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BMU allocates €140 000 to protect medicinal plant Arnica in Bavaria

  • BMU allocates €140 000 to protect medicinal plant Arnica in Bavaria

    by Market Insider

    Friday, 01 May. 2015

    Arnica (Arnica montana) is a medicinal plant endemic to Europe where it occurs in the wild widespread from Kingdom of Norway to the Balkans and from Kingdom of Spain to Ukraine. The flower heads are harvested (from both wild-collection and some controlled cultivation) for use in European herbal medicinal products but are also exported for use in medicinal products worldwide.

    In Europe, the commercial supply of wild harvested Arnica flower is for the most part obtained from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Kingdom of Spain, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Ukraine.

    In the European Union, Arnica flower (and extracts made from it) is regulated as an active ingredient of medicinal products that require pre-marketing authorization by national authorities before a finished product can be sold. The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) establishes official pharmacopoeial standards for the composition, identity, quality, purity, and strength of Arnica flower raw materials and extracts whilst the European Medicines Agency (EMA) establishes the labelling standards for what can or must be stated on the herbal product labels and on the patient information leaflet (PIL).

    On 16 April 2015, the German ‘Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety’ (BMU) issued a joint press release with the German ‘Federal Agency for Nature Protection’ (BfN) announcing a new project to protect ‘Arnica montana’ in the State of Bavaria. About €140 000 are allocated to support the project, which not only aims to protect the habitat of this medicinal plant where it occurs in Bavaria (in mountain meadows), but also aims to demonstrate the benefits of investing in the protection of biological diversity and ‘ecosystem services’ (benefits people obtain from ecosystems).

    BfN President Professor Dr. Beate Jessel stated that due to habitat loss, intensive use, and illegal wild collection, the wild populations have diminished, and furthermore without taking targeted actions this species faces extinction in Bavaria. There are protection measures in place for Arnica montana in some European countries for example in Germany it is classified as ‘Vulnerable (level 3)’ on the German Red List.

    Specific objectives of the project include management and protection of wild populations of Arnica and its habitat particularly in the Bavarian ‘Vogtland’ region, significantly increase the population size in the region by targeted propagation and seeding, develop a program for sustainable regional use and marketing of regional (geographical indication) Arnica products, and raise public awareness about the importance of biodiversity.

    Sources:

    1. Bundesministeriums für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU).Gemeinsame Pressemitteilung mit dem Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN): Neues Projekt schützt Heilpflanze "Arnika" in Bayern. Nr. 082/15 | Berlin, 16.04.2015: http://www.bmub.bund.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/pm/artikel/neues-projekt-schuetzt-heilpflanze-arnika-in-bayern/

    2. Landschaftspflegeverband Landkreis und Stadt Hof e.V. Sicherung von Ökosystemdienstleitungen – Nachhaltige Nutzung und Vermarktung der Ressource Arnika montana: http://arnikaprojekt-hof.de/projekt/projektziele/

    3. European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM). Arnica flower (Arnicae flos). In: European Pharmacopoeia, Eighth Edition (PhEur 8.0). Strasbourg, France: EDQM. 2014.

    4. European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Final Community Herbal Monograph on Arnica montana L., flos. London, UK: EMA. 06 May 2014.

    5. Franke R, Albert H, Brunner P, Eickmeyer F. Arnika (Arnica montana L.). In: In: Hoppe B (ed.). Handbuch des Arznei- und Gewürzpflanzenbaus, Band 4. Bernberg, Germany: Verein für Arznei- und Gewürzpflanzen SALUPALNTA e.v. Bernberg. 2012;56-86.

    6. The IUCN List of Threatened Species: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/162327/0

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