A new giant orchid has been discovered but it is already at risk

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A new giant orchid has been discovered but it is already at risk

A new giant orchid has been discovered but it is already at risk. Tulcanensis, the name of the orchid species, has a peculiarity in its gigantism. Experts said: "The plant is about 40 centimeters large, while the others do not exceed 10."

Botanists said that its survival is not safe, however, specify botanists concerned about mining concessions that increasingly threaten the ecosystem of rainforests. The Tulcanensis orchid grows in the Andean jungle at an altitude between 1800-2000 meters.

Scientists also said: "The leaf, about 10 centimeters, has an elongated shape and the width of the flower exceeds two centimeters, unlike the other species which usually have flowers a few millimeters large. It is the rarest of seven other known subspecies."

The scientific name of the newly discovered orchid is Lepanthes Tulcanensis, and it was found on the border between Ecuador and Colombia. The giant flower, first spotted in 2018, is described in research published in the scientific journal of the University of Costa Rica's Botanical Garden.

Amazon Rainforest: indigenous at risk?

As we told you some days ago, mining in the Amazon Rainforest threatens hundreds of indigenous. The report Undermining the rights published by the World Resource Institute said it. According to the document, the mining concessions secured by the various Amazonian countries cover approximately 1.28 million square kilometers, equal to 18% of the surface of the Amazon forest.

Furthermore, the report denounced, mining activities contribute to the pollution of at least 30 rivers in the Amazon basin and jeopardize the ability of indigenous communities to prevent deforestation. The Amazon area is home to an inestimable basin of peoples, wealth and biodiversity.

Mining by its nature has a destructive impact on the environment and brings with it social and health consequences. Mining activities within indigenous lands or in neighboring areas can lead to conflicts, especially between miners and indigenous peoples, who depend on their lands for their livelihood, said the document.

For decades, all the countries in the area have promoted and supported the exploitation and export of these minerals. One of the phenomena denounced by the report is the increase in artisanal mines. Illegal mining in the Amazon basin, especially small-scale mining, has been going on for decades.

But it has grown exponentially in recent years, denounces the document, which calculates the number of“ small-scale miners active in the region at around 50,000. According to the report, in 2016 28% of the gold produced in Peru, 30% in Bolivia, 77% in Ecuador, 80% in Colombia and up to 90% in Venezuela was mined illegally.

The main factor that has led to the increase in mining activities in the Amazon basin is the constant increase in the price of gold on international markets. An increase that has been going on for years, but which, due to the global health emergency, has prompted more and more investors to find refuge in a safe asset.

Rising prices have increased demand, sparking a new gold rush in the Amazon basin and implications for local populations and the environment. The increase in prices, combined with the withdrawal of police and military from the mining areas to guarantee the lockdown in the cities and manage the health crisis, has allowed illegal miners to increase their activities, said experts.