Biodiversity Conservation - Challenges for the Future

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Conservation of Medicinal Plant Resources through Community Born Biodiversity Management Committee, Kerala, India

Pp. 27-39 (13)

Laladhas K. P., Preetha N., Baijulal B. and Oommen V. Oommen

Abstract

Sustainable harvest of Medicinal and Aromatic species should become an important conservation strategy for the long term survivability of medicinal plant resources. Presently medicinal plants are mainly collected from the wild (90%) and 70% is through destructive harvesting. This paper presents a community model policy involving Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP) Resource management by Local Self Government (LSG) & Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC), which will ensure sustainable utilization of medicinal plants and fair benefit sharing. Stricter enforcement of biodiversity legislations and mandatory registration for collectors from wild and herbal shops is recommended with proper inventory, and monitoring of harvesting impacts. Focus is on strengthening LSG & BMC for Resource Management and formation of medicinal plants trading society. The collected materials are to be properly tagged with local and trade name, and source of collection in order to support traceability to collection area. It is recommended that Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification should be linked with traceability of MAP and the development of Live Green label for materials harvested sustainably is proposed. Sustainable harvesting of MAP is intricately connected with conservation of unique habitats benefitting the local ecosystem greatly and facilitates development of a strong sense of stewardship in the communities which would help in sustainable management of the habitats and biodiversity conservation at the same time ensuring rural livelihood.

Keywords:

Ayurvedic industry, benefit sharing, biodiversity legislations, biodiversity registers, commercial utilization, conservation, destructive harvesting, fair trade, GMP certification, habitat loss, herbal shops, medicinal plants, overexploitation, quality medicines, resource management, scientific management, sustainable harvest, trading society, traditional knowledge, traditional remedies.

Affiliation:

State Biodiversity Board, L-14, Jai Nagar, Medical College P.O, Thiruvananthapuram- 695 011, Kerala, India.