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Botanical Benefits in the Philippines

The La Union Botanical Garden (LUBG) lies in the heart of La Union's rolling hills, about 8.5 km east of the city of San Fernando in the Philippines. It was founded in 1995 and has a variety of links with the local city.

For example, the LUBG has been chosen as the country centre for the Healthy Cities and Tourism Programme of the World Health Organisation. The garden contributes to healthcare improvements in the local community by education and training on the value and uses of medicinal plants. For example, a seminar-workshop on the preparation of herbal medicines was conducted in the garden, during which some herbal medicines for commom ailments were prepared from plants found in the garden. Health workers from 59 different villages in the area attended the workshop, and today many of them now prepare and sell these herbal preparations.

Other work has seen LUBG promote the cultivation of 'ube', or yam (Dioscorea esculenta). Faculty members of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University led a lecture and demonstration on cultivation methods, which council leaders and farmers were invited to attend, and then encouraged to plant their own yam in their farms and backyards. As the yam is most expensive underground root crop in the Phillipines, developing its cultivation can promote local livelihoods alternatives.

LUBG has involvements beyond healthcare. For example, residents that live along the road near the garden are helped to plant trees and beautify their surroundings, and awarded prizes for maintaining gardens.

Source: R.del Rosario (survey response)