From 23-28 October, an international workshopwas held in Port au Prince, Haiti, to explore establishing a national botanical garden to further conservation, education, environmental restoration, and economic development in Haiti. Botanic gardens from US, Canada, France, Scotland, Haiti and the Dominican Republic participated in the workshop, which was supported by the Haitian government and organized by William Cinea of the Cayes Botanical Garden in Haiti.
Dr. Chad Husby of MBC gave a presentation on the role of botanic gardens in conserving rare plant species and preventing their extinction. Since Haiti has many extremely rare plants, some of which are reduced to only a handful of individuals, a national botanic garden would have a crucial role to play in conserving the endangered botanical treasures of the country and paving the way for their eventual reintroduction to the wild. MBC already conserves one very special Haitian endemic palm, Attalea crassispatha, the only oil palm native to the Caribbean. After the workshop presentations, participants spent two days visiting potential sites for a botanical garden as well as natural areas in Haiti. MBC looks forward to working with Mr. Cinea and Cayes Botanical Garden on plant conservation projects.