'Medicinal Plants' are an essential part of traditional health care systems. Their gathering and cultivation provide a critical source of income for many rural communities, especially landless poor and marginalized farmers. They are also inextricably linked to the region's natural biodiversity. Unfortunately, they are increasingly threatened by various environmental, socio-economic and institutional problems.
At the same time traditional and indigenous knowledge about these plants is weakening and, in some cases, vanishing altogether. While attempts have been made (both at local and national levels) to address these issues, they have suffered from inadequate funding, a lack of government prioritization, and insufficient information sharing and coordination among stakeholders. Medicinal Plants offer a wide range of subsistance, cultural and monetary benefits to people in the world. They provide affordable means of primary health care to poor and marginalized people, especially in impoverished rural areas.