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Himalayan India

Tibetan medicine and medicinal plants in Ladakh

Localization map - Himalayan India

Period : Various phases and activities since 1998

Location : Region of Ladakh

Activities : Development of Tibetan medicine (education, seminars, health centers), conservation of medicinal plants

Nomad RSI started its activities in Ladakh (Himalayan India) in 1998. Initially, a socio-economic survey was carried out to gain an overview of Tibetan medicine in the region and a detailed understanding of the conditions facing its practitioners (known as amchis). When the activities of the organisation began to take shape, they were largely directed towards the establishment of medicine banks, the organisation of seminars and training workshops, and the protection of indigenous rights concerning biological resources.

During the year 2000, Nomad RSI, with the aid of local partner organisations, established a pilot amchi health centre in an isolated area and launched a school of Tibetan medicine. In parallel, the Nomad Research Unit started a large programme of research in the anthropology of Tibetan medicine, which continues to the present day. This period also saw the beginnings of a profound change in Nomad RSI’s mode of operation, as the Ladakhi team began a gradual process of localisation, resulting in the formation of an independent NGO under Indian law, Ladakh Society for Traditional Medicines (LSTM).

Since then, LSTM has taken-over responsibility for programme development and implementation, while Nomad RSI retains an important role in financial and management aspects, as well as providing technical and operational guidance. The primary concern of this partnership was the training of 16 young amchis (2000-2004) and, in subsequent years, their ongoing education, and the establishment and support of clinics in their villages of origin. This network of village-level practitioners today ensures widespread access to Tibetan medical treatment across the region and the survival of this medical system in the rural areas. Since 2004, the Nomad RSI / LSTM partnership has continued with many of its earlier activities, but has directed increasing effort towards the conservation of Himalayan medicinal plants.

A model project:

  • mentioned as an example of “Good practice” in sustainable health in the 2006 report of the High Council for International Cooperation (HCCI) of the French Republic, pertaining to Sustainable Development and International Solidarity. Download the report (French)
  • the activities on medicinal plants conservation selected in 2009 as an example for meeting the Target 13 of the Convention for Biological Diversity. Download the entire report

See also the page Awards & Financial Support

Himalayan India project in detail

  1. Education / Amchi network
  2. Sustainable management of Medicinal Plants
  3. Partners
  4. Completed projects
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