To conserve the threatened plants in the country, the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB-CFNR) implemented a program to save threatened species of plants from possible extinction.
Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the program aims to support the efforts of the Philippine government in saving endangered species of plants through ex situ conservation.
According to Dr. Edwino Fernando, program leader, his team has provided a source for ex-situ genetic resource living collections of threatened Philippine plants and developed conservation protocols through propagation and field establishment. Specifically, their team has collected, documented, and propagated 46 species distributed in 20 families, with a total of 150 plant individuals. They also planted 225 seedlings of threatened species for the theme gardens dedicated to threatened Philippines plant species.
The inventory of threatened species in Makiling Botanical Garden (MBG), one of the project sites, showed a total of 2,135 plants distributed in 109 species and 44 families.
Under project 2, their team has developed a geodatabase of the theme gardens and a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based map of the plant collection site within MBG. They also encoded the specimen-plant attributes in GIS.
With the results of the program, it is hoped that environmental education and level of awareness on the importance of conserving and protecting threatened Philippines plants are strengthened. (Eirene Grace Z. Arcayos, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services)