Restoring the wild population of Maire’s yew in Nepal
Yew species are key in biomedical terms. Their leaves are used in the production of taxol, a chemical used in cancer treatment. It is threatened by unsustainable and illegal harvesting. Maire's yew (Taxus mairei) is one of three yew species found in Nepal, with wild populations of a few hundred left in Central Nepal. This project aims to restore and ensure the long-term viability of the wild population of Maire's yew in Nepal by engaging local government, nursery owners, and forest users in its sustainable use. Nurseries will propagate sex-balanced genetically diverse saplings, and community forestry users’ groups will plant them in the wild habitat. The project will secure the buy-ins of local governments and community forest users for long-term conservation and restoration activities. Further, public engagement and behaviour change programs will help shift Taxus harvesting from current unsustainable activities to the adoption of sustainable harvesting guidelines, ensuring the survival of this tree species while gaining benefits for both local communities and those that need the cancer treatment produced using the trees.