Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
With large number of vascular plants including a number of medicinal plants on the verge of extinction, the Centre in consultation with the State Governments has notified these species to regulate and rehabilitate them.
Under section 38 of Biological Diversity Act 2002, the Centre in consultation with concerned State Governments can notify any species, which is on the verge of extinction or likely to become extinct in near future as a threatened species and prohibit or regulate collection thereof for any purpose and take appropriate steps to rehabilitate and preserve those species. Under the said provision of the Act, the Government has notified the plants, including many rare medicinal plants, which are on the verge of extinction in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Goa and Madhya Pradesh. These plants also include medicinal plants.
According to the Botanical Survey of India, it is feared that 1236 species out of 18794 vascular plants including a number of medicinal plants are on the verge of extinction due to various anthropogenic activities. The threatened medicinal plants include aconitum balfouri, chasmanthum, deinorrhizum, falconeri var latilobum, ferox, heterophyllum, acorus gramineus, allium stracheyi, angelica glauca, anogeissus sericea var numularia, aquillaria mallaccensis, aristolochia bracteolata, indica, arnebia benthamii, atropa acuminata, berberis affinis, apiculata, aristata, bergenia stracheyi, capparis pachyphylla, carum villosum, colchicum luteum, coptis teeta, coscinium fenestratum, dactylorhiza hatagirea, dioscorea deltoidea, elaeocarpus prunifolius, ephedra gerardiana, gentiana kurooa, gloriosa superba, hedychium spicatum, hyoscyamus niger, hydnocarpus macrocarpa, iphigenia indica, pallida, stellata, kolanchoe roseus, madhuca insignis, nardostachys grandiflora, panax pseudoginseng, picrorhiza kurrooa, podophyllum hexandrum, pterocarpus santalinus, rauvolfia serpentina, rheum emodi, saussurea bracteata, costus, gnaphalodes, swertia chirayita, taxus wallichiana, taxocarpus kurzii, urginea indica and urginea maritima.
Under the Central Sector Scheme for Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants, assistance has been given to establish 168 herbal gardens and 1303 school herbal gardens in different parts of the country. Further, 34 Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas covering 4355 hectares are being established in different states under the scheme, sources said.