Restoration of Kabul University’s herbarium announced
Yesterday, in a press release, the American Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced the restoration of Kabul Universityâ€™s herbarium, which is a collection of preserved plant specimens.Â The specimens may be whole plants or plant parts.Â The collection in Kabul contains nearly 25,000 preserved plant specimens, and was nearly destroyed during the Taliban rule, but was saved thanks to the efforts of the Dr. Noor Ahmad Mirazai, a professor of botany at Kabul University.
Because of its location in the world, Afghanistan is home to a diverse group of wildlife – both plants and animals. The restoration of this herbarium will help in the study of Afghanistan’s natural heritage. The press release states: “The restored herbarium will be of immense benefit to researchers and other scientists, students, and teachers and provides extensive baseline data for Afghanistanâ€™s flora. Environmental impact assessments that could not previously be undertaken due to lack of information are now possible. Data to help inform the design of natural resources management and rehabilitation measures are now available, and identification and preservation of protected areas will be improved.”
The restoration projected was funded by the United States government via its USAID program. WCS worked with Kabul University, as well as with schools and other organizations from the United States on the restoration project.