Ethiopian Botanical Scientist Prof. Sebsebe Demissew Wins Kew International Medal

Professor Sebsebe Demissew

Addis Ababa (ENA)–The leading Ethiopian Botanical Scientist Professor Sebsebe Demissew has been selected to be the recipient of this year’s prestigious Kew International Medal.

In selecting Professor Sebsebe, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBGK), acknowledges his lifelong work on promoting Ethiopian biodiversity and the direct benefit for people in the country and right across Africa.

The reception on celebrating his award took place at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa while his medal will be presented in London by January.

“Professor Sebsebe is a highly influential and charismatic leader in the field of botanic science, exactly the type of person who we want to acknowledge with this award,” Professor Kathy Willis, Director of Science RBG Kew said.

In recognizing his vast contribution, Kew hopes to shine a light on the importance of knowing what plants are in any given country but also what needs to be protected and conserved to protect people`s livelihood too, the Director further elaborated.

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It was mentioned that his work on indigenous plants is “highly significant” for people in the region.

“The RBG Kew was instrumental in providing the base and technical support for the writing up of the flora project,” said Professor Sebsebe Demissew on learning of his award.

“It has been a privilege to be given an opportunity to be trained in systematic botany in Uppsala, Sweden by the Ethiopian flora project.”

The award gives a sense of ownership and it builds image of the Addis Ababa University (AAU) which is the oldest and the highest, higher educational institute in Ethiopia, AAU President Dr. Admassu Tsegaye said.

He added “Professor Sebsebe achieved a very significant achievement and he contributed significantly to the development of biodiversity not only in Ethiopia also for Africa.”

“This award will really help us because we cannot alone create center of excellence in biodiversity, we should collaborate with Kew and other universities.”

The medal is an annual award given to individuals for distinguished, internationally recognized work aligned with the mission of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBGK).

Kew scientists have also worked extensively with Professor Sebsebe Demissew’s team at the Addis Ababa University to document the woody plants of Ethiopia.

Building an understanding of the world`s plants and fungi upon which all our lives depend; doing critical work to achieve global resilience and helping to solve the critical challenges facing humanity are among the criteria for the selection of Kew International Medal award.

Source: ENA
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