Orchids: A Conservation Story at Tangs Orchard

To celebrate 2010 being the Year of Biodiversity, as well as the upcoming Singapore Garden Festival in July, three green organisations – Tangs, Clarins and NParks – have come together to promote the conservation of rare orchid species in Singapore. This is also in conjunction with the ongoing Tangs Green Effort (the same scheme that gave rise to the departmental store’s recycling program).

To mark the collaboration, a cultivated tiger orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum) was planted on a mature tree in front of Tangs Orchard.

The departmental store has also been transformed into an orchid paradise. From now till 3 June 2010, shoppers will be able to view several rare orchid species at Levels 2 to 4.

Why is Clarins involved? Well, not only is it a green cosmetic brand with its fair trade practice and careful use of botanicals, one of its beauty oils is also derived from orchids: Clarins Face Treatment Oil in Blue Orchid. I tried it at the counter and loved its scent; I also liked how it gave my skin a velvety texture.

Orchids…beautiful flowers, they are.

According to Tangs:

Based on records, there were over 220 species of wild orchids in Singapore. But with development over the years, many species have become extinct.

Today, only 48 species still survive in the wild. Out of these 48 orchid species, 43 are either critically endangered or rare. Only 5 are common. The National Parks Board (NParks), the custodian of greenery in Singapore, has taken the lead to cultivate and mass propagate wild orchid species to introduce them into the cityscape.

With the help of local orchid experts, NParks has set up the Orchid Conservation Fund, which aims to raise awareness of conservation of orchid species in Singapore. Donations to this fund will be used to propagate and reintroduce rare and endangered orchid species back into the streets of our Garden City. Over time, these orchids should regenerate on their own.

The public can contribute to this worthy conservation effort by placing donations of any amount into special tins found at all Tangs Orchard cashier counters. Every S$50 donation will enable one small/medium-sized orchid to be planted back into the natural environment, while S$100 will allow the same for a large orchid. :)

I wasn’t able to attend the launch event but Sophia and Kas have written about it. ;)

Image source: NParks and Tangs Singapore

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