DK Ved has done seminal work by FRLHT-TDU platform (1993- 2018) on insitu conservation of medicinal botanicals of India. He was truly a gentleman, wise, cheerful and extremely approachable to everyone.
His achievements outlined below will benefit the Indian Traditional Health sector for generations to come:
He was instrumental in creating India’s only Comprehensive database on 6580 medicinal plants that offers invaluable information sourced from a wide range of ethno-botanical and ethno-medical literature. It provides accurate correlation of botanical names of these medicinal plants between their Sanskrit and vernacular names in 32 languages, while offering information on traditional properties and uses of plants (referenced from Sanskrit, Tamil, Pali, Urdu Medical texts from 1500BC-1900AD). It has reliable information on the geographical distribution of medicinal plants of India (sourced from floras and herbaria records) in addition to GIS maps for 300 threatened species that can aid conservation efforts. It also has over 15000 photographic images of medicinal botanicals.
The database has a module on medicinal botanicals in all India trade with accurate correlation between their trade and botanical names. A subset of this database pertaining to traded medicinal botanicals has now been adopted by the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) Government of India.
He pioneered the application of IUCN’s threat assessment criteria to assess the threat status of medicinal plants at State level, while developing a unique rapid assessment method called CAMP (Conservation Assessment and Management Prioritisation,) which he effectively used for assessing the threat status of >350 species of medicinal plants in 20 States of India. In the process he has trained dozens of field botanists in this assessment methodology.
He initiated Species recovery programs for 12 threatened species of medicinal plants.
He coordinated the creation of MPCAs (Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas) across 110 forest sites (each site with an average size of ~ 200 Ha) in 12 States of India, for conserving the wild gene pools of medicinal botanicals insitu, which is perhaps the largest network of insitu conservation sites in SE Asia.
He was honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Government of India, for his invaluable contributions.
A plant from the family Eriocaulaceae has been named Eriocaulon devendranii. The specific epithet in the binomial nomenclature is in honour of Shri Devendra Kumar Ved for his passion for plants and contribution in conservation of medicinal plants.