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Smithsonian calls for renewed international cooperation in sharing biodiversity information

istory. "We are honored to bring together distinguished scientists and biodiversity leaders from around the world to discuss the global, national and local implications of the Rio convention. By sharing our extensive botanical collections and information resources the Smithsonian has assumed a leadership role in international research and policy."

The second Jos Cuatrecasas Medal in Tropical Botany will be presented at the symposium. This prestigious award is given annually by the Smithsonian to an international scholar who has contributed significantly to advancing the field of tropical botany. The award is named in honor of Dr. Jos Cuatrecasas, a pioneering Smithsonian botanist who devoted his career to plant exploration in tropical South America. The 2002 recipient is Dr. P. Barry Tomlinson of Harvard University who will be honored for his work on tropical palms, trees and mangroves.

The 2002 Smithsonian Botanical Symposium is sponsored by the National Museum of Natural History, the Cuatrecasas Family Foundation, the International Association for Plant Taxonomy, and the United States Botanic Garden.

The botanical collections at the Smithsonian were established in 1848 with an initial offering of 50,000 specimens. Current holdings total more than 4.5 million, making this collection among the largest in the world representing about eight percent of the plant collection resources of the United States. Now maintained within the Smithsonian as the United States National Herbarium, the collection is especially rich in type specimens, with more than 90,000.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History welcomed more than 8.4 million people during the year 2001 making it the most visited natural history museum in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum is dedicated to maintaining and preserving the most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts in the world. The museum also fos
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Contact: Michele Urie
urie.michele@nmnh.si.edu
202-786-2950
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
5-Apr-2002


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