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MPWG LogoWhat Is The Role of the Medicinal Plant Working Group (MPWG)?

The role of MPWG is to forge partnerships with industry, government, academia, tribes and environmental organizations to facilitate sustainable use and conservation of medicinal plants. While our focus is on medicinals native to the United States, our membership includes international players, reflecting the fact that medicinal plants face similar challenges on a global scale. The Medicinal Plant Working Group is part of the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA), a consortium of ten US federal agencies and more than 225 non-federal cooperators working collectively on issues associated with native plant extinction and native habitat restoration. PCA also serves as the North American Plant Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. The current chairperson of the MPWG is Patricia DeAngelis, Botanist, Division of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

What Does The Medicinal Plant Working Group Do?

The primary focus of the Medicinal Plant Working Group is facilitating action on behalf of medicinal plants native to the United States that are of particular conservation concern. It aims to balance the biological and commercial needs of medicinal plants, so as to promote sustainable utilization and long-term conservation of native species. The working group facilitates information sharing among federal, state, and private organizations. Underway are projects to help:

  • Generate and share information regarding species of medicinal and economic importance and conservation concern;
  • Promote appropriate conservation measures for native medicinal plants;
  • Promote sustainable production of native medicinal plants;
  • Increase participation in native medicinal plant conservation; and
  • Encourage active participation by Tribes and other holders of traditional native medicinal plant knowledge.

You can read more about the MPWG's action plan in the strategy. MPWG also holds symposia; information on past symposia can be found here.

How Do I Join The Medicinal Plant Working Group?

Membership in the Medicinal Plant Working Group is open to all interested individuals, organizations, and agencies. If you are interested in participating, please contact Patricia DeAngelis at or write to 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 110, Arlington, VA 22203 for more information. You can also contact the leaders of MPWG's eight different committees: Conservation, Elders' Circle, Ethnobotany, Financial Support, Industry, Information, Participation, and Sustainable Production. An MPWG contacts list is available as a PDF file here.

The Medicinal Plant Working Group also has an e-mail discussion list that you can join. Learn more about listserve announcements and discussion here. You can also browse publications and articles related to MPWG project work, including pilot studies and an annual report.

Information posted on this web site may be used (i.e., printed, copied, distributed) for educational purposes without permission, as long as a credit line to the PCA-MPWG is included. Materials may not be published or sold. For other intended uses, please contact the MPWG Chair.

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Last Updated: 04-Dec-2007