Responsible Gardening in 26th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series

November 11, 2020

Plant experts will gather virtually to underscore the importance of responsible gardening brought by the rising trend of collecting ornamental plants on the 26th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” with the topic, “Plant Wise: Responsible Gardening.”

The episode, hosted by House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 12 November 2020, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at and

Joining the online conversation are Dr. Gideon Lasco, medical anthropologist from the University of the Philippines Diliman and a research fellow at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Development Studies Program; Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity; and Dr. Ireneo Lit Jr., entomologist and curator of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Museum of Natural History.

In previous episodes, the online series tackled food gardening and saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, planting native trees, practical sustainability, narrating risk to resilience stories through books, tree pest, and disease management, reviving indigenous textiles and crafts, transforming waste into wages, sustainable urban mobility, and food waste reduction and management.

The upcoming episode will focus on the rising popularity of collecting ornamental plants. With more than six months of community quarantine, many Filipinos have turned to ornamental plant gardening as a hobby or to cope up with stress. However, the global and local circulation of plants comes with a significant ecological footprint, and so do all the materials used to tend to them like plastic pots, pesticides, packages used for transport, among others.

While ornamental plant gardening makes coping with the pandemic a little easier for many people, it is also important to be aware of the threats it poses to the environment, including plant poaching, wildlife trading, and unbridled profiteering.

Gardening ornamental plants come with the responsibility of practicing sustainable ways of tending them and making sure that the habitats where they are sourced remain unharmed, so as to not disturb ecosystems that are unique to the Philippines.

This episode will raise awareness on the possible environmental consequences and dangers of inaccurate wild plant harvesting to the Philippines’ native natural forests and biodiversity.

As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, “Stories for a Better Normal” aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.

This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. ###