Re: plant smuggling solution

Bruyninckx (
Tue, 18 Apr 1995 15:43:50 +0200

Cliff wrote :
>Unregulated collection in the past may have done damage, however the real
>threat is habitat destruction,...

Dream on. Unregulated collecting is still going on (for orchids, cacti,
CP's, animals of all kinds, in short, anything that brings in a lot of
cash). Habitat destruction is for many collectors their way of sweettalking
their actions.
The trouble is the mentality. Many an amateur will prefer a wild plant, even
though it might die within a week(!) above a cultivated one.
In our orchid nursery we experience a lot of these situations. If only we
could make our in vitro orchid seedlings look like wild collected plants
then we could ask 3 to 4 times more for our plants and we would sell them a
lot quicker. If only we could !!!!

and also :
>For those species that are still relatively common it is unfortunate
>that CITES regulations could not be eased for LIMITED collection of
>cuttings only, without the red tape.

Sure, everybody wants CITES regulations to ease up. But is it really
worth it ? Why does CITES fail ?

Suppose the rules are amended to the following situation :
collecting of plants (no matter which CITES appendix they're on) is allowed
only when :

1) the tree on which they are growing has fallen down. 2) or the
habitat has been destroyed

Now, most people will obey this rule, but it won't be long before some
unscrupulous collector (amateur of tradesman) will come along and start
pushing trees down in order to collect the plants.

Most people DO obey the rules, it is a shame that not all of us do ! That's
why the CITES regulations are so hard.

Limited collection will not solve the problem. What is limited ? 10 cuttings
per year, 100, 1000 ? Who will tell ! Would you like if you went out to SE
Asia just to find out that the last cuttings for this year had been sold out
yesterday ?

Michael Chamberland wrote :
>I wonder if the love of these plants has driven many (any) people to
>move to the country in question, and to act locally toward preserving
>habitat (perhaps by buying up land...)

I know at this present of one such private effort in Brazil for orchid
The trouble is that although National Parks exist in many of these
countries, the plundering goes on relentlessly. For instance : one of the
rarer orchids Paphiopedilum rothshildianum was reproduced in vitro in a
German lab and later transferred back to its homeland Mount Kinabalu. It
didn't take long after planting before the seedlings were robbed and
transported out of Malaysia. So far for the conservation plan.

Stop buying collected plants, that's all !

Kenneth Bruyninckx
Akerne Orchids
Laarsebeekdreef 4
B-2900 Schoten
tel : Int'l + 32-3-651.40.36
fax : Int'l + 32-3-653.06.76
e-mail :