MANILA - An endangered plant in Lanao del Sur has been named after the Bangsamoro people, the regional government of the Muslim-dominated entity said Wednesday.
The Begonia Bangsamoro - a flowering plant distinguished through its edgy leaves and pink blooms - has been declared a part of the begonias genus, according to Phytotaxa, a scientific journal on systematic botany.
"Begonia bangsamoro becomes the 2,002nd species of the world’s sixth-largest plan genus," the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said on its official website.
The plant was discovered by researchers Dave Buenavista, Yu Pin Ang, Mc Andrew Pranada, Daryl Salas, Eefke Mollee, and Morag Mcdonald within the forest and riverbanks of Ginapukan River where it thrives, it said.
The regional government said it plans to craft policies "to ensure the protection of any rare, threatened, or endangered species and habitat critical to their survival" as the Begonia Bangsamoro is included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
"The Bangsamoro Government, thru the ministry, shall give priority to the protection, conservation, and development of natural resources that will support ecological balance and biodiversity conservation in the region," said Abdulraof Macacua, BARMM's environment minister.
The Begonia Bangsamoro faces a "potential decline due to expanding plantation of cash crops and continuous clearing of the forests," according to information from BARMM's website.
Aside from the Begonia Bangsamoro, other endangered plants in Mindanao include the giant staghorn fern and the lady's slipper orchid.