Proposed Symposium Title: ETHNOBOTANY AND CONSERVATION OF MEDICINAL PLANTS
Abstract: More than 25.000 plant species are used for medicinal purposes. The World Health Organization estimates that between 70% and 95% of the population in developing countries rely on traditional medicines, mainly of plant origin, for primary health care. The lack of access to modern medicine of millions of people and the global trend toward embracing natural remedies explain the growing demand and marketing of herbal medicines. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic has led many people around the globe to seek alternative treatments and use medicinal plants for both prevention and treatment. While evidence-based medicinal plants offer an effective treatment for many disorders, many other traditional medicinal plants that have not been scientifically studied are also widely used. This growing use is not free of risks, especially those related to safe medical practices, lack of supply from cultivation and sometimes unsustainable gathering. As recently suggested by several international reports, management derived from indigenous and local knowledge systems provides valuable insights on sustainable use, probably as people are inclined to conserve resources to which they attach an emotional value. The symposium aims to present the most recent advances in medicinal plants research, with an emphasis on their traditional use and conservation implications. We would like to draw attention to the importance of ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology for improving community health and sustainability. We want to encourage discussion of the current challenges faced by ethnopharmacological research around the globe, including local strategies to promote sustainability of medicinal plants. Ethnomedicinal and ethnoveterinary studies are welcomed, especially those focused on large areas, but also empirical studies related to the sustainable use of plants or historical studies linking past and present uses.
Speaker 1: Jimena Mateo Martín
Departamento de Biología (Botánica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Cultural importance, availability, and conservation status of Spanish medicinal plants. Implications for Sustainability
Speaker 2: Arshad Mehmood Abbasi
COMSATS, University Islamabad
Current trends and future directions in the medical ethnobotany of Pakistan
Speaker 3: Michael Heinrich
UCL School of Pharmacy
Covid-19 and medicinal plants – more than just a botanical challenge
Topics (Up to three): Ethnobotany
Topic 2: Conservation Biology
Topic 3: Agroforestry Systems
Justification: There is a need of deep knowledge of the current use and management of medicinal plants by local and indigenous people in order to promote the Sustainable Development Goals of promoting Global health and well-being and Sustainable cities and communities. The panel aims to promote the discussion among junior (JMM) and senior (MH, AMA) researchers of different continents (at least Europe and Asia) and disciplines in order to achieve new insights into what will be the hot topics of medical ethnobotany research in the near future and how can researchers help to promote and make visible good practices in medicinal plant gathering and marketing.