The conservation of medicinal plants is the need of the hour: Forest Officer

Mysore/Mysore: Maintaining that each of us has a responsibility to conserve our endangered medicinal plants, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Madhu Sharma observed that the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and weedkillers has a negative impact on the soil.

She was speaking at the Third Divisional Coordination Workshop jointly organized by Karnataka State Medicinal Plant Authority, Karnataka Biodiversity Council and Department of Botany, University of Mysore (UoM), at Department of Studies (DoS) in Botany, Manasagangothri, here on Friday.

Emphasizing the need to raise awareness about the benefits of medicinal plants, Madhu Sharma said that medicinal plants are found in abundance in forest areas. But unfortunately, these plants are smuggled out of the forests and as such, forestry personnel must be properly trained in the conservation of these plants, which have great medicinal value. Regretting that industrialization had also contributed a lot to the loss of medicinal plants, she felt that climate change also had an impact on medicinal plants.

Former Vice-Chancellor Prof SR Niranjan said botanical scientists have discovered more than 2,000 species of medicinal plants and it is important for drugmakers and researchers to transform them for the public good. He also wanted the government to allocate more funds for the conservation of medicinal plants.

UoM Registrar Prof. R. Shivappa felt that the current generation, especially in urban areas, has little knowledge of herbal medicines.

Insisting on the need to educate our children on medicinal and fruit plants, he called for an organized documentation of culinary practices that have prevailed in rural areas for several decades.

APCCF BA Sudarshan said that the opinions, observations and suggestions that arise during this workshop will be collated and documented in a vision document. APCCF Anitha S. Arekal, Deputy Director of Government Ayurveda Research Center, Dr. Lakshminarayan Shenoy, Chairman of DoS in Botany, Dr. KN Amrutesh, Professor Dr. Rajkumar Garampalli, Prabhu and others were present.

Alvin J. Chase