Since 2006, an innovative local community led approach to conserving common goods, medicinal plants has been pioneered in Nepal. If we can learn the lessons, this approach has potential to inform plant conservation more widely, in Nepal and other mountain cultures. At the same time, the concept of Natural Capital is gaining momentum in UK policy circles, without to date much progress on the ground, especially in plant conservation. Does the concept hold any value for local communities and their local plant diversity? And if it does, how might it be useful?
Working with the Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal, I’m investigating examples of community led conservation projects that can show us how to conserve threatened, yet invaluable, mountain medicinal plants.