Last week, SLU Global awarded Rosario García Gil from UPSC with seed funding for a collaboration project with Associate Professor Dhurva Gauchan from Kathmandu University. They plan to start a programme to sustainably marketize local medicinal plants from Nepal and such preserve such plants from extinction. Local communities will be the basis of the project. They shall be provided with knowledge and skills about plant nursing and marketing.
Many medicinal plants in Nepal are on the risk of extinction because of overexploitation for medicinal uses. The project of Rosario García Gil and Dhurva Gauchan aims on preventing species extinction and reducing the negative consequences of it on the local communities. Their idea is to involve the local communities in the preservation of endangered plants by training them on how to grow and nurse these plants in a sustainable way. In parallel they will be introduced to marketing and connected to national and international markets to enable them to rise an income by selling the plants.
“The indigenous people in Nepal are directly dependent on plant resources for food, shelter, medicine, and other needs which is one of the big reasons behind forest destruction and environmental degradation,” says Rosario García Gil, researcher at UPSC and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. “We hope that we can counteract this development by activating this programme.”
One of the competence-building activities will be a training programme on herbal cultivation and nursery management for school children and local communities. The researchers plan to build a school medicinal plant garden. The students will be responsible for looking after the plants as part of their extra-curricular activities. This shall provide them not only with knowledge and gardening skills but also help to develop a bond with nature.
“My role has been to design the project and raise the funding. Now my colleague Dhurva Gauchan will take care of the operative aspects. Basically, he will conduct the project and I will supervise it”, explains Rosario García Gil. “I especially plan to keep an eye on the involvement of women. We want to ensure a fifty percent female participation as they are more disadvantaged in Nepal. If this project can help to improve their situation a little bit for example by facilitating them to start their own micro business by cultivating and commercializing medicinal plants, I will call the project successful.”
SLU Global awarded in total six of twenty submitted projects initiated by SLU employees. The projects are transdisciplinary and incorporate strong collaborations with researchers and practitioners in low-income or lower middle-income countries. The goal of the annual call from SLU Global is to support SLU’s work for global development and contribute to the UN’s sustainability goals and Agenda 2030.
Title of the project: Rescue, collection, and conservation of rare, endangered and threatened medicinal plants of Nepal
For questions, please contact:
Rosario García Gil
Umeå Plant Science Centre
Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology
Umeå Plant Science Centre
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences