Medicinal plants conservation
One of the biggest obstacles preventing people from cultivating rare species of medicinal plants is the lack of seeds or seedlings available in the market (the other main obstacle is lack of marketing infrastructure, which I will expand on later). Many of the plant species grow in very remote areas and their seeds are very hard to collect. It is therefore essential to develop nurseries in order to multiply plants and collect seeds in more controlled conditions. .
Instead of having access to only a few different species, creating our own nurseries would give us the freedom to grow and plant a large variety of different multi-purpose tree species (see species). As well as restoring biodiversity and improving wildlife habitats, multi purpose tree species can provide villagers with a sustainable source of firewood, animal fodder and bedding, medicine, fruits, dyes, tools, fencing, and more.
Computer Ecology education centre
In year 2019, we aim to provide learning opportunity to as many as students can reach our centre.
Courses offered for advance learners at the centre are
Final Cut Pro
Adobe Premier Pro 6
Adobe Dream weaver Cs5
Adobe Fireworks Cs5
Adobe Photoshop Cs5
Project Title: Sustainable livelihoods through organic cultivation of medicinal plants in the upper regions of the Kullu Valley
Goal: To improve the economy of marginal farmers in the Kullu Valley by developing an industry of high quality organically cultivated medicinal plants.
Summary: The future of many valuable medicinal plants in the Kullu Valley is being serously threatened by over-harvesting. This is being caused by a number of reasons, including lack of environmental awareness, growing demand for medicinal plants, low prices in the local market and lack of alternative sources of income.
The situation therefore presents both a challenge and an opportunity; the challenge is to protect these plants from further exploitation, while the opportunity is to make use of the growing market by developing sustainable cultivation practices that can provide income to farmers now as well as in the future.
We have already carried out work on this project during the last two years; this section of the website therefore combines details of what we have already implemented with what we are aiming to achieve.
To provide training in medicinal plant cultivation to a minimum of 200 villagers during the next three years
To document all the medicinal plants growing in the Chukinulla watershed
To develop two large-scale nurseries of one hectare each during the next three years
To help the Village Forest Development Committees of Chajogi and Hallan villages establish organically certified cultivation / propagation areas in the Chandrikani area.
To participate with other NGOs in establishing an extension system for marketing medicinal plants.
To create nurseries of mixed tree species on the land surrounding the Krishna Temple.
To help local village groups set up their own nurseries, with special emphasis on reviving abandoned nursery sites that are no longer used by the forest department.
To organise regular community plantations, with special emphasis on working with women's groups.
To ensure that the community will be granted full rights to the trees that they plant and the products they produce by working closely with the forest department's 'Joint Forest Management' scheme.
To provide employment to local people through seed collection.
To research the different uses of indigenous tree and shrub species, especially non-timber forest products such as natural dyes and fibre that can be used to generate income.
To restore biodiversity and improve wildlife habitats.
To raise environmental awareness and educate local people in matters related to social forestry and conservation.
Another primary step of the project has been to document the medicinal plants growing in the region, to identify which species are most threatened by over-harvesting and which species have the most potential for cultivation and income generation (the two are of course very closely connected). During 2002 and 2003 we started this process and have identified 10 species that are of most interest to us.
CITES listed species
CITES stands for 'Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora'. It is the internationally recognised register of plant and animal species that are either threatened by extinction or potentially threatened by over-harvesting.
Within the CITES register there are two main 'appendices'. Appendix I refers to species that are threatened with extinction and are generally prohibited for commercial international trade. Appendix II lists species that are 'not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled'. Of the ten species listed below, all except for Valeriana jatamansi, Dactylorhiza hatagirea and Angelica glauca are CITES listed under appendix II.