Research Articles

Community managed enterprise: Participation of rural people in medicinal and aromatic plants conservation and use

Author: Bhishma P. Subedi and Nirmal K. Bhattarai
Publisher: ANSAB
Language: English
Date of Publication: February 20, 1998
Number of Pages: 6
Price: Free

Humla is one of the most remote and least developed districts of Nepal where the majority of the population are involved, directly or indirectly, in the collection, transport and trade of non timber forest products. Increasing market demand for them, poverty, and lack of employment opportunities have exerted additional pressure on the wild medicinal plant resource base, posing considerable threats to the district’s biodiversity and economic stability. Although there are considerable evidences of overexploitation of certain medicinal and aromatic plants in some accessible localities, major part of the district is still under-exploited. This situation provides ample opportunities for the medicinal and aromatic plants of the district to get managed for the economic development as well as environmental benefits.

Humla Oil Pvt. Ltd. (HOPL), a community based enterprise, was established to create a mechanism of involving local people, the major stakeholder of biodiversity of the area, in conservation for the sustainable use of their natural resources. Experience has shown that the technical, financial, managerial, training and marketing supports have developed adequate incentive among the local people to manage and sustainably harvest the raw materials to assure biodiversity conservation, and smoothly run the enterprise to assure steady economic benefits to the local communities. If the wild plant resources of an area is to serve the needs of the local people in a sustainable manner, it has to be considered in the perspective of sound management having additional benefits to the local people. Our approach to encourage the sustainable management of common property resource, therefore, should be in multiple directions, from improving the economic standard to changing the attitudes of the local people.