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| Last Updated:: 19/05/2015


What is IUCN?

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.

What is a MPCAs?

Medicinal Plants conservation Areas (MPCAs) are network of in-situ conservation sites across various habitats in Peninsular India. Nearly 34 MPCAs have been established across Karnataka (13), Tamilnadu (12), Kerala (9) through Danida supported Medicinal Plants Conservation Programs, since 1993. Recently, additional 21 sites have been established across peninsular India. These sites cover maximum habitat diversity and viable population of the prioritised mediicnal plants species availble in these states. These natural sites, established especially for in-situ conservation of medicinal plants, were named Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas (MPCAs). It aims to achieve the following objectives such as,

  1. to conserve viable populations of prioritised native medicinal plant species in their natural habitats.
  2. to conduct studies on biological and ecological aspects of medicinal platns for developing appropriate conservation approaches.
  3. to sensitise and enable the local communities and resource managers to manage the MPCAs for their effective conservation
  4. to design and develop strategises and mechanisms for long term conservation of medicinal plants.

For more information, please refer to: FRLHT, 2006. Conservation and Adaptive Management of Medicinal Plants-A Participatory Model: Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas and Medicinal Plants Development Areas.FRLHT,Bangalore, India.


Medicinal Plants Development Areas (MPDAs) are Joint Forest Management (JFM) Areas, which are in the vicinity of MPCAs. These sites are taken up for sustainable production of native medicinal plants with in the productive capacity of the sites. 12 MPDAs can be seen in the project sites in Southern India through Daninda supported program on Medicinal Plants Conservation.

MPDAs approach aims at conservation and development of medicinal plants along with rehabilitation of the degrated forest to benefit the participating community. It aims to achieve the following objectives such as,

  1. Conservation and augumenation of native mediicnal plant resources in JFM areas and their sustainable use involving and benefiting the participating local communities
  2. Making available medicinal plants to rural communities to meet their primary health care needs
  3. To provide monetary return to participating rural communities from the sale of surplus medicinal plants collected from MPDA after meeting their primary health care needs
  4. Conducting participatory research on sustainable harvest levels in respect of priority species.

For more information, please refer to: FRLHT, 2006. Conservation and Adaptive Management of Medicinal Plants-A Participatory Model: Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas and Medicinal Plants Development Areas.FRLHT,Bangalore, India.


Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical traditions in the world, with a written history of more than three thousand years and has its roots in the vedas.
The term “Ayurveda” means science of life, which derives from two terms such as Ayu (life) and Veda (knowledge).
Based on this worldview Ayurveda understands universe (macrocosm) and the being (microcosm) as created by five basic elements such as Prthivi (earth), Jala (water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air), Akasa (space) in their different permutations and combinations.
The three doshas such as Vata, (NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTIONS) Pitta (METABOLIC FUNCTIONS), Kapha (ANABOLIC FUNCTIONS), which is a further abstraction of the five elements forms the basis for understanding health and disease in Ayurveda.
Health is considered a balance of these three principles in the body where as an imbalance results in disease.
 From a holistic perspective of health Ayurveda considers that various factors such as diet, exercise, external environment and state of the mind affect a person’s health.

Ayurveda has a unique way of understanding plants. Starting from the earliest text available ie. Caraka samhita (1500 BC - 400 AD), exhaustive descriptions about plants and their medicinal uses are available.
The information related to nomenclature, descriptions for identification,biological properties and actions, habitat, regional specifications of substitutes, time and methods of collection, methods of classifying, computing & combining plants, processing, application in specific stages and conditions, incompatibility, contra indications, recipes, information regarding poisons and so on can be found in the scripture. It is estimated that 1587 plant are used in Ayurveda and around 40,000 compound formulations are documented in classical texts which is in Sanskrit.

Information provided by: Dr.SN Venugopal, FRLHT (

What is  SIDDHA?

"By purifying the mind and attaining perfection one becomes a siddha (Tamil Chittan); He is indeed fit to be called SIVA". Purification of the Body and mind is  the aim of Siddha medicine.

The origin of Siddha  tradition in the South India in Tamil Language, including culture, is traced back to Agastya. More than 5000 yrs old in Indian history.  There are 18 siddhars (All the Siddhars taught their principles along with their well experienced medicines to their disciples under Gurugulavasa.).

Understanding of health and disease is explained in siddha medicine in relation to Tridoshas. Three pillars that support a structure 1).Vali or Vaatham 2).Pitham or Azhal 3).Aiyyan or kapam   World view related to Panchaboothas - 1).Prithivi 2).Appu 3) Theyu 4).Vayu 5) Akaya
All the substances in the universe are created under the actions or reactions of the Panchaboothas' functions only. Even for disease also, disease occurs in the living objects (body) by means of less quantity of the ratio of the Panchaboothas only. If the ratio differs from one to another any disease may attack the body (human beings, animals, birds, flies etc.)
The Meteria Medica of Siddha Medicine is very vast compared to that of other indigenous system of Medicine. In the usage of Metals and Non-metals this system was far more advanced than Ayurveda. Siddhar Nagarjuna introduced the use of Mercury and its compounds by the Siddhars to the Ayurvedic systems in later period. The use of more Metals and Non-metals are justified by the fact that to preserve the body from decomposing materials that do not decompose easily should be used. The other reason being, the South Indian rivers were not perennial and herbs were not available all through the year. The expertises of Siddhars in Alchemy lead them to the finding of therapeutic properties of this metals and minerals.
An estimate of 1450 plants are documented in Siddha medicine.

Information provided by: Dr.SN Venugopal, FRLHT (


Unani system of Medicine owes its origin to Greece. It was the Greek philosopher - Physician Buqrat (Hippocrates) (460-377 BC) who freed Medicine from the realm of superstition and magic, and gave it the status of Science. The theoretical framework of Unani Medicine is based on the teachings of Hippocrates. After a number of other Greek Scholars enriched the system considerably. Of the Galen (131-210 AD) stands out as the one who stabilized its foundation on which Arab physicians like Rhazes (850-925 AD) and Avicenna (980-1037 AD) constructed an imposing edifice.
Unani Medicine got enriched by imbibing what was best in the contemporary systems of traditional medicine in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China and other Middle east and Far east countries.
In India, Unani system of Medicine was introduced by Arabs and soon it took firm roots in the soil, because of its vast wealth of knowledge and experience that the system found immediate favor with the masses and soon spread all over the country and continued to hold unchallenged sway for centuries.
Mawalid-e-salasa: means origin from three things, medicine used in Unani tibb are classified under three categories they are:

  1. Nabathi: plants and matter originating from plants.
  2. Haiwani: animals and matter relating animal origin.
  3. Jamadi: minerals and substances, which have the origin apart from animal &plant origin.
There are around 500 plant entities are used in Unani system of medicine. 


Information provided by: Dr.SN Venugopal, FRLHT (

What are MPCPs?

Medicinal Plants Conservation Parks is a network of NGOs with ex situ conservation sites for protection, propagation and utilization of medicinal plants. These are established in different ecological zones with specific objectives such as:

  1. Maintenance of demonstration garden
  2. Standardization of nursery technology ad raising of seedilings of medicinal plants for distribution to the public
  3. Studies on propagation techniques of medicinal platns
  4. Long term storage of seeds of rare, endangered and threatened  (RET) species
  5. Botanical surveys in the areas allotted to the MPCPs
  6. Establishing herbarium, seed and raw drug meuseum
  7. Generating public awareness about growing and use of medicinal plants

Local communities are actively involved. Till today, 18 MPCPs are established across Southern India.

For more information, please refer to:

FRLHT, 2006. Medicinal Plants Community Centre Model for Primary Health Care through Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions and Medicinal Plants Conservation. FRLHT, Bangalore, India.

What is International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants? (ISSC- Map)

(ISSC-MAP Version 1.0)

Version 1.0 of the International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP) has been prepared by the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group (MPSG) of the Species Survival Commission (SSC), IUCN - The International Conservation Union, on behalf of a Steering Group consisting of the MPSG,
Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN), WWF Germany, and TRAFFIC. An international Advisory Group of more than 150 experts from diverse backgrounds has provided guidance in drafting the ISSC-MAP.
The ISSC-MAP is designed to help those involved in the harvest, management, trade, manufacture, and sale of wild-collected medicinal and aromatic plant (MAP) resources to understand and comply with the conditions under which sustainable collection of these resources can take place.

For more information, please refer to : Medicinal Plant Specialist Group. 2007. International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP). Version 1.0. Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN), MPSG/SSC/IUCN, WWF Germany, and TRAFFIC, Bonn, Gland, Frankfurt, and Cambridge (BfN-Skripten 195).

What is Negative list ?

Please visit for Negative list released by Ministry of Commerce.

PUBLIC NOTICE No. 47 (PN)/92-97
Note:Please see para 158 part I (3) of the policy.

What is International Year of Biodiversity?

What is National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB)?

Please visit

What is CAMP?

Please visit Conservation Concern page

What is ISBEID?

The Indian State Level Basic Environment Information Database [ISBEID] is a web -enabled software developed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India under the Environmental Information System [ENVIS] Project. The software is to enable the State ENVIS Centres on Status of Environment and Related Issues to feed data directly into the database server using the web-interface in the ENVIS Portal.

Please visit ISBEID page

What is BRC?

Biological resource centre, a collection of permanently preserved cultures of algae, fungi, prokaryotes or other microorganisms; a culture collection; a genetic resource centre (the latter term is preferable as “BRC” is also the acronym commonly used for a biological records centre)

What is BZN?

Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, the official periodical of the international Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), including publication of cases on nomenclatural issues for ruling on by the ICZN and of the binding Opinions on those cases made by the ICZN

What is NBN?

New Biological Nomenclature, a proposed parallel alternative nomenclatural system with scientific names in Esperanto rather than Latin, first proposed in 1971 and with a detailed guide issued in 1991, and prepared by Wilhelm de Smet on behalf of the Association for Introduction of New Biological Nomenclature; in this system, names are of two words, the family name is the first element and species name the second; names to be used were to be approved by an international committee

What is WDCM?

World Data Centre for Microorganisms, an international database on the centres holding living cultures of microbial groups and cultured cells, operating under the auspices of the World Federation for Culture Collections (q.v.) and allocating unique acronyms to the included centres; available at

What is WFCC?

World Federation for Culture Collections, a scientific member of IUBS and IUMS, concerned with the collection, authentication, maintenance and distribution of cultures of microorganisms and cultured cells; also responsible for the maintenance of the World Data Centre for Microorganisms (q.v.) and promoting good practice in the maintenance of microbial genetic resource collections..