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UNDP/GEF Project Brings Back a Rare Flower

On 20 October more than a thousand of sprouts of a rare flower – adenophora lilifolia – were planted in the Republican Biological Reserve “Sporauski” in the Biaroza district of the Brest Region. Planting became the final stage of works on rehabilitation of adenophora lilifolia performed by the staff of the Central Botanic Garden of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus within the framework of UNDP/GEF Project “Catalyzing sustainability of the wetland protected area system in Belarusian Polesie through increased management efficiency and realigned land use practice”. The Zditau secondary school students actively participated in the event.

– To get seedlings we used cellular engineering techniques and by genotype they are identical to the plants of these species inhabiting in the territory of Belarus, – said Arkadiy Skuratovich, a research associate of the Fauna and Plant Taxonomy Laboratory of the Experimental Botany Institute named after V.F.Kuprevich of Belarus’ National Academy of Sciences. This is a pilot project for Belarus and its unique experience can be replicated for rehabilitation of the populations of other rare and endangered plants inscribed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus and European countries. It is important to note that adenophora lilifolia is inscribed in the Berne Convention and has a special international protection status.

Considerable contraction of the number and habitats of certain species with the international protection status in the territory of Belarus requires elaboration and adoption of new techniques of the protection and monitoring of these plants. Belarus is a habitat of about 20 species of vascular plants having the status of special protection including species which have not been found for many decades during field surveys. The populations of certain plants including adenophora lilifolia tend to reduce significantly in the country.

At present adenophora lilifolia can be found in the Belarusian Polesie mainly in semi-open areas with sparse broad-leaved forest or in bushes with sparse growth of oak in floodplains of large rivers. The total number of adenophora lilifolia is not more than 300 plants. The new population gives adenophora lilifolia much more chances to become again a popular flower of the Belarusian Polesie. In favourable environment adenophora lilifolia can sustain in the same place for more than 100 years.

The plantation is arranged at three plots located far from villages. This measure is necessary because bright blue flowers in the form of gracefully stretched bell make adenophora lilifolia a desired trophy for fanciers of forest and meadow flowers.

For further information, please contact: Aleksey Tchistodarsky, Information Officer of UNDP/GEF “Polesie” Project, telephone in Minsk: (017) 294 90 69, mobile: 8 (029) 656 15 30.

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