Presentations and Discussion

During the conference session, experts from The Ministry of Environment and Water and The National Agricultural Advisory Service, The Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – Plovdiv, The Plovdiv Regional Forest Directorate, The Agricultural University and The Institutes of Organic Chemistry and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS) presented problems and achievements in the conservation, management, use and processing of medicinal plants. Herb buyers and primary processors, representatives of herb processing companies, producers of herb consumer products, NGOs and members of the general public participated in the session.

The presentations can be downloaded (in Bulgarian) from the following links:

116_IMG_0238Participants discussed the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. The issues raised included:

  • A lack of funds and personnel for the assessment of resources in plant habitats;
  • Misuse of the permission for collection of medicinal plants for personal needs;
  • Lack of collectors and difficulty training them;
  • Violation of the rules for herb collection;
  • Need for control of the state of the habitats;
  • A lack of automation in medicinal plant cultivation practices and the need for more cultivation;
  • A lack of financing opportunities in the production and processing of herbs, as well as for conservation efforts, etc.

Suggestions were made, regarding:

  • Supplementation of the legal framework, according to the Medicinal Plants Act;
  • Re-evaluation of the opportunities the Ministry of Environment and Water and its regional structures have for the application of the law;
  • Inclusion of the business community in the conservation and sustainable use of resources;
  • More subsidies from the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 for the cultivation of medicinal plants;
  • Inclusion of the governmental administration in the formulation and financing of projects and seeking of funding for conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants from European programmes.

A group for the formulation of suggestions for improvement of policy and practices of medicinal plant use was formed during the Fair. Foundation Information and Nature Conservation will continue to serve as a coordinator of the Group and disseminate information about its work publicly.