WELCOME TO OUR PLANT COLLECTIONS!
This database is a centralized collection of plants, seeds and herbarium specimens from different Lasallian schools all throughout the Philippines. Plants found in this website are available in the respective La Salle schools indicated by the accession numbers found in each plant entry page. You can search for living collections, herbarium specimens or seeds. This database aims to cater to the needs of students, faculty, researchers and the general public in need of plant access and specimen research. Plant requisition may also be available upon request.
An initiative by:
The Philippines is a country rich in plant and animal diversity. It is considered as a megadiversity center of the world. However, it is also ranked as one of the top five (5) biodiversity hotspots which indicate that many species are now threatened to extinction. Biodiversity loss is due to the widespread deforestation and other environmentally detrimental man-made activities such as mining, burning of fossil fuels, extreme carbon emissions and poor solid waste management. This will eventually lead to global warming and climate change if not given immediate solution and importance.Thus, as a response to these environmental challenges, De La Salle Philippines through the Lasallian Institute For the Environment (LIFE) embarks on a Biodiversity Program that aims to provide awareness to the Lasallian community and the general public by providing environmental education and to promote the need to save what is still remaining in our significant biodiversity.
The DLSP Biodiversity Program comprises four (4) on-going plant conservation projects:
- One Million Trees & Beyond
- La Salle Botanical Gardens
- La Salle School Gardens
It has two (2) components: the in-situ and the ex-situ conservation projects. In-situ means conserving plants “on-site”, rehabilitating or restoring plants’ natural habitat. On the other hand, ex-situ means transporting plants outside of their actual sites and growing/propagating them in a place with ideal growing conditions suitable for the plants’ needs. These two components are important as they complement each other. The in-situ sites are the natural sources of plant diversity where plants are collected while ex-situ sites serve as “repositories” to secure the diverse collection of plants which, in turn, can also be used to restore the in-situ sites in case of natural calamities and man-made destructions.
Therefore, the Biodiversity Program is structured as:
ONE MILLION TREES AND BEYOND (OMTB)
An in-situ conservation project
The One Million Trees & Beyond project dates back to 2006 with its goal to plant one million trees by 2011.
This project was driven by La Salle alumni and the 16 Lasallian schools across the country. OMTB was led by Mr. Jorge Buenaventura as volunteer Project Director, also a La Salle alumnus, who runs an I.T. company – First Datacorp. Inc.
This project was successfully implemented through the help of willing donors who helped raise funds to conduct all tree-planting activities.
The context of the OMTB project was that each La Salle school (16 schools in 17 campuses) must adopt a partner community to establish a planting site. The planting sites were located in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in various locations such as uplands, riversides, urban areas and mangrove areas.
Native trees, both indigenous and endemic to the selected areas, are the main advocacy of OMTB to protect and promote the Philippine biodiversity. Particular interest has been given to mangroves, such as those in Calatagan, Lian and Cuenca in Batangas, Barangays Balot, Camachile, Capunitan, Sta. Elena and Wawa in Orion, Bataan, Punta Taytay in Negros Occidental, and Balaring Silay in Misamis Oriental, among others. Other sites include Ilin Island in Mindoro; Saliknete Farm and Karahume in Bulacan; Pililia in Rizal, Orion, Bagac and Balanga in Bataan; Barangays Bihawovillar, Mt. Binandilaan and in Botolan, Zambales.
LA SALLE BOTANICAL GARDENS (LSBG)
An ex-situ conservation project
In line with its vision of being good stewards of God’s creation, the aspiration to build the Botanical Gardens is La Salle’s response to the pressing environmental and ecological challenges confronting the nation today.
The goal of this project is to provide a platform for understanding the problems and identifying potential solutions for the environment through education, scientific research, plant conservation and public participation.
The Botanical Gardens is being envisioned as the platform by which the research, education and awareness goals can be achieved. It is designed to provide the following:
- a laboratory for scientific research
- a garden for plant conservation
- a means of increasing public awareness, education and appreciation
- a venue for public recreation
It will be of world-class quality, among the top in the world. It is the goal of the project to be recognized and accredited by various international botanical and environmental associations.
The La Salle Botanical Gardens is foreseen to have a land area of about 28 hectares located just outside Metro Manila.
It will contain at least 25 themed gardens that will serve as leisure areas / laboratory / breeding ground and shall be open for the public to appreciate. Some theme examples would be: palms and pandans, ferns, spices or kitchen plants, fragrant flowers, orchids, medicinal plants, cacti or succulents, forests or jungle trees.
To address the goal of plant conservation, two important components shall be included — a herbarium and a seed bank. The LSBG will have tie-ups and partnerships with local and international botanical and scientific institutions involved in the propagation and protection of plant species and the promotion of biodiversity.
As a center of plant research, a full-scale laboratory engineered for tissue culture shall likewise be created. With this will come the necessary plant nurseries, greenhouses, libraries, classrooms, meeting rooms and other facilities that will be constructed as the need arise.
The LSBG envisions itself to be the new “go-to” place of students (field trips), families (weekend picnics) and tourists (local and international). It will likewise be a hub for social occasions (weddings, reunions) and events (concerts, sports activities, rallies, meetings). This is because the park will be equipped with several visitor and recreational facilities that will cater to small and large groups. To name a few: lakes, ponds, open fields, amphitheater, wedding chapel, pathways, trails, playgrounds, and biodiversity museum.
The geographical dispersion of La Salle’s 16 schools across the country and the many plant collections and botanical gardens contained in these schools make a perfect background for the project. Within the faculty and staff of the La Salle Schools are able experts who will lend their research, skills and proficiency to the project.
Situated near Metro Manila, the La Salle Botanical Gardens will address more than 2.5 million elementary students and 800,000 college students. Moreover, it will be a new and exciting venue for recreation of the 14.5 million daytime population of Metro Manila, 9.4 million local tourists and 4.8 million international tourists.
As this is not purely a business venture, much of the initial financing will rely on benefactors and contributors.
In the first stage, the biggest requirement is the property, which will come from a willing and altruistic donor. Capital expenditure for the development and construction of the garden and support structures and facilities will come from funding agencies, grants, donations and contributions from the private and business sector.
Soon after the construction of the initial phases of the project, the garden is expected to be income generating. Financial viability for the operations and maintenance of the garden will come from visitor receipts, venue rentals and revenue generating activities.
The La Salle Botanical Gardens project is driven by the Christian Brothers, alumni volunteers and the La Salle schools across the country.
LA SALLE SCHOOL GARDENS (LSSG)
An ex-situ conservation project
This project intends to mainstream and sustain the stewardship of biodiversity conserved in ex-situ facilities (i.e. botanical gardens, herbarium, seed bank) through the La Salle School Gardens. LSSG project serves as a “preparatory project to the envisioned world-class botanical garden. The plant and reference collections in the campus gardens will eventually be duplicated, stored and showcased as well in the big central garden.
The goals of LSSG are: (1) to assist the 16 La Salle schools in 17 campuses to start or expand their own repositories of living collections of plants found within the vicinity of their respective campus, (2) to establish a network of school-based gardens that together house duplicate collections of plants conserved at the central botanical garden, (3) to develop a region-specific research and environmental education programs for conservation and the potential uses of Philippine plants in the 16 biogeographical regions, (4) to build capacity of Lasallian educational institutions to construct, maintain and expand regional gardens as well as capacity to gather, transfer and exchange information through training on scientific techniques integrated with modern technologies, (5) to ensure that plants are properly labelled, documented and maintained, (6) to support living collections with an Herbarium reference collection or a Seed Bank and eventually (7) to influence and assist other schools, particularly public elementary and high schools to develop their own biodiversity gardens.