Greece-Turkey Wild Orchids Platform Project implemented under the Civil Society Dialogue Programme is building a bridge between Turkey and Greece for the conservation of endangered wild orchids.
Sails for Science from Germany is working with Antalya Orkidelerini ve Biyolojik Çeşitliliği Koruma Derneği and Greek Nature Protection Society for the implementation of the project. The orchid tubers are collected unconsciously to get salep which is the main ingredient of ice-cream consumed more especially in summer and this results in the extinction of orchids.
The number of orchids unrestrainedly collected in Aegean, Mediterranean, West Black Sea and Southeastern Anatolia Regions are almost 100 million annually, sometimes more. This endangers the existence of 170 orchid types in Turkey.
The first steps of the project which aims to conserve the endangered orchids through the collaboration of Turkish and Greek experts, were taken in Samos Island, Greece. During the first activity, presentations were given about the orchids from which salep. Field work was conducted. The team observed the current situation of the endangered Himantoglossum comperianum in Turkey.
The project aims to create a numerical database and a platform for the orchid types in Turkey and Greece. It is planned to develop the collaboration and information flow among public, scientists, institutions and civil society organizations for creating awareness on the subject. Under the scope of the project, studies will be conducted to ensure that the orchids in Turkey protected as mentioned in the European Union Environmental Legislation and common protocols with Turkish institutions will be established.
For more information, please visit www.eastmedorchids.org