by Sergio Araujo
During the interview with Lou Menezes, we talked about harvest of natives species and this took me to ask my self about how this question is seen by the government and orchids growers in general.
Should this question examined only by the point of view of the quantity of plants collected? Is the harvest of five or six species less harmful (or more tolerable) than the harvest of a big quantity?
I think a decision should be taken and after take this decision, we must stop to beat about the bush. Regardless of the quantity, should the harvest be done or not? If only one person collects 300 specimens or if 30 persons collect just 10 specimens, the damage will be the same.
Who still care if this or that orchid still grows in this or that habitat?
Many orchids which are nowadays cultivated in greenhouses have nothing to with those which remained in their habitats. Inside the greenhouses, the conditions remain unchangeable or are adapted in order to induce more beautiful color or rounder form flowers. If they had stayed in their habitat, the echo-system conditions should be varied along of the time therefore the plants should certainly have been developed in another way.
Comparing some species which we can still appreciate in their habitat with the specimens growing in the greenhouses, we can very well verify the differences between them. Examining it by the nature point of view, how to name it? Evolution or deformation?
In the other side, if it hadn't had some harvest, numerous species could be extinct.
However how to decide if this or that orchid should be collected and then reproduced?
By the quantity available in the habitat?
By the menace of the habitat destruction?
Or because they are in an easy accessible place and, as a result, can be collected for "any one"?
But if this preservation is mainly done by commercial growers with commercial purposes? This will be enough to justify the harvest? Would they collect, professing preservation, a species which hasn't appeal to sell?
Considering the scanty(?) financial resources appropriated by the government for the preservation activities, should this duty be done by governmental institutions?
It would, certainly, be the correct way but in reality we know that is pure illusion.
May be people with recognized botanical knowledge (commercial growers or not) could have permission of collecting menaced species provided they inform the government the event and present a written report concerning the description, the habitat, the degree of extinction menace and so on. Thus, it would be possible to do an official register of those orchids and their habitat as it would be more safe to a collector to account for the government instead of being punished even with jail.
Since it is evident that is impossible to control the harvest, which should be only done by scientific researcher organizations, how to difference the "good" from the "bad" one?
Where is the true?