A Wollemi Pine will go on display in the grounds of a major museum in Mumbai after a sapling was gifted to the museum by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell during his official visit to India earlier this month.
The Wollemi Pine is one of the world’s oldest and rarest tree species and was only discovered 10 years ago by a bushwalker in NSW.
The young pine was planted during a ceremony at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum attended by Maharashtra State MPs, Minister Suresh Shetty, Legislative Assembly Speaker Mr Dilip Walse Patil, and Legislative Council Chairman Mr Shivraj Deshmukh.
“I am grateful to Mumbai officials who have allowed this rare and endangered species to be grown inside the museum compound,” he said.
“We encourage people and organisations to grow the Wollemi Pine in an attempt to conserve it because introduced diseases are threatening its survival.
“We know there are fewer than 100 Wollemi Pines growing in the wild and the species is listed as critically endangered.
“Having a Wollemi Pine planted in Mumbai’s museum allows us to reach further afield and raise awareness about why this plant needs to be protected against extinction.”
The Premier requested the Wollemi Pine from the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, which procured the gift for the journey to Mumbai.
Scientists from the Gardens were involved in identifying the tree after NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service officer David Noble discovered it in 1994.
Mr O’Farrell visited Maharashtra during his week-long visit to India where he met with Chief Minister Mr Prithviraj Chavan to discuss the next stages of the NSW-Maharashtra sister-state memorandum of understanding.