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Management of Himalayan Medicinal and Aromatic Plants within a Complex Socio-Ecological System

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Poudel, Shanti K. C.
Conference: Design and Dynamics of Institutions for Collective Action: A Tribute to Prof. Elinor Ostrom, Second Thematic Conference of the IASC
Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Conf. Date: 29 November - 1 December
Date: 2012
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8649
Sector: Agriculture
Social Organization
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): plants
mountain regions
social-ecological systems
resource management
local participatory management
Abstract: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) are essential resources for the rural people in developing countries. These resources are unfortunately depleting rapidly due to continuous over-harvesting and conversion of natural habitats. In mountainous communities in Nepal, the rural people have been involved in the wild harvesting of Himalayan medicinal and aromatic plants (HMAPs) for their livelihood and medicinal health-care. In recent years, many mountain forests are facing the problem of rapid degradation of HMAPs. Nepal has tremendous diversity in socio-cultural and ecological system. The government's simple framework does not function well in a complex mountainous socio-ecological structure. Therefore, it was essential to analyze the various resource systems in mountainous communities. This article analyzes two different resource systems in the distant western mountain district of Nepal. It is an analysis of management research. In addition it questions under which conditions HMAPs resources can be either well managed or mismanaged. This research will examine why some communities have disastrous outcomes. The findings will show that the forest system with the inactive forest governing local institution is disastrous. In contrast, a vigorous forest governing local institution could make conditions for proper management of HMAPs resources. Ostrom's multitier framework (2007) is useful for detecting the variables of resource destruction and explores the conditions of the local management of HMAPs in the complex socio-ecological system of mountainous communities. The primary intent of the research is to improve the degradation problem of HMAPs in remote high mountainous communities."

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