To study ancient African ecosystems, many of which are millions of years old, and everywhere under threat from man’s activities, is urgent before they are lost for ever. Untold riches – in terms of new plant based medicines for example – are almost certainly there to be found. The Herbarium is constantly visited by scientists from all over the world and supplies essential plant material to award winning research groups such as the work of Professor Alvaro Viljoen at Tshwane University of Technology on new plant based medicines and Professor Jill Farrant at the University of Cape Town on drought resistant crops.
The ability to describe, identify, and categorise is fundamental to all organic sciences, which can only be conducted on the basis of a sound foundation. The work Buffelskloof undertakes is a critical component in the scientific research which is critical to our shared future.
Collections held in herbaria remain a vital component of botanical research, particularly regarding rare and endangered flora. DNA analysis in botany relies on the work of herbaria for future development, and the description, naming, and classification of species new to science can only be conducted by the classical methods carried out by herbaria. The protocols and standards required for the uniform and reliable storage and dissemination of information and samples vital to medicinal and ecological research are integral to Buffelskloof and its partners in the global scientific community.