More conservation areas for medicinal plants mooted

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The Karnataka Biodiversity Council (KBB) has recommended increasing the number of Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas in the state from 10 to at least 30 with a Medicinal Plant Conservation Area in each district. He also recommended identifying medicinal plants found in the state in Kannada.

The KBB on Saturday submitted to the state government the report “Assessment of the state of the population and elimination of bioresources in the forest with special emphasis on medicinal plants of Karnataka” as part of the project “Distribution of medicinal plant resources in the forests of Karnataka ”. The project was sponsored by the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB).

The project included a survey to identify the diversity of medicinal plant species and assess their population and availability in state forests. The project has information on medicinal plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) at the beat, range, division, circle and state levels.

The report recommended the formulation of a circle progress report and a state level status report using the data and information currently available.

Anant Hegde Asisara, president of KBB, said the project produced credible baseline data on the availability, distribution, and population density estimate of medicinal plant species in the state. “Of the 4,800 species of flowering plants found in Karnataka, around 2,000 species have high medicinal values. Until now, we did not have any quantitative data on the species. The report prepared it, ”he said.

The report also identified 217 species found only in this wilderness, which meant that they were not cultivated and were used in large quantities for commercial purposes. Keshav H. Korse, a conservation biologist, said these species could now be purchased in the cultivation area so that industries get quality material and farmers get other sources of income. “The help and contributions of the departments of agriculture and horticulture must be taken into account,” he said.

Mr. Korse, also said the report shed light on district level information on “what is and where is” on threatened species nationally and globally. Mr. Korse also pointed out that with the data now available, the relevant agencies and the government could stop “disinformation and information overload” circulating on various species.

“Some sort of intelligence system for herbal medicines should be put in place so that the smuggling of herbal medicines is completely stopped,” he said.

Sanjay Mohan, Senior Chief Forestry Conservator, stressed the need for a buyout promise for farmers if they grow medicinal plants and information on what should be grown, how much and where should be given from the government side. .

Meenakshi Negi, Commissioner, AYUSH Department, urged that these reports be linked to Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) and constitute a continuous and dynamic assessment going forward to help use sustainable resources by government, farmers and pharmaceutical companies with appropriate regulations.

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