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“The huge demand and scarcity of medicinal plants make them expensive in the market. So, people can start conservation in their respective yards,” he suggested.
This can be done because the herbal plants can grow in their natural distribution (in-situ conservation) or outside their natural distribution (ex-situ conservation). However, according to Atus, the problem is that even though the plants are the same type, differences in the content of chemical compounds are very likely to occur.
“These chemical compounds can be stored in leaves, flowers, stems, etc. Until now, not all chemical compounds from native Indonesian plant species have been known for their benefits,” he said.
This year’s HKAN, according to Atus, could be a starting point to protect herbal plants in in-situ conservation areas from extinction, while researching their contents and uses is the main task.
“Another big homework is educating field officers and the community around the conservation area about preserving the richness of local biodiversity,” said Atus, who is also Deputy Chairperson of the Saka Wanabakti Department of Environment and Forestry DIY.
The steps can be very simple, namely planting herbal plants in their respective yards or places of worship, which have a relatively suitable climate and site. (mbb)