With a growing global demand for medicinal and aromatic plants, Nepal’s green economy could gain a lot of potential, especially in poor communities where these plants are harvested.
There are over 100 types of medicinal and aromatic plants that are harvested in Nepal and that are being traded in international markets, being exported at a value of $9.8 million in 2009.
“By harvesting these plants sustainably, and improving their value-added activity so collectors receive a fair share of the profits, the trade could contribute to social equity, environmental conservation and economic prosperity,” said UNEP Programme Officer Asad Naqvi.
Despite the opportunities for sustainable trade in medicinal and aromatic plants within the country, most of the value-added activity and quality control mechanisms are done outside. In the same way, trade is often restricted due to gaps in infrastructure.
The creation of a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication were among the themes endorsed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) last June.
It is important, especially now, to implement policies that protect the environment, policies that will also benefit the economic growth and prosperity of these countries.