The study reveals that Ladakh is rich in vegetation, medicinal flora and endemic diversity. The traditional knowledge on native plant species highlights Amchi system of medicine and their traditional health-care system, both logistically as well as economically. The excessive extraction of medicinal plant resources for use in the pharmaceutical industry, has resulted in ruthless destruction of natural populations of medicinal plants. Present study, attempts to assess the current status of knowledge of medicinal plant resources of Ladakh and herbal products. It also focuses on the importance of documenting traditional knowledge and practices, related to conservation and sustainable utilization of medicinal plants of Ladakh. An approach for prioritizing strategies for action is proposed, which is a three step process, namely technology development, technology dissemination, technology assessment and refinement. Besides, the approach highlights the importance of involving indigenous communities, traditional institutions and NGOs to complement efforts of academics, scientists and government departments to ensure conservation and utilization of this resource.
Key words: Ladakh, medicinal plants, Amchi system, trans-Himalayas, conservation biology.
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