There are a lot of hot issues surrounding the cultivation of rare plants. Collection and import regulations are becoming stricter. There are laws that prevent the removal of plants from the wild without proper permission. There are laws that govern what can be done with a rare plant once permission has been obtained to remove the plant from the wild.
Some rare plants are allowed to be taken into cultivated situations for the purpose of studying the plant but since they cannot be put into commercial production does this really help increase the population or simply put the rare plant in more danger of becoming extinct?
Many people believe that a plant should simply be left alone in the wild to fend for itself. Many issues come into play with this belief including trying to figure out what made the plant become rare and endangered in the first place. Plant thieves, animals or the destruction of their natural habitat are just a few reasons a plant could become rare in its native habitat.
Once a group of rare plants are found is it ethical to disclose the location of the plants? This opens yet another can of worms. It is a known fact that many plants have been removed from their habitat by various people and are now considered extinct. Re-introducing a species into the wild has its drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is the possibility that the plant may not adapt to being re-introduced into the wild after being in cultivation.
Once a plant is classified as rare and endangered many regulations come into play. Those regulations that are meant to protect the plants do not always work. Once a plant makes it to the rare and endangered list the price for the plant has become so high that it is a natural target for thieves. It also limits the research that can be done on the plant due to the high cost of permits and the legal restrictions on what can be done with the plant once the research is done.
One idea that has been considered is to require many of these plants to be destroyed once the research is done but again what purpose would this serve other than to destroy more plants that were already on the rare and endangered list? It seems it would make more sense to allow the plant to be cultivated and then introduced into the trade.
While owning a rare plant that is blooming size is everyone’s wish sometimes starting with seed is the best way to go. Regulations on seed collecting do exist. Depending on where you are you may need to get an import permit to bring seed into your country. There are issues that could be talked about with seed collection as well but for now those issues will not be discussed.
What is the better way to go collecting seeds or collecting live plants? How can the governments involved make it easier to get these plants into cultivation? Would that process make the theft of the plants less likely? Well, I think we all know the answers to these questions but how do we get the lawmakers to listen? That is the challenge I leave you with today.