Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal and aromatic products in North America: Are there really lessons to be learned?
This paper discusses the legacy of nontimber forest products (NTFPs) and, more specifically, medicinal plant use in North America. It also discusses briefly MAP markets both in North America and throughout the world, and describes the constraints to the sustainable use and development of MAP resources. Lastly, the paper relates some lessons that may be appropriate for application in South Asia. The main question that the paper raises is, "are there indeed lessons to be learned for this region from North America?" The answer lies in the realization that there are many similarities between the two regions and we will gain from sharing our experiences! But our overexploitation, lack of information on the sustainable management of MAPs, and the dearth of MAP policies leads us to believe that this region is ahead of the world in many aspects of MAP preservation and culture.