A comparison of cultivation and wild collection of medicinal and aromatic plants under sustainability aspects


  • U. Schippmann
  • D. Leaman
  • A.B. Cunningham


With the increased realization that many wild medicinal and aromatic plant (MAP) species are being over-exploited, a number of agencies are recommending that wild species be brought into cultivation systems. Others argue sustainable harvest to be the most important conservation strategy for most wild-harvested species, given their contributions to local economies and their greater value to harvesters over the long term. Besides poverty and the breakdown of traditional controls, the major challenges for sustainable wildcollection include: lack of knowledge about sustainable harvest rates and practices, undefined land use rights and lack of legislative and policy guidance. Identifying the conservation benefits and costs of the different production systems for MAP should help guide policies as to whether species conservation should take place in nature or the nursery, or both