Friday, 27 February 2015

Pal Dinesh Kumar, Kumar Amit, Dr. Dutt Bhupender and Sharma Sachin receive George Bentham Research Award-2015 in Ethnobotany

Breaking News: Pal Dinesh Kumar, Kumar Amit, Dr. Dutt Bhupender and Sharma Sachin receive George Bentham Research Award-2015 in Ethnobotany

Pal Dinesh Kumar, Kumar Amit, Dr. Dutt Bhupender and Sharma Sachin receive George Bentham Research Award-2015 in Ethnobotany

28 February, 2015, India, USA NEWS CORP

In a major move in the field of Ethnobiology and Traditional Medicine, Pal Dinesh Kumar, Kumar Amit, Dr. Dutt Bhupender and Sharma Sachin from India are awarded with George Bentham Research Award-2015 in Ethnobotany. The worldwide competition involved many countries. World’s scientific communities turn their attention to merit of the scientific concept involved in it. It is catalyzing the funding and research enthusiasm. The research findings appeared on world’s prestigious The Journal of Ethnobiology and Traditional Medicine. Amit Kumar completed his masters from Forest Research Institute University, Dehradun, India. Amit Kumar is currently pursuing his Ph.D. from Department of Habitat Ecology, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. He has been actively working in the field of phyto- taxonomy, ethnobotany and forestry for the last three years and has seven publications in different national and international journals. Mr Dinesh Kumar Pal has done his M.Sc. in Forestry (Forest Products) from the Department of Forest Products, College of Forestry, Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India-173230 and is presently working as an Agriculture Officer in Bank of India. His areas of interest include plant exploration studies, phyto-taxonomy, forestry and ethnobotany. He has got expertise in identification of medicinal and aromatic plants and other endemic species of the temperate Himalayas, along with experience in cultivation and nursery techniques of some important medicinal and aromatic plants of the area. He has published one research paper in an international journal. Dr. Bhupender Dutt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forest Products, College of Forestry, Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan and is working for the Last 15 years. He is engaged in multifarious activities of teaching, research, extension education and other related activities as assigned from time to time. Main areas of expertise include Survey, Identification and documentation of medicinal & aromatic plants, conservation/ maintenance of germplasm of rare, endangered and threatened species (RET) of medicinal and aromatic plants and other endemic species of the temperate Himalayas. He has also conducted work on documentation of ehnomedicinal plants of different regions of Himachal Pradesh. He has published about 50 research papers, 40 popular articles in different national and international journals and has also published many book chapters, bulletins etc,. He has also authored one booklet, 10 project reports and a number of extension articles. He has guided 6 M.Sc. and 3 Ph.D. Students in the field of different aspects of documentation and inventorisation of phytodiversity with emphasis on medicinal and aromatic plants; besides handling different research projects as Principal Investigator /Co- Principal Investigator funded by ICAR, MEoF and DST. Sachin Sharma after perusal of his M.Sc. in forestry from Forest Research Institute University, Dehradun, India, Sachin Sharma has enrolled for his Ph.D. from Department of Botany, Kumaun University, Nainital. Also serving at Botanical Survey of India, Eastern regional center, Shillong, India. His area of interests are plant taxonomy (specialization in ferns), plant ecology and ethnobotany. He has 15 published research articles in different national and international journals. Himalayan forests are the repository of large number of medicinal plants valuable for the local people. These plants hold a great importance in traditional healthcare systems thereby providing clues to new areas of research in human wellbeing and biodiversity conservation. The present study documented the indigenous knowledge and usage of 98 plants belonging to 61 families and 95 genera in Theog Forest Division of Himachal Pradesh, North Western Himalaya. The information on traditional use was collected through semi-structured questionnaires and personal interviews. The highest number of species (38) were reported to be utilized as edibles followed by medicinal and aromatic (30), fodder (23), fuelwood (16), veterinary medicine (12) and agricultural implements (8). The leaves (43 species) were most commonly used plant part followed by wood (30), fruits (21) and whole plant (10). The family Fabaceae (7 species) followed by Lamiaceae (5), Rosaceae (5) and Asteraceae (4) were the dominant families of plants utilized by the locals. Plants studied were used as medicine, food, fuelwood, fodder and in socio-religious ceremonies. The study aimed at gathering knowledge pertaining to ethnic uses of plants in order to conserve the ethnobotanical wisdom of people in the study area. Of total 442 plant species found in the area, 98 species (22%) were recorded and identified, which are being utilized by the indigenous people. The documentation will help in the preservation of indigenous knowledge of locals of the region. The study was conducted with limited resources and further work to find out the nutrients available, methods of preparation and doses (for medicinal plants) and phyto-chemicals responsible for the action in these species will add to the findings of this work. In order to preserve traditional knowledge, the management authorities need to prepare ‘Community Biodiversity Register’ which should include documentation of local herbs, their usage as well as indigenous knowledge lying behind the biological resources and also there is a need to encourage and ensure active participation of local communities in sustainable harvesting and conservation of natural resources. In order to recognize economic value of widely available phyto-resources, on ground policy tools have failed which has resulted in a dearth of studies that document traditional knowledge. Locals have recognized the importance and role of plants they could play in developing their economy. Thus, there is a need of policy mix and inter-sectoral integration which focus on coordination at spatial and instrumental scales. Block or division offices in various districts might be encouraged to get involved in documenting the traditional knowledge of locals across the country. An adaptive and integrated policy approach both at national and local levels should be developed to document and preserve the traditional knowledge before it goes extinct. Dinesh Kumar Pal contributed to the collection of data through questionnaire surveys, analysis of data; Amit Kumar contributed to the analysis, interpretation of data and writing the manuscript; Bhupender Dutt contributed to the design of questionnaire forms, and Sachin Sharma contributed to analysis and interpretation of data. All authors declared that they have no competing interests.
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