Fog tech project to save endangered orchids becomes a great success
After almost a year of starting the project to reproduce endangered orchids with Permalution fog water technology, we share the achievements, challenges, and impact this project is creating.
Orchids are globally recognized as a symbol of beauty, elegance, and love. However, today many of these species are in danger of extinction.
In this note, we will tell you how the Canadian cleantech startup Permalution, in collaboration with the Secretariat of Sustainable Development of the State of Nayarit and a group of expert biologists, are saving two of these species that are on the brink of extinction, and are now looking to expand the project even further.
Last year, it was established that a greenhouse would be installed in the natural protected area Sierra de Juan, with an irrigation system based on fog water, collected with technology from the startup Permalution (water radar and fog catcher).
This first project has since allowed the successful reproduction of two orchids: Vanilla Pompona and Cypripedium Irapeanum. These are in danger of extinction given the high rate of forest fires and clandestine extraction since the few orchids that remain after the fires are looted for sale in the city.
In this note, Edgar Rosalio Carrillo Carrillo, an expert in local orchids, tells us about how they work to reproduce them and the importance of fog water technology to achieve this.
Edgar has been working in the field of environment and forest fires with SEDESU Nayarit and as a result of his experience, he developed an interest in environmental conservation and especially orchids.
Edgar tells us that they are plants of difficult development and cultivation, and their reproduction is a real challenge:
''Orchids are a difficult species to grow. They are devastated in forest fires, and clandestine exploitation. It is good, or even great, that we work on this project to protect them.'' — Edgar
Until now, orchid propagation has been done in bulb separation method so far and from them, 42 separate successful orchids were taken apart from the mother or original, and were reestablished in their natural ecosystem.
''In a controlled environment, the intention is to reproduce the greatest quantity. Now we are exploring a tourist and educational aspect to it, so we can continue protecting them and maintaining the project for the long term, I dream that people come to observe them, the same way birds are observed.'' — Edgar
Currently, the reproduction of orchids is done ex-situ, what would be needed now is an in-vitro laboratory that will give us the advantage of being able to accelerate the production process and not have to wait so long for blooms, since it takes a long time and patience.
180 new orchids are expected to be restored to their natural habitat per flowering season thanks to this project
Orchids are one of the most difficult and complex natural species. They have microscopic seeds, their roots are supernatural, and their form of development is highly evolved, which is why it is difficult to maintain and sustain them.
''Identifying orchids is one of the great learnings, and every time they bloom it’s like a gift or a surprise. Sometimes it is even better than the gift we expected! Although the results are very slow, it is an immense pleasure to see them bloom.''
Orchids love fog, and because the fog water collected by Permalution technology perfectly mimics the water that the orchid uses for its natural irrigation, the results have been very beneficial.
An orchid sponsorship program is currently being explored in order to expand this project and last much longer.
''Not only is it enough to reproduce them, but it is also necessary and essential to educate and make people aware of their production, care and thus stop exploiting their natural area.''
We need local and global support to protect them, take care of them, and be able to continue to be amazed by these beautiful species for many more generations.
''It is great that we develop an interested in orchids since they are one of the most beautiful flower species in the world and at high risk of being lost. That is why I joined the project since orchids are something that I really like and feel passionate about.''