Nepal is rich in varieties of medicinal plants. Among 7000 species of medicinal plants recognized all over the world, more than 900 types of precious medicinal plants are said to be found in Nepal (Manandhar, 2000). Overharvesting, loss of habitat, increasing urbanization and shrinking forest resource base have been causing irreversible loss of medicinal plant population in the wild habitat, resulting in decline in the volume of raw materials.
- to raise awareness on the use of medicinal and aromatic plants among students, teachers, families and across communities
This program has been a fun-filled learning activity for the children where they get the opportunity to learn about the medicinal plants by actually planting the medicinal herbs and watching them grow in their gardens, and by exploring information about them from various sources. The task of making the garden itself has been enriching in terms of making children realize the importance of team work such as detailed planning, and allocation of tasks within a team. For the teachers, herbal garden project has been useful in terms of ease with which they could integrate the concept with other subject matter activities, such as writing essays, poems and stories, making posters, drawing and painting, making herbariums, and even preparing food recipe using some of the culinary herbs students have planted in their gardens.
From 2012, ECCA is taking the lead initiatives to strengthen the initiative, by helping establish herbal gardens in as many schools as possible across the nation.