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Orchid Conservation to Empowering Papua’s Natural Wealth

by Senaman
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Orchids are one of the many ornamental plants that have their own beauty value for those who love them. Scattered wild plants in these forests have beautiful flower petals that vary in color depending on the species. Papua, with its surrounding forest vegetation, is also home to half of Indonesia’s orchid species. Papua is not only called an orchid paradise at home. There are so many species of orchids in Papua that there are species that have not been identified and have no names. Papuan orchids are highly sought after by ornamental collectors. It is sought after not only by domestic but also foreign collectors.

The sustainability of natural orchid diversity in Papua is strongly supported by various factors, such as community empowerment through consultation and education, as well as strengthening laws and policies. Community funding to monitor indigenous Papuan orchids around them and in their natural habitat is still very limited. A sustainable effort is necessary for society to conserve the biological resources of orchids of various types and colors. Distributed throughout the world, the natural charm of Papua orchids makes them highly sought after by consumers such as collectors and ornamental plant dealers.

Orchid conservation is one of the activities that Papuans must think about. Of course, conservation activities include not only cultivation, but also the care and recording of orchid species in Papua. This is to ensure that orchids in Papua do not extinct and that their origin is clear. Papuan orchids are often crossed with orchids from other regions to produce more attractive orchid colors. However, because of this, Papuan orchids lost their authenticity. Not to mention that collecting data on orchid species will make it easier for people in Papua to care for named orchids. It also includes naming orchids that have not been identified.

The conservation of orchid cultivation is very beneficial because orchid cultivation can create a beautiful atmosphere and help preserve the surrounding environment. Planting orchids is not only to enjoy the beauty of flowers, but also to create business opportunities, because the selling price of orchids is quite high.

Conservation success must be monitored through training and mentoring programs, as well as monitoring and evaluation, until the community becomes self-sufficient and capable of managing non-timber biological resources. The wealth of biological resources of orchids is very diverse, most of them are still neglected and underutilized, especially for species that are quite difficult to find in their natural environment and are often hunted for various purposes such as exhibitions and cultivation.

Strengthening efforts must be supported by various countries. Conservastion must also be made to protect Papua’s native orchids so that orchid resources remain available, as the forests still contain the natural resources necessary for future sustainability. Community participation in orchid protection and community empowerment needs to be further increased.

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