Promoting Herbal Gardens in Schools

 
To popularise the usefulness of commonly available and frequently used herbal plants and to conserve the associated traditional knowledge for future generations, ICIMOD and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) is holding a competition on the occasion of World Environment Day 2010 (5 June 2010) on ‘Promoting Herbal Gardens in Schools’ in the Kathmandu valley. The schools will be encouraged to set up herbal gardens within their school complexes. The networks maintained by the Private and Boarding Schools' Organization of Nepal (PABSON) are being used to reach out to the schools.

Through WED, we can employ our individual and collective efforts to educate and familiarise schoolchildren on the importance of herbs and their uses.

Objectives

  • To encourage and promote schools to introduce the home herbal garden concept to students
  • To inculcate a sense of familiarity from childhood with surrounding biodiversity and its conservation, especially herbal plants
  • To educate schoolchildren in identifying different types of herbs and their uses including growing them in a garden
  • To encourage students to use herbs in food

The competition has three major components

  • Herbal Poster with Recipe
    Use of herbs is increasing in cookery practices and forms an important dietary supplement. In view of this, the participating schools will prepare a food recipe focusing on one particular herb (additional herbs can be used) and presented at ICIMOD on 7 June 2010.  It will be illustrated on standard chart paper. A sample of the recipe (food) or of the herb/spice used will earn bonus points.
    (This competition was successfully completed on 7 June 2010)
  • Herbal Profile
    Schools will prepare the profiles of up to 20 herbs outlining their uses and values in written form on A4 page (one herb per page, both sides). Experts will select the best three profiles based on the following criteria.
    - Variety of herbs
    - Benefits; uses; location; season/climatic conditions
    - Presentation of the content in the profile pages
    - Mention of sources of information
    The best three profiles, and if appropriate two special mentions, will receive awards. The profile will be submitted to ICIMOD by 1st September 2010; and prizes will be awarded on 23 September 2010 on the occasion of National Conservation Day at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari.
  • Herbal Garden
    Schools will be encouraged to set up herbal gardens within their school complexes. The minimum size of the proposed garden should be 15 sq. metres; a bigger plot does not merit extra points.  School can have  two separate plots to make up a total of 15 sq m, if they do not have a single plot. Pots can be used in addition for decoration but use of ornamental plants is not allowed.  , The ICIMOD and NTNC team will evaluate and judge on 20 September 2010 to select the best three gardens (and two special mentions) based on the following criteria.

- Manuring  (only organic and compost will be allowed; no chemical fertilisers)
- Labeling of the plants
- Variety of herbs planted
- Size and number of plants planted
- Watering, weeding, and fencing

Prizes will be awarded on 23 September 2010 on the occasion of the National Conservation Day at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari.

CBD-COP 10, Nagoya, October 2010

Posters will be prepared highlighting the initiatives of the schools in preparing their herbal gardens. The posters will be displayed at the 10th meeting of the Convention of Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties (COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan, from 18 to 29 October 2010 at ICIMOD’s side event on Mountain Biodiversity. They will also be posted on ICIMOD’s and NTNC‘s websites and disseminated widely via other networks.

Sustainability

To give continuity and sustainability to the efforts started this year, the schools’ herbal gardens will be judged again on the occasion of World Environment Day 2011. The competition will also be extended to five hill districts outside the Kathmandu Valley. ICIMOD hopes also to train budding students to become ‘instructors’ who can brief student visitors to the Godavari Training Centre.

Participating Schools 2010