Sustainable Resource Management of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is an ancient country with rich natural resources and rich traditional medicine. The country is known as a resource base for many wild-collected medicinal and aromatic plants that are well recognized in regional and international markets. Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) in Afghanist...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Babury, Mohammad Osman
Contributors: Keusgen, Michael (Prof. Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Doctoral Thesis
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2019
Online Access:PDF Full Text
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Summary:Afghanistan is an ancient country with rich natural resources and rich traditional medicine. The country is known as a resource base for many wild-collected medicinal and aromatic plants that are well recognized in regional and international markets. Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) in Afghanistan represent important health and economic components of the country’s biodiversity. The country has a high floristic diversity; it is estimated that there are about 5,000 species of flowering plants with many of them endemic. Afghanistan is a landlocked country and situated in the subtropical, dry zones of Southwest Asia that has continental types of climate characterized by desert, steppe, and highland temperature and precipitation regimes. The main part of the land cover of Afghanistan, 30,243,985 ha, is made up of rangeland (47%), which is the main habitat for MAPs. The sharp climatic seasonality gives rise to the extensive development in Afghanistan of peculiar diversity of vegetation Wild collection of MAPs has a long history in the country and it contributes to traditional medicine and the local economies of the populations. Afghanistan exports each year around 50 medicinal and aromatic plant raw materials to different countries. Analysis of the export of MAP products shows, that the exports of MAPs has been increased sharply from 2008 to 2016. Within the study period, an annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 16.2% in comparison to 2.4% in the volumes of exports in global trade was observed Increases in the collection of medicinal plants, long lasting war, a breakdown of the governmental and local systems of monitoring, poverty, climate change and the susceptibility of Afghanistan to desertification are the main threats to natural MAP resources. Much of the wild flora of the country is experiencing a significant decline on account of habitat loss and degradation. Government agencies have played a limited role in conservation work over the last four decades, therefore the present status of the natural resources of wild MAPs is a great concern. This study has been conducted with the objectives of resource analysis of potential species of MAPs, and evaluating approaches for sustainable resource management of wild medicinal plants. In this study, four species (Glycyrrihiza sp. Ferula sp., Cuminum sp., and Bunium sp.) have been screened out as the potentially viable products among the wild collections in Afghanistan. In order to conduct this study, four aspects of natural resources were evaluated through appropriate frameworks: status of resources and conservation measures; socioeconomic; trade and marketing; and technological proficiencies for the processing and standardization of products. Every aspect comprises certain criteria (in total 25 variables), which were scored according to their relative significance through focusing on defined benchmarks. Based on the study of the distribution pattern of the selected MAPs, Herat province was targeted in this study. The dataset has been analyzed with the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS). The histograms produced by SPSS analysis, demonstrate the status of every criterion for the species studied in all 15 districts of the province. It depicts that the abundance and state of conservation of Glycyrrhiza sp. and Cuminum sp. are in a relatively better status compared to the two other plants, though the status of Ferula sp. is critical. The study reveals, that districts of Chesht-e-Sharif, Kohsan, and Pashtun Zarghun have the highest potentials in conservation, trade and marketing, and opportunities for the improvement of the supply chain and quality of the products. In contrast, Obe, Zandajan, Kushk-e-Kohna, Kushk-e-Robat Sangi and Adraskan are the poorest districts in this regard, respectively. The study demonstrates that the risk of the threat to the selected species is high in the following order: Ferula sp.> Bunium sp. > Cuminum sp.> Glycyrrhiza sp. It also depicts, that the potential for sustainable management for the species varies in the following order: Glycyrrhiza sp. > Bunium sp. > Ferula sp.> Cuminum sp. To analyze the relationship between certain specific criteria, structural equation modeling (SEM) has been used. SEM reveals that abundance of the species in all cases have significant partial regression coefficients on the potential for sustainable management (0.33, 0.48, 1.07, 0.2, respectively). This signifies that the physical capacity of resources enhances the attraction of more investments by the different stakeholders in different segments of the supply chain. Meanwhile, abilities and skills for technological proficiencies have a negative regression coefficient effect on potential for sustainable management. Some other SEM has been studied of the relationship between different variables with the aim of the quantification of different factors effects.. Based on the finding of the study, different approaches for the sustainable resource management have been discussed. Among them are updating discussed strategies, developing action plans with the focus to realities, engagement of the community in sustainable resource management, establishing collaboration between stakeholders in the area of biodiversity and natural resources, generation of evidence-based information about MAPs, establishing certification system, and capacity enhancement of communities, collectors and other relevant technical staff.
Physical Description:295 Pages