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UK plans to embed its pavilion with seeds

THE United Kingdom will embed more than 60,000 seeds, which can be planted after the World Expo 2010, into the structure of its pavilion to urge people to protect natural species from extinction.

The UK Expo team yesterday signed a contract with the Expo organizer to participate in Expo Online. The country also updated its Expo pavilion design, which will be an open gift box "from Britain to the Chinese people."

The seeds will be put inside 60,000 needle-like protrusions covering the surface of the 6,000-square-meter pavilion. The seeds will be well-protected and will not grow during the 184-day event, said Carma Elliot, British consul general in Shanghai.

The seeds demonstrate the concept of sustainability, the diversity of nature and urge people to protect the environment for future generations, Elliot said.

The idea promotes the Millennium Seed Bank Project, an international conservation project launched by the country's Royal Botanic Gardens in 2000. It is designed to provide an insurance policy against the extinction of plants in the wild by storing seeds for future use. The project aims to collect seeds from 24,000 species of plants by 2010.

The UK team is choosing seeds for the pavilion from a seed bank in Kunming, Yunnan Province, which is the Chinese branch of the project, Elliot said, adding they are still considering how to use the seeds after the Expo ends.

The UK Pavilion - "A Pavilion of Ideas" - will look like a huge "light box" with thousands of needle-like protrusions tipped with tiny colored lights to display images. Construction on the pavilion began in March.


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