Conservation of Medicinal Plants in Western Ghats through Sacred Groves: Patent Issues and Challenges
“What we are doing to the forests of
the world is but a minor reflection of -
What we are doing to ourselves and to one
LL.M- ii yr.,
national seminar on
Outline of the Presentation:
• Nature and Genesis of Sacred Groves
• Medicinal Plants in Western Ghats
• Conservation through Sacred Groves in Western Ghats
• Threat to Sacred Groves
• Endemic Species of Medicinal Plants in Western Ghats
• Patent issues and challenges
• Conservation Measures
• Suggestion & Conclusion
• India- one of the mega bio-diverse country in
• 35,000- Medicinal Plants all over the world &
8,000 are in India.
• Indigenous people’s role
• Sacred Groves
Nature of Sacred Groves:
• Sacred groves are tracts of virgin forest with rich
diversity, which have been protected by the local
people for Centuries.
• It have been Protected for their cultural & religious
beliefs and protect the villagers from different
• Sacred groves act as an ideal centre for conserving
Genesis of Sacred Groves:
• The first authentic report - Ward and Conner in
• Brandis - in 1897
• Why western Ghats?
• Medicinal wealth and one of the Biodiversity
Medicinal Plants in Western Ghats:
• Treasury House for medicinal plants.
• More than 2000 medicinal species .
• Medicinal plants represents lichen, algae, herbs,
shrubs, climber and trees, which are annuals to
• 50 species holds a very high value in the folk and
herbal health forms for the treatment of different
forms of ailments.
Conservation through Sacred Groves in
1) Karnataka: Devar Kadu
• Grove have been protected in the names of 165
• Documented Sacred Groves recorded are 1531.
2) Andhra Pradesh: Pavithravana
• Documented Sacred Groves -580
• 400 sacred groves are exclusively conserving for
3) Kerala: Kavu, Sara Kavu
• The number of documented Sacred Groves
recorded are 299
4) Goa: Deorai & Pann
• The documented Sacred Groves recorded are
5) Maharashtra: Devrai, Devrahati, & Devgudi
• The documented SG recorded are 2820.
6. Tamil Nadu: Swami Shola & Koilkadu
• The numbers of documented Sacred Groves
recorded are 752.
Threat to Sacred Groves:
- Entada phaseoloides, they supply deadwood for fuel
• Rising International demand:
- India supplied 10.055 tons of plants and 14 tons of
vegetable alkaloid and their derivatives
• Patent :
- Medicinal plants are exploited by foreign
pharmaceutical companies for patents
Endemic Species of Medicinal Plants in
KARNATAKA TAMIL NADU KERALA MAHARASHTR
Artocarpus hirsutus Lam. Artocarpus hirsutus Lam. Artocarpus hirsutus Lam.
Artocarpus hirsutus Lam. Diopyros paniculata Dalz. Diopyros paniculata Dalz. Rauvolfia serpentina (L.)
Benth. Ex Kurz.
Cayratia pedata (Lam.)
Juss. Ex Gagnep
Garcinia gummi-gutta (L.)
Garcinia gummi-gutta (L.)
Diopyros paniculata Dalz. Garcinia indica Choiss Rhododendron arboreum
Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. Michelia nilagrica Zenk.
Patent Issues & Challenges:
- Wound healing
- University of Mississippi Medical Centre in 1995
- Complaint by CSIR
2) Neem: (Azadirachta indica)
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture and a
pharmaceutical research firm received a patent
- Complaint by Government of India
- Based on the herbal medicinal plant arogyapaacha
used by Kani tribes.
- Restorative, immuno-enhancing, anti-stress and
- Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Agreement and
violation of customary rights of Kani tribes
1) National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity
2) State Medicinal Plants Authorities
3) Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve:
• 50 (36 Families) medicinal species conserved through
• Used for the treatment of Rheumatism
4) Agasthiarmalai Biosphere Reserve:
• 174 (69 families) medicinal plants
5) Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL):
• Set up in 2005 by CSIR
• Avesthagen- the first Indian patent to be revoked on
the basis of the TKDL
• GOI revoked this patent recently
• ‘Protected area Network’
• Ecological services rendered by Sacred Groves
needs to be Highlighted.
• People should made to realize that the
conservation of groves is crucial for their
Efforts have to be taken to
bring to limelight the use of
nature's doctors, methods
to conserve them and to
sustain their existence for
the future generations.