FLORA OF NEPAL
The Flora of Nepal encompasses record of all the vascular plants found in Nepal. The Flora of Nepal will be published in ten volumes and will account for the estimated 6500 species of vascular plants. It is a collaborative project between Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST); Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, U.K.; University of Tokyo, Japan; Department of Plant Resources, Ministry of Forests and Environment; and Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University. Nepal as one of the signatory countries of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB 1992), the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) 2014-2020 prepared by the Government of Nepal expressed the need of publishing complete Flora of Nepal by 2020.
The history of Botanical Exploration of Nepal began in 1802, when the British Naturalist and Scottish Physician Sir Francis Buchanan-Hamilton visited Nepal during 1802-1803, from southern part of the country via Bhimphedi, Chitlang to Kathmandu. Later, a Danish Physician Nathaniel Wallich visited Kathmandu Valley during 1820-1821 following the same route and documented the plants from northern parts of country, up to Gosaikunda region. Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, one of the greatest British Botanist of 19th century, travelled to Olangchung Gola, Taplejung through Nepal-India border in the east during 1848, with the special permission from the Government of Nepal. Two amateur Nepali collectors Captain Lal Dhwoj and Khdanada Sharma (KN Sharma) explored Central and Western Nepal during 1928-1934, primarily for the British naturalists.
Nepal occupies only 0.1% of the earth surface area, however, it comprises 3.2% of world’s flora (MFSC 2014a). Nepal is one of the biodiversity-rich countries, stands 27th position in the world and 10th position in Asia and second position in South Asia (Shrestha 2016). One of the reasons for being biodiversity rich countries is due to the extreme altitudinal gradient of Nepal’s topography, which allows the occurrence of a broad range of climatic condition from tropical in the lowland Tarai to nival zone in High Himalaya. Using floristic and phytogeographical data, Stearn (1960) divided Nepal into three regions: Western Nepal: from Kumaon frontier to 830 E (Karnali basin), Central Nepal: from 830 E to 860 30 E (Gandaki basin), and Eastern Nepal: from 860 30 E to Sikkim frontier (Koshi basin). Recently, Nepal has been classified in to seven provinces and 77 districts (see attached document).
USEFUL PLANT RESOURCES
Plants and their parts, useful for human beings can be considered as the useful plant resources. Nepal comprises 1,950 species of medicinal plants, including 1,614 native species (Shrestha et al. 2000, Ghimire 2008), of which 143 species are of trade value. Nearly 600 species of food crops are consumed in Nepal, of which 374 species are wild food crops (Shrestha and Shrestha 1999). A large number of fodder and forage crops, which are the main source of food for the domestic livestock and wild animals, are derived from over 1,000 species of plants (Shrestha et al. 2018).
FLORA OF NEPAL GUIDELINES
The Flora of Nepal Guidelines, prepared by the Editorial team of Flora of Nepal, is designed especially for the contributors, editors and reviewers to prepare consistent taxonomic accounts of Flora of Nepal.
ENDEMIC PLANTS OF NEPAL
The endemic plants are considered as the most unique plants in the world, which occur in specific area of the country, and nowhere else. In terms of endemism, Nepal comprises 324 species of endemic flowering plants, belonging to 132 genera and 45 families (Rajbhandari et al. 2016).
The 4th International Editorial Meeting in 2012 held at University of Tokyo, Japan decided to prepare manuscript of three volumes (4, 7 & 10) by three collaborating countries. Nepal got the lead responsibility for the publication of volume 10 (Part I & II), while volume 4 will be published by Japan and volume 7 by U.K. Preparation of the manuscripts on these volumes are in progress.
FLORA OF NEPAL VOLUMES
Flora of Nepal will be published in 10 volumes and will account for the estimated 6,500 species of conifers, flowering plants and 582 species of fern and fern allies found in Nepal. The order of families in the volumes is primarily based on Englerian System of classification, however, within the volumes, the families are arranged according to APG IV system