Kew could offer help to re-energise Australia's biodiversity, says minister

Ministers hope experts from Kew will help to re-energise parts of Australia devastated by wildfires.

The Foreign Office's Heather Wheeler expressed her hope of the UK offering such assistance when asked by Conservative Peter Gibson to outline the help available to recover the "precious habitats".

Fires across southern Australia have claimed at least 33 lives since September, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and razed more than 26.2 million acres.

Wildfires burn out of control near Canberra Credit: AP

One of the pieces of work that we're doing hopefully with Australia is on biodiversity specifically, and on seeds. We're hoping to work with Kew so that the re-energising of this biodiversity area that's been so badly affected will come to fruition, if I can use that word, and it's excellent that our experts will be working completely hand-in-hand with the Australian authorities.

Heather Wheeler, Foreign Office