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Vanda ustii

This is a discussion on Vanda ustii within the Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Originally Posted by Hoa Tony Nguyen Educating the general public is the key and of ...

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  1. #11
    Rence is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoa Tony Nguyen
    Educating the general public is the key and of course trying to figure out a way for people to utilize the lands to make a living without destroying nature is the way to go, i.e. co-inhabitation with nature! In the US, we got this problems all the times (not just in the Phillippines) ... The point is with developing countries, people there must realize at some point that their natural wonders and resources are the best things they got and not everything must be sacrificed for economic development. Once nature got destroyed, culture and civilization will be gone with the way of the Mayans and the ancient Khmer.
    The big problem is that most commerical nurseries opted not to make any effort in cultivating outstanding native species which are already on the brink of extinction , I think there are some Like Puentespina and Derling orchids in Davao which was able to mass produced Vanda sanderiana and its varieties but for a lot of local nurseries -they still rely on the jungle collectors to supply them with plants . And many orchids from the highlands are being bought, exchange in most weekend markets like the ones in Quezon City, FTI in Taguig.

    I may also be one of the guilty parties and to some extent even NTGerald since we but them from these collectors.Because if the buying stops the plundering and collecting would somehow also stop.

    But somehow by these small efforts that the conservation group of the POS is doing there is still hope that these endless cycle would somehow be minimized. Local floriculture industry is still lagging behind other countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia , Taiwan.
    Most people would appreciate the hybrids rather than the native orchids that are forund in the Philippines , There are over 1,320 orchids that could be seen in the country but what had happened to the various National parks in the country?

    They are still rampant illegal logging, kaingin (slash and burn ) illegal collecting and over collecting of these wonderful orchids . In my case I do not built any shade houses but try to incorporate orchids in our garden stimulating a more natural landscape for my orchids and preferrably natural live trees and palms will be a nice host for these orchids!

    Thanks! Just my one cent opinion !

  2. #12
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    Default Lively debate here....

    The so-called developed countries could help us, too.

    For example, at the dawn market, if one does not buy a piece or two of what is for sale, everything will be bought by Taiwanese, Koreans, and Europeans or north Americans. I suspect more than 90% of the poached plants end up abroad.

    Last year 10 big boxes of forest-gathered plants from the Philippines were intercepted at the Miami airport. Hearsay is that bigger shipments before that were not intercepted. This has been going on for years! Now, no Philippine hobbyist buys plants by the thousands like that.

    The people who order Philippine plants like that from North America, Europe, Thailand, Korea, and Taiwan know that the plants have been poached. Surely no hobbyist in those countries purchase in bulk like that! Who orders them, then? BIG BUSINESS, OR COURSE! Huge nurseries! These people buy, knowing fully well where the plants came from!

    Several years down the road, species plants shall be offered by these nurseries for sale to the general public. By that time, they would have been flask-propagated already from the original plants. Or, the original plants do not look poached anymore, and can be offered for sale with impunity.

    For many of the forest dwellers, gathering (sustainable or not) may be the only means of sending their children to school, eating three meals a day, providing a roof over their heads, etc...

    If gathering is done to provide Philippine breeders with stockplants, I think forests will have a chance to replenish plants (The same can be said for gathering from legitimate logging concessions, where plants are obtained from felled trees). If Western, Taiwanese, Thai, and Korean nurseries order more than 20 or even 100s of times the volume needed by Philippine breeders and hobbyists, then all is lost.

    Every year when the Philippine budget is made, about half ( I am not sure of the exact amount) goes to debt servicing primarily to the World Bank and to the IMF.
    Where do you think the government will obtain the money to pay forest rangers, to guard against poachers?

    For developing countries, the issue is complex.

    In the meantime, my first wish is for western nurseries, Thais, Taiwanese, and Koreans to stop buying forest-gathered Philippine plants.

    As with the drugs of abuse trade, the issues have several sides to them. Coca plants and opium poppies wouldnt be planted in huge numbers by mountain people (of Afghanistan and South America) if people from abroad do not create a demand for them.
    Isnt forest-poaching for orchids the same thing?

    Perhaps my post would generate hostile replies, I don't know...Maybe it helps to look at issues from different sides, don't you think?

    ( N.B. For the past several years, the budget allocation for state universities has been decreasing. As associate professor (part time in the state university school of medicine, I receive a monthly salary of the equivalent of US$200. That is how cash-strapped the country is! I have to work in three other hospitals to survive decently. I went back to my country after training abroad because I belong here, my friends and relatives are here. When I die I will be buried in the land that gave birth to me, sustained me, and looks up to me to train the future generation to negotiate for their existence. )

  3. #13
    Rence is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntgerald
    The so-called developed countries could help us, too.

    For example, at the dawn market, if one does not buy a piece or two of what is for sale, everything will be bought by Taiwanese, Koreans, and Europeans or north Americans. I suspect more than 90% of the poached plants end up abroad.

    Last year 10 big boxes of forest-gathered plants from the Philippines were intercepted at the Miami airport. Hearsay is that bigger shipments before that were not intercepted. This has been going on for years! Now, no Philippine hobbyist buys plants by the thousands like that.

    The people who order Philippine plants like that from North America, Europe, Thailand, Korea, and Taiwan know that the plants have been poached. Surely no hobbyist in those countries purchase in bulk like that! Who orders them, then? BIG BUSINESS, OR COURSE! Huge nurseries! These people buy, knowing fully well where the plants came from!

    Several years down the road, species plants shall be offered by these nurseries for sale to the general public. By that time, they would have been flask-propagated already from the original plants. Or, the original plants do not look poached anymore, and can be offered for sale with impunity.

    For many of the forest dwellers, gathering (sustainable or not) may be the only means of sending their children to school, eating three meals a day, providing a roof over their heads, etc...

    If gathering is done to provide Philippine breeders with stockplants, I think forests will have a chance to replenish plants (The same can be said for gathering from legitimate logging concessions, where plants are obtained from felled trees). If Western, Taiwanese, Thai, and Korean nurseries order more than 20 or even 100s of times the volume needed by Philippine breeders and hobbyists, then all is lost.

    Every year when the Philippine budget is made, about half ( I am not sure of the exact amount) goes to debt servicing primarily to the World Bank and to the IMF.
    Where do you think the government will obtain the money to pay forest rangers, to guard against poachers?

    For developing countries, the issue is complex.

    In the meantime, my first wish is for western nurseries, Thais, Taiwanese, and Koreans to stop buying forest-gathered Philippine plants.

    As with the drugs of abuse trade, the issues have several sides to them. Coca plants and opium poppies wouldnt be planted in huge numbers by mountain people (of Afghanistan and South America) if people from abroad do not create a demand for them.
    Isnt forest-poaching for orchids the same thing?

    Perhaps my post would generate hostile replies, I don't know...Maybe it helps to look at issues from different sides, don't you think?

    ( N.B. For the past several years, the budget allocation for state universities has been decreasing. As associate professor (part time in the state university school of medicine, I receive a monthly salary of the equivalent of US$200. That is how cash-strapped the country is! I have to work in three other hospitals to survive decently. I went back to my country after training abroad because I belong here, my friends and relatives are here. When I die I will be buried in the land that gave birth to me, sustained me, and looks up to me to train the future generation to negotiate for their existence. )
    I know that issue, Sus I saw a tray full of phal equestris last February 5 being reserved for a well-known orchid grower as some orchid hobbyist had bought some plants but the rest had already been reserved.
    The answer , They all end up abroad.

    Most of the plants being sold in the sunday market ends up abroad ! As a member of the POS conservation group we study the flower of the orchids and were do these orchids had orginate. Sadly some local orchid hobbyists cannot distinguish a lowland and a highland orchids like the one being sold in the sunday market with a lot of Dendrobium sanderae ( a highland species) being sold at a mere P50 pesos with flowers!

    BTW sana you will find a time to share with the conservation group your pictures because we are also busy catalogue and taking pictures of Philippines orchid species , we need a helping hand in doing it.

    On march 25, 2006 I think we will be having a meeting in Manila Orchidarium maybe to plant orchids and talk about conservation .
    Sad to say that a lot of orchids that the group had planted before in La Mesa Dam, Manila Orchidarium had either been killed by the staff, sold or in some cases lost by theft.

    I hope you can make it!

    Here is my e-mail : L_rence_2003@yahoo.com

  4. #14
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    The problem is we can not stop illegal poaching of native plants (or animals) regardless of where it is happening. So we can not wish for nurseries in Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Europe or US to stop buying jungle-collected plants. People in developing countries have to eat so they will collect plants to sell (for $2 apiece and just imagine, a dozen of these plants are enough to feed their entire family for a week, maybe more!) and people in rich countries who have time and money will always want to buy these plants and they will be willing to pay $20-100 apiece if not several thousands of dollars for these treasures. The incentive for profit is so strong that these unfair and detrimental trades will continue.

    The problem I see is there is no other source for these plants with competitive prices! As long as it is dirt cheap to get these jungle plants, who will bother with artificially-propagated plants? However, there are solutions, I believe. Lot of times, it all depends on the ingenuity of people. For example, in the orchid circle over here, there has been a growing movement in developed countries not to buy jungle collected plants. We can cater to this movement by labeling your plants as "laboratory propagated". Lot of people will buy plants from you as I judge it from my orchid societies' sentiments over here. So it is a matter of marketing!
    But we need an alternative source of these plants from the jungle. Every time I go to orchid shows here in the US, I always visit a vendor from Ecuador. Most of his plants are species and native species from that country and all of them are laboratory-propagated! He is the VP for his orchid company in Ecuador and I have seen their labs, they employ lot of people there! People got employed so they don't have to collect plants from the jungle and the prices are cheap enough that there is almost no incentive to grab plants from the jungle! And they export their orchids all over the places! Why can't the Phillippines with its rich orchid flora have something like that? The solution does not neccessarily have to come from the government! You can be the solution for this problem! That is what I mean as "enterpreneurship!
    I have to say that I do want a piece of your plants. I have never heard of or seen Vanda ustii ever before seeing here through your pictures. We are your markets if you have products to sell to us. We will be happy to plunk down $5 for a seedling and I do that all the times. Tim wants your plants and I figure most of us here want them as well.
    Professional people in developing countries do not get paid enough, letting alone embarking on rather risky ventures as the ones I suggested. But hey, someone got to take the risk. The strength of one person is rarely enough but many people pooling resources together might be able to pull it off. You have plants and definitely you can start by selling flasks, they can be exported without paperwork! A connection/partnership with nurseries in the US will take it to the next level. Need introduction? I can do that for you!
    Cheers. Hoa.
    Last edited by Hoa Tony Nguyen; March 16th, 2006 at 03:09 AM.

  5. #15
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    Perhaps some of the members who enjoy this forum could form a group to help Nelson and his comrades to start such a venture. I am glad to hear you are proud of your nationality and your country. Everyone should be able to say the same about their homeland. I am blessed to be born in USA. I would be willing to try to work with you and Hoa to set up some connections with US growers and get some trade established.

    Nelson, it just is heartbreaking to hear how little you earn. No wonder so many Phillipinos end up in other countries, sending money back home. Many of my coworkers do just that. Don't get discouraged, there are many people in all coutries who do care what happens in the Phillipines and other developing countries. It's just hard for us to even understand what it is like for you. And we sure as heck don't know what's best for anyone else - we don't often know what is best for ourselves! But perhaps we can start an effort here.

    What do you think?

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    Hi to all, Actually I am already part of the POS conservation committe and we had this Booth during the last Flora Filipina expo (booth #17 )
    And people walking or passing by in our booth say that the conservation group needs more budget .

    I hope to post one of our group picture here.

  7. #17
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    Ok, so I've been having this crazy idea since getting home last night...

    Dartmouth's collection is impressive, but at the end of the day what is it besides a private collection on hormones ...er...a...auxins... I'd like to see a college of Dartmouth's stature and where-with-all to take on larger role promoting and protecting wild natural resources world wide.

    Yet, as several have expressed, it's not our role to tell other countries how run their resource management. So...we use the backdoor - we do it through education! How difficult could it be for well-funded biology dept, with access to medical school facilities, to set up propagation program? [Hoa - you could best answer this, I suspect.]

    I envision with universities and scientists in countries such as the Philippenes or Costa Rica, etc. collecting seeds, which can be shipped to the U.S. At the college, flasking programs are set up initially, and later a cloning program. Flasks of seedlings could be then returned to the native countries, through the universities or select breeders for distribution as locally befitting. All the while here, visiting undergrad and graduate students (some from other countries) are being trained in these techniques.

    Just my late night musings...

    Julie

  8. #18
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    An interesting idea - - but if we want to gain some economic benefit to the people of the phillipines, we need to make this a profit oriented effort. We could certainly enlist the universities in the Phillipines to provide flasking for fee, and then if we could make a connection with large growers in the US who would buy the flasks and then market the seedlings as "Grown from seed/clone" and "Not collected from the wild", well then we would be giving money to the universities, money to those who collect the seeds or material for cloning from thier collections of native plants, money to those who manage the selling and shipping of flasks to the US, and we help raise awareness in the US about the problem of illegally harvested plants and provide a way for them to get plants that were not harvested.

    Hmmm I really like to see if we could make this happen....Nelson, Rence ? Others?

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    I was thinking that by providing flasks of seedlings back to the source countries, you could satisfy the demand for cheap plants and lessen the financial motivation to wild collect.

    Julie

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    Julie, very nice thoughts!!!

    However, as we sitting in our office over here, if we want to be part of these conservation efforts/or whatever we want to call it, I believe we should come up with solutions that will benefit local people. That was what I suggested at the beginning and I totally agree with Diane about this.
    Many american universities, especially the top biology departments in the country, they do not concentrate their research efforts in this area, they are more concerned with stem cells, with developmental biology, with neurobiology, with genetic engineering, with genomics and proteomics and the likes. These conservation lines of work tend to fall into botany/plant biology departments and there are not many of those in US. I would not say universities in US don't put up conservation efforts but from what I have seen so far, it appears that they do that mostly in the American continent. There are logistics/governmental problems to do this in other countries, especially in Asia.
    It is best to have these services/ventures done in the developing countries. The technologies involved are not difficult ones and any decent microbiology departments at any local universities should be able to do this. However, it is more than propagating plants from seeds. Structures/ventures must also be devised to provide incentives for these propagation efforts to continue and prosper. Hence, these "products" must be consumed somewhere and as such, it will provide feedback money to sustain the efforts and to provide benefits to people. A 3-4 way joint venture is probably the most comprehensive and have the best chance. Local universities could provide the initial set-up and expertise for seed sowing and meristeming, while the local private sectors (ranging from people like Nelson to the local jungle plant collecting people, they could set up a co-op or a corporation to do this, and we, private and concerned citizens of the US could be part of that as well by providing seed funding/technical and legal advice/connection) would do the plant/seed pods collecting, propagating and exporting. A partnership with nurseries in consuming countries (US, Europe) will complete the circle and channel the gain back to the origin countries. Eventually, I would like to see that consuming countries will import mature, seed-grown and nursery-raised plants, not just flasks and seedlings. As such, local people have to do all/most of the works and that means sustainable and steady jobs for local people. US/European nurseries will act more like distribution networks! The impact on the local economy would be more substantial and the need for jungle collecting will diminish!

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