State funding in Africa, for research and training by and for Africans, is extremely limited: support for it is essential. To be effective in the long term, conservation in Africa must involve local scientists and other participants. Creating an educated and well-resourced body of professionals, able to fully appreciate the societal, political, and other complexities of the local environment, is vital. Increasing public awareness of the riches that still exist in wild areas is a key task. The importance of the Herbarium to education has been recognised by a Memorandum of Cooperation signed with the University of Pretoria the nearest major University.
Research and education go hand in hand. Located in a unique botanical reserve containing pristine ancient forest and grassland ecosystems which are everywhere under threat, Buffelskloof Herbarium is ideally placed for student field trips and research projects. Much visited by the local naturalists of the future, it is particularly valued by female students as a safe place to study and work. Its lab and lecture room host short courses on topics ranging from Plant Identification to Thesis Writing, Botanical Latin and Botanical Databases. The Herbarium offers valuable services to citizen scientists who are always welcome to ask for plant identification and advice; it frequently hosts visits by societies with an interest in flora and fauna.
These brief case studies illustrate its importance to our shared future.
These videos offer personal insights into working at Buffelskloof.