Participatory Conservation of Threatened Medicinal Plants and Habitats in Rasuwa District, Central Nepal

Project period: 1st June, 2008 - 31st May, 2009
Executing organization: Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal (ESON), Kathmandu, Nepal
Supported by: Plantlife International, UK
Local collaborators: Manekor Society Nepal, Rasuwa and Federation of community Forest Users Nepal (FECOFUN), Rasuwa
Team members: Dr. Krishna K. Shrestha (Team Leader), Mr. Kamal Humagain (Field Coordinator), Mr. Ram Chandra Poudel, Ms. Radhika Dhakal, Ms. Sharmila Kandel Mr. Kaisang Tamang, Mr. Binod Poudel, Ms. Pasang Lhamu Tamang, Ms. Sita Tamang, Mr. Rishishwor Poudel


As a continuation of the first phase of the MAPs project (August 2006-September 2007) in Rasuwa, the second phase is launching in three VDCs of Rasuwa (viz. Chilime Gatlang and Thuman) outside the Langtang National Park. The livelihood of the local people of these VDCs is directly linked with the medicinal plants trade, and there is the immediate need of participation of local people in the conservation of these resources.

The major goal of this project is to continue the in situ conservation of Medicinal plants in Rasuwa initiated in the first phase of the project in Chilime and replicate the successful learning in the neighboring VDCs in order to achieve optimum conservation outcomes. This phase would also focus on in situ conservation of medicinal plants in the project area by the establishment of medicinal plants conservation area (MPCA) and formation of MPCA management committee to monitor and regulate the activities within MPCA.


The main objective of the project is to identify important medicinal plants and their sites in Gatlang, Chilime and Thuman VDCs by community-based participatory discussion and resource mapping. The specific objectives are:

  • Selection of top five priority species of medicinal plants and two to three potential sites/habitats, ranked by local community.

  • Prioritize major community-based conservation strategies to conserve important medicinal plants and associated habitats.

  • Establish the medicinal plants conservation area (MPCA) in the project area for in situ conservation of threatened medicinal plants

  • Conduct systematic research on population dynamics of selected high priority medicinal plants in the potential sites.

  • Build capacity of community forest users groups in the sustainable harvesting, pre and post harvesting techniques, and ex situ conservation of potential medicinal plants (threatened and having high market values)

  • Establishment of Plant Resource Information Centre at district headquarter Dhunche

Activities and achievements

Medicinal Plants Monitoring Team cum VDC level FECOFUN (10-14 members) was formed during village level planning workshop in August 2008 with the active participation of the members of community forest user group in the three VDCs of project area. Meanwhile, the locals prioritized top five medicinal plants, based on the market value and availability in the natural habitat namely,  Aconitum ferox (bikh), Nardostachys grandiflora (jatamasi), Swertia chirayita (chiraito), Valeriana jatamansi (sugandhabal), and Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora (kutki). The communities selected Bonjomane CF (Gatlang), Kaltachet CF (Chilime) and Bridiyarmalhe CF (Thuman) as the Important Plants Areas for medicinal plants.

For the execution of the project, with the collaboration of local collaborators and Dabur Nepal, ESON organized two days training workshop in Dhunche during September 25-26, 2008. There were about 50 participants, including Dr. Krishna K Shrestha (President-ESON), Dr. Narendra N Tiwari (Vice President-ESON), Ms. Shanta M Shrestha (DFO-Rasuwa), Mr. Prem Sapkota (Asst. DFO-Rasuwa), Dr. S. Badrinarayan (Head, Medicinal Plants Project-Dabur Nepal) and the locals of the three VDCs. The locals of the project site were trained about the cultivation and conservation practices of the important medicinal plants in the district level training workshop.