Last May 22, the tribute to the founder of the Jardín Botánico de Viera y Clavijo took place on the 50th anniversary of his death
Eric Ragnar Sventenius was the Swedish botanist who founded the Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo and was also its first director
“The impact that the work of Sventenius has had on the Island went beyond the mere collection and care of our natural heritage. It was a stimulus that coincided with the first ‘green revolution’ of Gran Canaria, when the recovery of the forest crown began after centuries of overexploitation, parallel to the implementation by the Cabildo of the construction of the network of dams and numerous works to stop erosion“, said the president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales.
Inés Jiménez Martín, vice-president and councilor for the Environment of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, took part in the event, which was held in the Botanical Garden itself; Cristòfol Jordà, president of the Carl Faust Foundation, manager of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden; Antonio Morales Méndez, president of the Cabildo; Julia Pérez de Paz, botanist, disciple and collaborator of Sventenius, former head of research at the Canario Botanical Garden; Juli Caujapé Castells, biologist, director of the Jardín Botánico Canario “Viera y Clavijo” in Las Palmas and host of the events; and Arnoldo Santos Guerra, botanist specializing in Canarian flora, disciple and collaborator of Sventenius, former head of the Botanical Unit of the Jardín de Aclimatación de La Orotava, in Tenerife.
Several talks were held during the event, among which the Carl Faust Foundation participated with a few words from Cristòfol Jordà on the impact of Sventenius on the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, where he worked as a gardener and botanist from 1935 to 1940. Also, he was a close collaborator of Carl Faust who was given, among other things, the hapless task of leading the Marimurtra Botanical Garden through the Spanish Civil War, a task he did successfully while ensuring its survival.
After the parliaments, a video was shown about the life and work of Sventenius made by the Department of Environmental Education of the Botanical Garden of Gran Canaria and finally a toast was made and the participating members were presented with the work Flora de Gran Canaria de Günter and Mary Ann Kunkel.
The tribute is celebrated throughout this year with several actions, one of which took place at the Marimurtra Botanical Garden in February to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo, in Gran Canaria, and the 50th anniversary of the death of its creator.