With over 400 taxa of native orchids between them, Turkey and Greece host the richest orchid flora in the Mediterranean region. In particular the corridor including the Greek Eastern Aegean islands and the Turkish coastal zone is a world hotspot for orchids, supporting a significant percentage of those species, some being common to both countries. Wild orchids are seriously threatened in both countries, mainly by habitat loss through a variety of causes that will be described in the relevant chapter. The situation is particularly critical in the aforementioned areas because of rapid touristic development in the coastal zone. An unprecedented threat for wild orchids in Turkey is harvest for the production of salep, estimated to destroy more than 120 million orchids each year. Orchid diversity conservation, and protection of their habitats through direct and indirect economic incentives like ecotourism, recreation, public health and sustainable usage has been given little attention.
Interactive Conservation Platform for Orchids, native to Greece and Turkey (ICON) Project have been conducted for information and expertise transferred to participants. The purpose of the Final Conference is to assess the current condition of orchids in both countries focusing on the threats, to describe the existing relevant international, European and national legislation and to present selected best practices applied in Greece and other European countries to address orchid conservation issues for adaptation in Turkey. The project is funded by the Civil Society Dialogue between EU and Turkey Grant Scheme, and it is implemented by Sails-for-Science, a German NGO, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, a Greek NGO, and the Association for the Conservation of Antalya Orchids and Biodiversity, a Turkish NGO. The main objective of the project is cooperation between Greek, Turkish and German NGOs for the protection of wild orchids in Turkey and the creation of an innovative powerful common awareness/educational tool. For more information about the project please visit the main page of the ICON, eastmedorchids.org
This web-site is produced with financial support of the EU and Republic of Turkey. Association for the Conservation of Antalya Orchids and Biodiversity, Sails for Science and Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature are responsible from the content of this web-site and can in no way be interpreted as the opinion of the EU and/or Republic of Turkey.