Flora Filipina Expo and Conference set in Intramuros and historic landmark Manila Hotel

FLORA Filipina Expo, the first horticultural event showcasing not only the best and rarest of Philippine flora but also the best of Philippine culture and hospitality will be held at the WOW Philippines Complex, Intramuros, Manila, from February 23 to March 6, 2006. It is jointly sponsored by the Philippine Orchid Society and the Philippine Horticultural Society.

Participating in the event are foreign and local exhibitors both
private and commercial. The plants will be coming from all over the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hawaii and other parts of the United States, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, France, and many other countries. A two-day conference entitled "Sustainable Floriculture Industry in Asia'' will be held at the historic landmark Manila Hotel on February 24-25, 2006.

Plants have many uses, such as food, shelter, and clothing,
medicine, and raw materials for industry. The Philippines has some 8,000 varieties of plants, about 50 percent of which are endemic.

But the Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has also declared the country one of the 25 so-called "bio-diversity hotspots'' in the world. Of the 11,046
endangered and extinct plant and animal species documented in 112 countries, 932 or nine percent are or have been in the Philippines.

The Philippines has the world's fourth highest number of threatened species, after Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. With regards to species that have become extinct or are threatened with extinction, the Philippines is tops in Southeast and South Asia. The country has 318 extinct or endangered animals and 227 extinct or endangered plants.

The holding of the first Flora Filipina Expo, besides showcasing the best and rarest of Philippine plants, also brings to the awareness of the public what we stand to lose forever if we fail to protect and conserve the country's flora and fauna.

We congratulate the Philippine Orchid Society headed by its
President Kelvin Neil B. Manubay and the Philippine Horticultural Society led by its President Peter Joseph B. Nepomuceno, its other Officers and Members, and wish the participants of the Flora Filipina Expo and Conference success.