School for Conservation of Natural Resources

Centre for Conservation of Natural Resources (CCNR)

Since the mid 70s ICAR and CSIR have been focusing on standardizing agro-technologies for around forty-five species of medicinal plants, but no institution in India was promoting conservation of the wild gene pools of the 6200 species that constitute the medicinal wealth of India. In the rapidly evolving context of habitat loss and fragmentation of natural landscapes IAIM-FRLHT was the first institution to point out, in 1993, the need for conserving the inter and intra specific diversity of medicinal plants in their natural habitats. Between 1993 and 2004 in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forest, GOI, the Danish Govt. (DANIDA), UNDP, GEF and State Forest Departments, IAIM-FRLHT has conceived, designed and technically guided the creation of 87 Forest Gene Banks (FGBs), of 200-500 hectares size each, across the country. These 87 FGBs have been designated by the State Governments as permanent Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas (MPCAs) and they capture the gene pools of the most threatened medicinal plant diversity of the region.

The centre has also pioneered rapid threat assessment studies for medicinal plants and experimented with strategies for sustainable wild harvesting of plants with involvement of local communities.