inked by Wellington Botanic Garden Manager David Sole and ACT Government’s Director of Venues, Liz Clarke, and at the National Arboretum in Canberra last week.

With an emphasis on exchanging academic information, scientific research and materials (seeds, seedlings, plants and specimens), the institutions agree to key initiatives, including to:

• deliver staff training and education

• implement joint research projects of mutual interest

• offer academic exchanges to researchers and staff

• facilitate joint conferences, workshops, research visits and field work programs.

Mayor of Wellington Justin Lester says Wellington is proud to be Canberra’s sister city.

“This agreement is another step towards generating more opportunity between our cities which can reach the world. Our gardens are both centres of excellence, and by working together, it only strengthens our collective offer,” the Mayor says.

“In two years, we have completed so much together; in the Arts with our first exchange of indigenous artists to each other’s city early next year, to formal relationships between our business communities, screen sectors, those working in biodiversity, creatives in our innovation and tech sectors, and extensive cooperation in many other key areas of growth and opportunity.”

Wellington Councillor Peter Gilberd, who holds the natural environment and city scientist portfolios, says: “The exchange of researchers, staff, academic information and material will be a great boost for both institutions. I look forward to seeing the collaboration bear fruit, which will enhance both cities.”

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the MoU represents another level of cooperation as we continue to explore opportunities to advance our mutual interests, share knowledge and create more jobs for our cities.

“This is a significant milestone for the National Arboretum Canberra reaffirming ACT as a world-leader in conservation of living collections.

“I am proud to be continuing our relationship with Wellington after our recent brewing project ‘the Ale of Two Cities’, and an MoU between National Zoo & Aquarium, Wellington Zoo and third partner Singapore Wildlife Reserves,” Chief Minister Barr says.

ACT Director of Venues Liz Clarke says the agreement will include staff exchanges, joint training, sharing of materials and information and joint research projects.

“We look forward to further developing our relationship with the Wellington Botanic Garden as we work towards our common goals of conservation, education and the preservation of species.”

The MoU is valid for five years with plans to review annually.


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