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Old 04-10-2005, 07:58 PM
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Default 1% for Orchid Conservation

Orchid conservation is a subject that we hear about from time to time
on forums, in magazines and with society meeting speakers. We are
appalled to hear about habitat destruction or the decimation of species
by illegal collecting such as in the case of Phragmipedium kovachii.
The "before and after slides" of a clear-cut hillside, the speaker said
was covered with orchids before. It is appalling, and for most of us it
is distant. How can an individual make a difference? One individual
can make a small difference; a group of individuals can make a bigger
difference. The Orchid Conservation Coalition (OCC) is a coalition of
people, orchid societies, businesses, and conservation groups concerned
about orchid conservation. It provides a framework for networking and
cooperation to create a more effective effort towards orchid
conservation. Through the sharing of information we can identify
effective orchid conservation organizations and projects that need
1% for Orchid Conservation is a program of the OCC. The purpose of 1%
For Orchid Conservation (1% FOC) is to commit orchid societies and
businesses to donate 1% or more of their net revenues each year to in
situ orchid conservation. The boards of each orchid society or business
decide where their donation goes. The program is open to all orchid
organizations and businesses worldwide. Worldwide participation is
critical to making the 1% FOC most effective. It also doesn't matter if
1% of net revenues is a small or large amount. It is the cumulative
amount of all participants that will make the difference. Participation
is the key.
Through participation, donors can identify and share information on
worthwhile orchid conservation organizations and projects. As a
coalition, donors will be better able to make sure donations are
effectively used by orchid conservation organizations and projects.
Currently there are three orchid conservation organizations that are
participating: the Orchid Conservation Alliance, Orchid Conservation
International, and Phytosophy's G.R.O.W. By participating they agree to
use funds raised through 1% FOC for in situ orchid conservation as
outlined by the 1% FOC criteria, be accountable for those funds, give
progress information back to the donors and verify donations. Donating
organizations are not limited to these three orchid conservation
organizations. All that is required by 1% FOC is that donations go to
organizations that fit the criteria. The 1% FOC criteria is a
definition of in situ orchid conservation. It is useful in helping
delineate between actual in situ orchid conservation and activities
that fall outside the scope of in situ orchid conservation. The OCC
would like to hear of other orchid conservation organizations and
projects that fit the criteria so that we can list them and share that
information for possible other donations. Orchid societies and
businesses can also engage in their own local in situ orchid
conservation projects to qualify.
There is a 1% FOC trademark to identify participants and raise
awareness for orchid conservation. This logo can be used by businesses
for marketing purposes to tell customers that you care about orchid
conservation and donate. Customers who care about orchid conservation
will look for the logo and take 1% FOC participating businesses into
consideration when making purchasing decisions. Most orchid growers and
the general public are concerned about environmental issues, but it is
hard for an individual to easily make a contribution. For a customer
paying 20 cents (or insert your currency here) more on a 20 dollar
orchid purchase and knowing that 20 cents will go toward orchid
conservation, it is an easy way to participate and feel good about it.
Eventually, we would like to see the logo on all those mass-market
orchids sold in the big box stores. But before the big box store and
the general public will buy into the idea, the orchid world in general
needs to support orchid conservation.
Currently, there is one orchid society, the San Francisco Orchid
Society, and two businesses participating: the Orchid Seedbank Project
and Nascent Orchids. There are about 14 orchid societies in the process
of considering participation. There are many individuals who have
participated in getting the OCC up and running to this point.
The Orchid Conservation Coalition does not have any officers. The OCC
does not receive contributions. It does not distribute money. You could
say the OCC is truly a non-profit organization. The OCC and 1% FOC is a
coalition to raise money for other orchid conservation organizations
and to raise awareness for orchid conservation. Membership is by
participation. How can an individual participate right now, by asking
your orchid society to consider participating in 1% for Orchid
For more information and details go to

Mark Sullivan

For US orchid growers, I will be at the AOS members meeting on Friday,
October 14, 2005 and Saturday, October 15, 2005. The Sonoma County
Orchid Society is hosting it.
I would be happy to talk to anyone about the Orchid Conservation
Coalition and 1% for Orchid Conservation.

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