Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
27-August-2012 15:50 IST
Conservation of Ayurvedic Plants
Based on the studies of herbarium repository of national reference collection of plants maintained by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and the field studies, the BSI has published four volumes of Red Data Book of Indian Plants and Red List of Threatened Vascular Plant Species of India, which provide information on 1236 threatened plant taxa in the country, including medicinal plants used in Ayurvedic System of Medicine.

As per Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, around 396 plant species are used in different Ayurvedic formulations. Out of these, 30 species have been included in the Red Data Books of Indian Plants published by the BSI to prioritize them for conservation (Annexure).

The Government has taken a number of steps for the conservation of medicinal plants (including Ayurvedic plants), which inter-alia including enforcement of the Indian Forest Act; 1927; Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972; Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the rules under these Acts. Export of 29 species of medicinal plants is regulated under the EXIM policy. A Wildlife Crime Bureau has since been established to check illegal trade and smuggling in wildlife including medicinal plants.

A network of 108 Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas (MPCAs) has been established focusing on conservation of prioritized wild medicinal plants occurring in different regions of the country across 12 States with technical support from Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT). Under the provisions of Section 38 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, the threatened species are identified State-wise to prohibit or regulate their collection from wild and suggests measures for their rehabilitation. Under this Section, 14 States have already notified the list of critically endangered plants needing protection, rehabilitation and regulation. Further, the Ministry has established 18 Biosphere Reserves, 41 Tiger Reserves, 102 National Parks and 516 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 4 Community Reserves and 49 Conservation Reserves for in-situ conservation of biodiversity, including the Ayurvedic plants.

The above information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan to the Parliament today.