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Treasures of the caribbean

London, United Kingdom
6–7 April 2003

The Caribbean stretches along the humid coasts of nine Latin American countries to the tip of Florida. The extraordinary biodiversity of the ecosystems of the 20 or more nations of the “Land of the Caribs” offers an incredible wealth of medicinal and aromatic plants, many of them little known in Europe.

Equally diverse are Caribbean culture, religion and economy. The Caribs followed the Arawaks, both bringing plants, medicines and implements from their native lands along the Amazon. European influence arrived with Columbus in 1492, paving the way for a continued exchange of trade, people and technology with the newly discovered “West Indies”.

Every wave of newcomers brought their own traditional medicines and sacred plants, which also had to adapt to the special conditions of their new environments. Over the centuries, Caribbean herbs and spices have thus often developed differing characteristics to botanically identical plants grown in other parts of the world.

“Treasures of the Caribbean” was one of the first attempts to promote Caribbean herbal products on the European market. The special exhibition provided information on some of the Caribbean’s most important medicinal plants and their uses and was prepared with contributions from nine leading herbal companies from the region. The exhibition included product samples and technical information on many of the Caribbean’s most important herbal products as well as material on its herbal medicine and botanical heritage. Some of the products included in the exhibition, such as Aloe vera and nutmeg, are well known. Others, such as Santa Maria, quassia and fitweed, are relative newcomers to Europe. The exhibition and accompanying poster formed part of the awareness campaign to highlight the importance of the Caribbean as a potential source for new plant-based materials and natural remedies.

Treasures of the Caribbean was designed by the British European Design Group ( ) and organized by Denzil Phillips International ( ), CDE associate consultant for pharmaceuticals.

The companies represented come from Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Belize and Jamaica. They have recently formed the Caribbean Herbal Products Association.

For more information, please contact:
Denzil Phillips International, CDE Associate Consultant Pharmaceuticals, 25 Stanmore Gardens, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2HN, UK.
Fax: +44 20 89482673;
e-mail:; or

Involving harvesters in inventorying and monitoring of non-timber forest products

Portland, Oregon, USA
4 September 2003

This participatory workshop was built around small group activities and interactive discussions on: a) current inventory and monitoring efforts of NTFPs; b) potential barriers to including harvesters in inventory and monitoring and how to overcome them; and c) participants’ recommendations on the design and implementation of a pilot programme that would involve harvesters in inventory and monitoring.

This workshop was part of a national study funded by the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry ( ).

The project’s goal is to assess the relationships between forest management practices, NTFPs and biodiversity in the United States.

For more information please contact:
Katie Lynch, Institute for Culture and Ecology, PO Box 6688, Portland OR 97228, USA.
E-mail:; or

International conference on bamboo resource utilization and processing technology

Yiyang, China
8–10 September 2003

For more information, please contact:
The Bureau of Scientific and Technical Science and Technology of Yiyang City, No. 31, South Kangfu Road, Yiyang City, Hunan Province, China 413000.
E-mail: or

Recent trends in phytomedicine and other alternative therapies for human welfare – global summit on medicinal plants (GSMP)

25–30 September 2003

For more information, please contact:
Dr Anita Menon, Organizing Secretary, Global Summit on Medicinal Plants, c/o Century Foundation, No. 35, 3rd Cross Road, Vignannagar, Malleshpalya, Bangalore 560 075, India.

The 4th china national bamboo culture festival

Xian Ning, China
9–11 October 2003

This meeting was organized by the State Forestry Administration of China, the Hubei Provincial Government and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). The co-organizers were the China Bamboo Industry Association and the Forestry Bureau of Hubei Province, Government of Xian Ning.

An international training workshop on bamboo furniture processing was held immediately after the festival and showed the innovative Chinese products that are made from bamboo – from furniture through panelling and flooring to handicrafts and edible shoots.

INBAR held a one-day seminar on the utilization of bamboo during the festival.

For more information, please contact:
Fu Jinhe, Ph.D., Program Officer, International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, Beijing 100101-80, China.
Fax: +86 10 64956983;

Symposium on industrial leadership for the preservation of medicinal and aromatic plants

Philadelphia, USA
14–15 October 2003

This symposium explored supply, demand and natural inventory issues facing the medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) industry and laid the foundation for addressing sustainability, environmental and human rights issues on an industry-wide basis and determined appropriate models. The symposium demonstrated that models for sustainability already exist and illustrated how much of the MAP supply comes from supply chains that are not sustainable or that still need assistance to make the transition to full sustainability.

The symposium was organized by members of the Medicinal Plant Working Group, which is part of the Plant Conservation Alliance, a consortium of ten federal agencies and more than 145 non-federal cooperators working collectively to prevent plant extinction and to encourage natural habitat restoration.

For more information, please contact:
Natasha Hall, AHPA, 8484 Georgia, Avenue, Suite 370, Silver Spring,
MD 20910, USA;
Lori Diamond, Aveda Corporation.
E-mail:; or

Natural forests in the temperate zone of europe – values and utilization

Rakhiv, Transcarpathia (Ukraine)
14–18 October 2003

The objectives of the conference were to:

• review the status quo and the state of knowledge about natural (old growth) forests in the temperate zone of Europe;

• show the value of natural forests from different points of view and to analyse conflicting interests and aims on a local, national and international level;

• assess the economic potential of natural forests and forest reserves;

• intensify the international and interdisciplinary cooperation in research on natural forests;

• promote and support the long-term protection and conservation of old-growth forests.

For more information, please contact:
Brigitte Commarmot, Swiss Federal Research Institute, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
Fax: +41 1 7392215;
Dr Fedir D. Hamor, Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, PO Box 8,
UA-90600 Rakhiv, Zakarpatska Oblast, Ukraine.
Fax: +380 3132 22054;

Non-timber forest products conference: working with all the forest

Duncan, BC, Canada
4 and 5 November 2003

Subjects covered included:

• What is happening with NTFPs in Canada?

• Potential employment and business opportunities

• Information on how NTFPs can be used

• New ways of looking at the forest as a whole ecosystem

• Reclaiming traditional practices through NTFPs

For more information, please contact:
Stella Johnny, NTFP Coordinator, Cowichan Tribes, 5760 Allenby Road, Duncan, BC V9L 5J1, Canada.
Fax: +1 250 7481233.

Monitoring and indicators of forest biodiversity – from ideas to operationality

Florence, Italy
12–15 November 2003

This international conference was arranged by IUFRO, together with its collaborators. The conference had four main themes:

1. Validation and further development of indicators of forest biological diversity.

2. Pan-European Forest stratification/Forest types for assessing biological diversity.

3. Pressures on forest biodiversity and causes for biodiversity loss in European forests.

4. Emerging user needs and creating a dialogue for successful implementation.

For more information, please contact:
Ms Brita Pajari, European Forest Institute, Torikatu 34, FIN-80100 Joensuu, Finland.
Fax: +358 13 134393;

World herbo expo 2004

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
12–14 January 2004

The World Herbo Expo 2004 was the first of its kind and was an attempt towards the eradication of poverty from India through the utilization of the US$62 billion market for botanical medicines. The World Herbo Expo 2004 was sponsored by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and ISMH (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Medicinal Plants Board), Government of India.

The aims of the World Herbo Expo 2004 were the development of commercial and novelty products that will have high value added, so that rural communities achieve sustainable economic growth through market development. These biodiversity products have a high potential to offer realistic gains and the World Herbo Expo 2004 explored new investment and trade opportunities for biodiversity-friendly products to benefit the rural poor in India.

For more information, please contact:
Dr R. Sugandhi, President, People For Animals, “Vasundhara Bhawan”, E-4 Patel Nagar, Bhopal 462021, M.P., India.

Regional conference on sustainable development of rattan in asia

Los Baños, the Philippines
21–23 January 2004

The emergent pressure on the ecosystem and the environment brought about by deforestation and increasing dependence on timber has been influential in the shift towards NTFPs. Rattan is second only to timber in many ASEAN countries in economic importance. The significance of NTFPs as a source of livelihood and capital inputs is now being realized.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Celso P. Diaz, Director, ERDB,
Overall Project Coordinator,
ITTO Pre-Project, College,
Laguna 4031, the Philippines.
Fax: +63 49 5363481/5362850;
e-mail: or;

[Please see also under News and Notes for more information on Rattan.]

Bornean biodiversity and ecosystem conservation international conference 2004

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
23–25 February 2004

This conference was organized by the Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conservation Programme and had for its main theme “Biodiversity Conservation: Now or Never”.

For more information, please contact:
Ms Kertijah Abd. Kadir, BBEC IC 2004, Science and Technology Unit,
7th Floor, Block B, Wisma MUIS,
88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Fax: +60 88 249410;
e-mail: or

VII world bamboo congress

New Delhi, India
28 February–4 March 2004

The seventh World Bamboo Congress convened under the theme “Bamboo for Development: Prosperity for People and the Environment”.

For more information, please contact:
Congress Secretariat, B-66 (Basement), Shivalik, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi, India.
Fax: +91 11 26163085;

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