An Analysis upon Classifying and Managing of Important Plant Areas for Distribution of Medicinal Economic Plants | Original Article
Medicinal plants are of great importance in the Himalaya, supporting people’s healthcare, income and cultures. All the National Reports confirmed that some medicinal plants are under threat, especially through habitat loss (including deforestation) and commercial over-harvesting. Important Plant Areas (IPAs) are sites of international significance for the conservation of global plant diversity that are recognised at a national level. Their recognition is based on three standard criteria (presence of threatened species, species richness, and presence of threatened habitats). The popularity of herbal drugs is on the constant rise in many developed countries of the world, while in developing countries like Indian; medicinal plants contribute significantly to the income sources of people living in remote areas. Keeping such importance in view, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global vision in the form of “ Global Strategy for Plant Conservation” having various targets and mile stones. Target 5 of the strategy required for the global integration of the herbal medicine in health care system with proper identification of medicinal plants and the conservation of sites where such plants are found naturally, as its basic elements. In order to contribute to the specified target, WHO advised the relevant institutions to develop research plans and conservation programmes that are focused on the Global strategy in general and target 5 in specific. Presence of naturally occurring medicinal herbs with species of global or regional concern, and (3). Threatened habitats that are supporting plant species of medicinal and economic values. Apart from various values of the selected sites such as their scientific and economic importance, the selected sites had a treasure of indigenous knowledge related to the wise uses and conservation of medicinal plants. The study also focused on exploring the complex natural interactions between plants and other organisms; their dependence under various environmental parameters; traditional knowledge of the local inhabitants; and the significance of the landscape to conserve such plants on long-term basis.