Orchid farming in canopy forests stressed

swinging: Edward Morrell of International Canopy Access (ICA) demonstrating tree climbing at 5th International Canopy Conference in Bangalore on Tuesday. DH Photo

Margaret D Lowman, Tropical Rainforest Canopy Biologist elaborated on canopies for ecosystem services, ecotourism and education in her lecture. Explaining  the canopies for ecosystem services in Cameroon, Margaret said that despite the research in the forests, there was a dire need to help local people residing the inhabitants. “It was a challenge to get parents to botany classes in the nights to teach them about the orchid cultivation in the canopy forests. The orchid farming was one of ways to help local people with the epiphyte cultivation for sustainability”.

Citing a case study of the church forests in Ethiopia, Margaret said that the country possess 31,000 church forests ranging from three hectares to  3,000 hectares in extent. “Church forests are forests around the religious institutions. These church forests are surrounded by air farmlands. The encroachment of the church forests has become a menace in Ethiopia. The church forest were rich source of fresh water springs, mineral rich soil and an abode to various rare species of insects” Margaret said.

She explained about the various equipment used in the canopy  research like walkways, canopy raft, cranes, indigenous ladders and canopy aircrafts used extensively for research in forests. Margaret added that ultimately ‘no child left indoors’ was the mantra to take the inheritance of forests to the future generations.

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