On the 26th of May the East Forum Foundation hosted a water lily conservation day. Many people joined this day to learn more about the water lily and the conservation projects in the area. After given instruction on how to properly plant the flower, participants helped replanting the lilies in a nearby river.This day reminds us once more how important it is to raise money for the conservation of the water lily.
Thai “Water Onion”
The NAN foundation has been supporting the preservation of the endangered water lily with the name Crinum thaianum or Thai Water Onion for many years now. It has the nickname Water Onion because its’ bulb looks a lot like an onion. The Thai Water Onion is native to Northern Phang Nga and Southern Ranong. It can be found in many sweet waters in both of these regions. The Water Onion lives in wide and open streams of rivers with fresh, clear and running water. The Water Onion provides a habitat and food for many different types of fish, snails and frogs. It also prevents erosion the rivers they’re in. The Water Onion blooms between October and December. Kuraburi is one of the places where people can come to see this lily.
Unfortunately, the Thai Water Onion is listed as endangered and might become critically endangered in the near future. The Water Onion is plucked more and more for commercial reasons and many of them are damaged during the dredging of rivers. The removal of all these lilies causes the river to erode the riverbanks. This at its turn can cause damage to nearby infrastructure. In the past years the Water Onion has lost much of its habitat. Only 3-5% is still present today. To prevent the Water Onion from dying out locals and the government started many initiatives to raise more awareness for this lily. All with the same goal: to make sure the Water Onion will not extinct.
What do we do?
The NAN Foundation supports the conservation project of a local farmer in Kuraburi. He cultivates and replants the lily to keep it alive. The NAN foundation tries to raise awareness together with the local farmer. Each year there is a conservation day where children from local schools will visit his farm to learn more about the importance and conservation of the water lily.
What can you do?
One thing you can do is support the conservation project in one of the following ways: book a bicycle tour with Andaman Discoveries that takes you to the lily conservation project site; buy one of the products in our office that are sold to raise money for the farm or directly donate money to this cause. A second way to help is by never buying water lilies or any products that contain this water lily.