Singapore president Tony Tan Keng Yam to visit Kew Gardens

The President of Singapore, Mr. Tony Tan Keng Yam, and his wife will visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as part of a State Visit to the UK on 24 October 2014.

Tony Tan Keng Yam
Tony Tan Keng Yam

The visit will celebrate the historic and future scientific and horticultural collaborations between RBG Kew and Singapore, said Kew.

RBG Kew and Singapore Botanic Gardens have a long standing association dating back to 1875, and continue to work together building links between the gardens and their scientific research, Kew added.

Current director of Singapore Botanic Gardens, and of the country’s National Parks Board which is responsible for the city state’s green infrastructure policy -  Dr Nigel Taylor was head of horticulture and public education at Kew between 1995 and 2011, when he left to take up his current role.

During the visit Defra minister Lord de Mauley will announce a programme to host a number of scientists, horticulturalists and interns from Singapore at RBG Kew. RBG Kew will also be sending its mycology experts to Singapore to build capacity on the science of fungi in the region. A fellowship has just been awarded to RBG Kew by the Singapore Botanic Gardens with a focus on conducting research into fungal diversity in South East Asia.

In addition, Lord de Mauley will also announce that RBG Kew is opening its archives to Singapore Botanic Gardens researchers to show support for their bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lord de Mauley said: "I am very pleased to announce that the long-standing connections and collaborations between our great institutions will be deepened and strengthened over the coming years.

"Through our shared interests in science, horticulture and heritage, these collaborations will be a wonderful illustration of the enduring bonds between our nations.

"I lived for five very happy years in Singapore in the 1990s and the Singapore Botanic Garden was one of my favourite places. It sits right at the heart of Singapore. I see the knowledge and expertise of the scientists and horticulturalists at Kew as being equally central to the beating heart of the UK’s wellbeing and prosperity."


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