Recognizing the significance of medicinal plants for rural livelihoods and primary healthcare, this paper attempted to analyze institutional interplays in medicinal plants management in Bangladesh. It assessed the governing process of natural resources by identifying cross-scale linkages of the institutions involved with managing medicinal plants. The study intended to delineate the interactional patterns and dynamics between existing formal and informal organizations toward exploring prospects of new medicinal plants governance institutions. Employing case study and participatory approaches to empirical field investigation, two intervention cases of the Livelihood and Agro-Forestry (LEAF) and Sustainable Environmental Management Program (SEMP) were assessed in two different social-ecological settings of the country. Involving 45 respondents in each site, Focus Group Discussions were carried out, and a total of 26 Key Informants were interviewed. The findings have revealed that undefined roles and responsibilities, inadequate coordination, and weak linkages among the cross-scale institutions resulted in ineffective management and relatively poor performance. Institutions with direct or indirect involvement in the process of managing medicinal plants interacted haphazardly, without much focus on the subsector and its local producers. Addressing the weaknesses, this study calls for formulating a national sub-sectoral approach focusing on strengthening and sustaining local producers and value addition to producer levels. Finally, this research offers a framework for developing a multi-stakeholder forum to govern medicinal plant resources coherently and effectively in Bangladesh.
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