The National Herbarium at the Honiara Botanical Garden will be relocated next year.
This was confirmed by the National Herbarium Chief Forestry officer, Julia Amaea,who said a new site for relocation had already been identified.
She said the reason for relocating the national herbarium is because the current site at the botanical garden behind Rove Prison Service is vulnerable to flooding during heavy rain.
She cited April last year’s flooding as example when the entire herbarium building was flooded under water from a nearby by stream.
Amaea said the new herbarium building will be built at a new site in the upper ridges of Lengakiki,West Honiara.
She said construction of the new herbarium building is expected to start next month, adding the new building will accommodate laboratories for scientific testing of plant samples.
Amaea said carrying out scientific research and tests locally will reduce the cost of sending plant samples abroad for scientific tests as the case had been in the past.
“We hope that by having our own lab we can do our own scientific tests on plant samples and claim our own intellectual property rights over new discoveries or invention,” she said.
She added that this building will have enough space to store all the plant samples which could not be accommodated in the current herbarium building due to lack of space.
Amaea added the national herbarium expects to bring back home plant samples currently stored at the regional herbarium in Fiji.
She said the local plant samples were relocated to Fiji for safe keeping at the height of the ethnic tension.
By CHARLEY PIRINGI