• ICIMOD Publication

Methods in Applied Ethnobotany; Lessons from the Field

  • Rastogi, A.

An applied ethnobotany project was launched in July 1995 in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region as a joint operation of UNESCO and ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development). This project, which ended in September 1998, was implemented within the larger framework of the People and Plants Initiative. The aim of the project, which had duration of three years, was to build up capacities of and capabilities in institutions, improve the skills of young ethnobotanists, and bring ethnobotany into the mainstream in integrated conservation and development research. The programme was funded by UNESCO with funds provided by DANIDA. The countries involved were India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. The principal activities of the programme were training workshops at national subregional levels; publication of proceedings from these to be used as resource materials; a programme of small grants for young ethnobotanists from the region; and production of synthesis reports on methods and approaches. In addition, a synthesis report on lessons learned from case studies on the use of medicinal plans and a synthesis report on lessons learned from case studies on traditional resource management system in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas were also produced. The diversity of themes and subjects; academic backgrounds and capabilities of researchers; and the biologically, culturally, and geographically varied sites for research resulted in the use of a variety of methods. This experience has been summarized in one section of this paper. There is an overall gradual convergence in the approach to community-based research and, therefore, another section briefly describes some of the most frequently used methods in order to share information on methods of applied ethnobotany. The last section contains information on recent developments in ethical guidelines for ethnoboiological research and information on the important issue of the protection of intellectual property rights of local communities.

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  • Publisher Name:
    International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
  • Publisher Place:
    Kathmandu, Nepal
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