Our 200th Anniversary
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus is the custodian of one of the oldest institutions in the country, The National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago, which will be celebrating its 200th Anniversary in 2018. This institution originated in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Port of Spain when it was established by the British Crown and has flourished into an internationally respected research centre.
The National Herbarium is the only institution dedicated to the preservation, documentation and dissemination of reliable information on the indigenous and exotic flora of Trinidad and Tobago. Our archival collection of plant specimens, includes the earliest surviving specimens dating from 1842. They are preserved in the form of pressed, dried specimens mounted on archival paper and labelled with their scientific names and other relevant information. The collection currently stands at approximately 70,000 specimens.
The collection is steadily growing through our commitment to research on the diversity and conservation of our flora. This archival collection informs scientists, town planners, policy makers, foresters, eco-tourist guides, naturalists, herbalists, and anthropologists, among others, about the rich diversity of our flora and the ‘botanical hotspots’ of high conservation value worthy of preservation. By comparing our historical collection with modern botanical surveys, researchers, applying modern computer modelling techniques are able to predict the impact of climate change on our forest ecosystem and to influence public policy formulation.