Reshu Bashyal, Kumar Paudel, Tamara Ticktin, Jacob Phelps
Orchids are one of the largest groups of flowering plants and are widely harvested from the wild around the world, including from Nepal. Unregulated and illegal harvest is a serious threat to the conservation of many orchid species, but in some places, it is also important to livelihoods, cultural traditions, and access to wild medicines. This Policy Brief includes details on key species most targeted by the commercial trade and the extent of harvest based on the results of our world’s harvest monitoring. We highlight the need for improved enforcement to stop large-scale and unregulated harvest and trade of wild medicinal orchids. Moreover, considering conservation-livelihood trade-offs, there is a clear need for research/talks to explore prospects for sustainable harvest, probably initiated with discussions and trial harvest monitoring. This all requires greater collaboration among harvesters, scientists, and government officials.