Experts, tech-focused firms tie-up to boost plant conservation

By Joann Villanueva

September 23, 2021, 3:08 pm

MANILA – Plants conservationists have teamed up with firms that promote the use of technological innovations to encourage more people to protect endemic plants in the country.
In an online briefing Wednesday night, Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc. (PNPCSI) vice president David Justin Ples said the tie-up aims to provide additional online sources, among others, that the public can access to inform them about diversity in the country and help them become citizen scientists. 
Aside from the planned citizen scientists mobile application that aims to connect people to conservation bids, the partnership also intends to tokenize native trees and carbon sinks, as well as develop video tours on rainforests. 
“Our country’s greatest treasures, our competitive advantage, the asset that we have that no one else has also happened to be our best-kept secret. We have so much incredible diversity endemic to our forests, totally unique to us that it exists but a lot of people aren’t aware that it exists and it doesn’t come to mind at all during the everyday experience,” Ples said. 
He said the plan is to start with one or two pilot sites for nature walks. 
“But ultimately, these video tours are to replicate the PNPCSI’s tree-walk experience to take Filipinos into our forests and protect (them) in order for us to see these amazing and vibrant living beings up close and personal,” he added.
Ples said they intend to collaborate with companies and local governments to compare these videos with the actual settings to encourage the public to become part of biodiversity care and conservation. 
“As more individuals and communities become enchanted by our native flora, we want to show Filipinos that anyone can participate in plant conservation. So you don’t have to be a botanist to contribute to the body of knowledge that we’re trying to grow. Anyone can be a citizen scientist,” he added. (PNA)