HAVANA. The prestigious New York Natural History Museum is interested in establishing closer ties with Cuba through research, educational and museological programs on the extraordinary biodiversity of the Caribbean island.
Doctor Ana Luz Porzencanski, Biodiversity and Conservation director of the American Natural History Museum told Prensa Latina in Havana that “we would like to continue to build upon longstanding ties with the National Museum of Cuba”.
The expert recently attended a symposium of natural history museums in the Cuban Capital’s Palace of Conventions during the X International Environment and Development Convention.
Dr. Porzencanski said that “the Natural history Museum of Cuba has, throughout its own history, played a fundamental part in bringing together specialists of the highest caliber who engage in international collaborations and contribute to research on a worldwide basis”.
She added that their publications do not relate exclusively to Cuban material, but they are also of interest to the global scientific community, maintaining international collaborations and playing a key educational role in learning about the extraordinary biodiversity of Cuba, through their exhibitions and educational programs.
She noted how “in spite of the longstanding significant challenges faced, the museum continues to be an institution which is vital, creative and essential for the Cuban society”.
Porzencanski highlighted the commitment and dedication of the professionals at the museums to society, to learning, education and to the conservation of such institutions.
During the course of the symposium, the executive of Uruguayan origin emphasized the cultural heritage value of the collections, explaining that their practical value can be enriching to the point of developing new methods of investigation.
She added that specimen collections have today become resting places for past environments, and as such, records of genetic material and the changes in many of the Earth’s ecosystems.
They allow us to undertake research unimaginable ten years ago, to better understand, what is happening in the ecosystems of our world, such as the advances of exotic invasive species.
She explained how the spiritually humble and independent American Natural History Museum of New York manages an important 33 million piece portfolio of scientific specimens and artefacts exhibited in 45 permanent exhibition halls.
She said that amongst their current temporary exhibitions there is one dedicated to natural disasters, understanding the meteorological aspects of cyclones and tornadoes.
Another special exhibition: “Life on the edge” demonstrates the unique characteristics for living in extreme conditions of certain organisms.
Dr. Ana Luz Porzencanski pointed out that over the past 10 years, 250,000 school children benefited from the institution’s free educational programs.Share on FB Share on TT