Available online 19 February 2016
Conservation and sustainable uses of medicinal and aromatic plants genetic resources on the worldwide for human welfare
- a Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, I.P. (INIAV, I.P.), Quinta S. José, S. Pedro de Merelim, 4700-859 Braga, Portugal
- b Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Escola Superior Agrária do Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal
- Received 9 July 2015, Revised 25 January 2016, Accepted 13 February 2016, Available online 19 February 2016
- The ancient relationship amongst medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) and human welfare is present.
- There are major drivers of the decline in wild MAP resources.
- MAP conservation, sustainable use and methodologies on wild harvesting, are international goals.
- Established networks make possible to increase the effectiveness of the knowledge about this important genetic pool.
Plants have been used since ancient times to heal and cure diseases and to improve the health and the wellbeing of the populations. Medicinal and aromatic plants still form the basis of traditional or indigenous health systems of the populations in most of the developing countries, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As a result of the expanding interest in medicinal and aromatic plants, new income generating opportunities are opening up for rural populations. With many of the MAPs gathered from the wild, the recollection and sale of MAPs is providing a complementary source of income for many poor rural households.
Currently, we are facing an incomparably growing pressure on plant populations in the wild due to the increasing commercial recollection, largely unmonitored trade, and habitat loss. Profound knowledge of the features of the (international) trade in botanicals (size, structure, streams, commodities, traded quantities and their origin) is (1) essential for assessing the trade’s impact on the plant populations concerned; and (2) required for conservation concepts and measures which have to meet future supply and the provisions of species conservation.
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