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VOL VIII, Issue 1

Welcome to the Sacred Earth Newsletter

forget-me-notSpring has sprung - almost overnight it seems. It is hard to stay at my desk while daffodils and bluebells are beckoning me to come out and play. It is always such a delight to witness the explosion of life, when everything looks so pristine, so fresh and tender, so colourful and glorious. I feel it more acutely this year than I have in a very long time. In the depth of winter, when the trees were bare and everything looked bleak, I had to face death as my father passed away. In the last days before he died he kept asking me when spring would come. It still seemed a long way away then. Now I look at the flowers around me as if they were greetings from the beyond, for it is said that the realm to which the souls of the dead return is also the place where the plant devas reside. A place described as a paradisiacal garden, or, Avalon, the Isle of Apples in Celtic mythology - a place of eternal bliss - the womb and tomb of all life. And every flower that I stop to smell along my path transcends the here and now and fills me with gratitude. At once I feel connected with the eternal life-force, the endless stream of which I am but a little bubble, floating along.

Facing death has the wonderful quality of shaking us awake - it is so inevitable, so unquestionable, so ultimately real that there is no denying it. Death is what gives meaning to life - or rather, what gives us the opportunity to give our lives meaning. It is a great teacher, if we can open ourselves to its lessons. Within its very limitation lies concealed the power to create. It challenges us to be all we can be, for this life, NOW, is our chance, and maybe our only chance. And while I am still pondering these and many other questions, my Earth Day/spring awakening resolution is to give life all I've got, while I can. In this spirit, I offer you another issue of the Sacred Earth Newsletter. That may not be much, but I hope you'll enjoy it.
Happy Spring!

April, 2009

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Foraging Watercress

nasturtium officinale


Some of you might be quite familiar with this delicious spring vegetable. In the UK it is still common fare, although perhaps not quite as common now as it used to be. It is one of the few 'wild edibles' that can be found at supermarkets - though what you find there, nicely packaged derives from cultivated sources.

A couple of hundred years ago Watercress achieved regional fame, especially in the Southeast of the country where it was cultivated and sold by the cartload at local markets and all over London. Young boys would run around early in the morning to sell Watercress to the working population as a fresh ingredient for their lunchtime 'sarnis' and it was widely considered 'poor man's fare'. Today its status has changed considerably. It is not as common anymore, but often used as a decorative garnish at trendy restaurants. Ironically, that bit of decoration may well be the most nutritious item on the plate. Watercress is packed with vitamins and minerals and is one of the tastiest and healthiest spring greens available. In the old days it often featured as an important ingredient in spring-cleansing diets. Watercress detoxifies the system and gives it the right nutrients to kick-start a sluggish metabolism that might be dragging after the sedentary winter months. Watercress is rich in vitamin C, A and K as well as some B vitamins, (Riboflavin, B 6, Thiamine, Pantothenic acid, potassium, manganese and calcium. It is also rich in protein. In the days when vitamin C rich tropical fruits were not so easy to get, Watercress was one of the major sources of this important vitamin. (also known as scurvy grass)

watercress cultivation - photo: creative commons, Wikipedia, Pterre

But unfortunately Watercress has a very short shelf-life, which makes it a logistic nightmare and thus it cannot always be found on supermarket shelves. Luckily it does grow freely in streams and moving waters throughout Europe and in North America, where it was introduced. In fact there it has taken so well to local environmental conditions that it is sometimes considered an invasive, especially in the Great Lakes region. There are few plants that actively seek out moving water, so from that perspective it is relatively easily identified. The leaves are dark green and elongated with a rounded tip. The margins curl inward and are slightly wavy. The flowers are of the typical crucifer appearance, with four petals and growing in clusters. When rubbed, the plant exudes a distinctive mustardy smell. It may be confused with another very similar looking species, known as Cardamine or Bitter Cress (Cardamine amara), which occurs in the same habitats. This is also a member of the Brassica family and is distinguished only by the fact that its anthers are purple (Watercress' is yellow) and that its stems are not hollow as are those of Watercress. Luckily mistaking these two species has no fatal consequence. Bitter Cress has a more bitter taste, but otherwise you will notice no ill effect.


Planting the Future - One Seed at a Time



That all the earth is fragile and that we must not take from her beyond what she can sustain. Overharvesting, particularly due to commercial collection of medicinal plants has brought many once plentiful plant species to the brink of extinction. As 'plant people', we should adopt an attitude of green guardianship for mother earth, who so plentifully provides for us.

Here are the rules that every forager should live and breathe by:

Get to know the plants that grow around you on a personal, first name basis: familiarize yourself with the herbs, bushes and trees in your neighborhood, try to learn as much as possible about the ecosystem of which you are a part and the plant members of your 'extended family'. Learn to identify them correctly and investigate all their uses. Try to understand it as part of a larger ecosystem. Which animals like it or dislike it? With which other plants does it form communities? Is it native or invasive? Does it protect the ground or deplete it of any of its nutrients? How does it 'fit' into its environment? What can you learn from its chemistry? Building this kind of holistic knowledge base will give you a much deeper insight into the nature of a plant and its role within the ecosystem. Its a lengthy process, but vital if you want to truly get to know your plant friends and the habitat you share.

It is especially important that you learn to identify the poisonous plants you are likely to encounter, lest they inadvertently end up on your dinner plate, which could be most unpleasant or in the worst case scenario, even lethal. The importance of this point is completely obvious, but cannot be stressed enough. Some people hold the false and dangerous belief that what can be found in nature cannot harm them. DO NOT EAT ANYTHING YOU CANNOT POSITIVELY IDENTIFY AND DEEM SAFE. When you think you know a plant, think again and see what other, non-edible look-alikes might be fooling you. This is even more important when it comes to collecting mushrooms, as there are many poisonous mushrooms out there that have evolved to be masters at deceiving unsuspecting mushroom hunters. There are also many more potentially deadly mushrooms with edible look-alikes than there are deadly plants with edible look-alikes.

Don't be greedy!

Familiarize yourself with the plants that are listed on the endangered species list for your area. Apart from being unethical, it is also highly illegal to pick endangered plant species. Instead of taking rare plants, consider sowing their seeds in the wild.

Only pick as much as you need and never take ALL the plants of any one kind in a given patch. After harvesting an area give the plants plenty of time to recover before returning to the same patch. Be especially conscientious when it comes to harvesting roots and barks. Remember that often harvesting roots means the death of the plant, so before you start digging ask yourself if this plant is really plentiful and if it can sustain a harvest of its roots. If in doubt, don't collect. Consider growing some in your garden rather than depleting natural stands. Collecting barks can also be fatal to a tree. If you must collect this part, try to collect it from smaller branches rather than the stem, from branches that have fallen, or from trees that are due to be cut for other purposes.

However tempting it may look, never pick in places that are subject to pollution from roads, industry or heavy spraying of farm chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers etc.). And don't collect from nature reserves either - these are areas set up to protect wild species, so give them their space and let them be!

Cast seeds of native species to the earth and to the winds once in a while - as a way of giving something back. Consider adopting a little patch that you are particularly fond of. When you are out and about, never leave any litter behind, but try to bring some back with you - I always carry two bags, one for foraging and one for litter picking. Give thanks to the plants and to Mother Earth who has provided them.

In Association with


Greening Cityscapes


Life is no cherry picking these days, especially not for those thousands of people who have been hit hard by the ongoing economic crisis, who have lost their jobs or find themselves left with much less financial power in their pocket than what they have been used to.

First it was oil, now it is food - we are daily reminded of shortfalls in production and rising costs that make it harder and harder to feed a family. Our dependency on store bought products and the agro-industry raises a lot of questions regarding our freedom of choice and the fulfilment of basic human needs. Only a few generations ago our forefathers were still largely self-sufficient, producing most of what they needed on their own homesteads and farms. But the lure of modern conveniences and better paid jobs has lured many to the cities in search of a better life. Under the ever hailing banner of progress we have abandoned the land.

But now we are beginning to realize some of the drawbacks of living in urban environments. In many cities a house with a garden costs a fortune. Miniscule apartments are more the norm - a dilemma for those who want to regain some independence from the commercial food chain.

Yet, there is hope -- even in places like NY or LA or London it is possible to grow your own food. Urban garden allotments are part of most European cityscapes. They have played a vital role in providing city folks with their own little green oasis - and in times of famine, during and after the war, they were an essential source of food. Today such allotments are utilized both, for recreation and for growing food. However, these plots are often hard to get, waiting lists are long and it is not that cheap to lease your own plot of land. Often there are restrictive by-laws and regulations devised by the organizations that manage such gardens. Sometimes neighbourly relations are not so great, as different people have very different ideas of gardening and some people mind their neighbours approach. But still, at least this traditional form of urban gardening has managed to survive into the 21st century, which, considering the pressure from city developers they are often facing, is a feat in itself.

But in recent years a new and alternative form of gardening has sprouted on abandoned lots of many city-scapes in the US, UK and Germany, an altogether more communally minded initiative - the idea of community gardens. These can be legal - if the land has been donated, or illegal, if gardeners basically pursue the pleasure of gardening in an unauthorized manner by simply starting to green some forgotten corner of the city. Sometimes such guerrilla gardens are tolerated for years - until one day developers move in and bulldoze the plots to make way for a new mall or parking lot. But, while it lasts, such initiatives grow more than just food - they bring inspiration and a sense of cooperation to communities. Research has shown that especially in deprived neighbourhoods the social benefits of such gardens should be reason enough for a city or land owner to legalize the projects: community gardening helps to create social networks and lowers crime rates. It brings people together in an effort to provide for themselves and to beautify the neighbourhood. All of a sudden people start talking to each other and start sharing their lives - helping each other, swapping seeds and the fruits of their labour and taking pride in their joint efforts.

Guerilla Gardening

There are some people who take urban gardening even further. To them, a plot of abandoned land is a scar on the face of mother earth waiting to be healed. And in an effort to beautify the urban landscape they go on 'digs' to plant a bit of colour in a forgotten plot or throwing seed bombs. Such initiatives are good natured, but are not necessarily regarded benevolently by authorities. However, surprisingly a lot of 'ordinary people' really like the idea and covertly or openly support the green guerrillas - and afterall, who doesn't appreciate a beautified and greened up urban landscape?

There are many ways to become active and join a local network of urban gardeners. The rewards are more than just a little bit of regained independence from the food industry squeeze - you will not only discover a whole new network in your neighbourhood and meet new friends, but also know that you are part of creating an oasis in the urban concrete desert landscape.


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Peru - the heart of the Inca empire, still reverberates with mystery and magic. Andean hiking adventures in some of the most spectacular mountain ranges on earth, strewn with abundant traces of ancient civilizations - not just Inca, but also many pre-Incan sites, myterious cloud forests that are home to more species than almost any other type of environment, or the sullen lowland rainforests with towering trees that are humming with life in a never silent concerto of exotic jungle noises.

Peru is alsways an adventure. But private travel arrangements can be expensive for single travelers. The alternative is to join a regular departure trip which are usually made up of small groups of adventurous travelers.

Chincheros Market - Sacred Valley

Here are some of the best travel options for fixed group departures:

Peru Classic Adventure

A 12 day itinerary that combines Cusco, the Sacred Valley and the Inca Trail, including white water rafting on the Urubamba River. During the Inca Trail accommodations is in tents. Departs every Tuesday and Friday from Lima.
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Camino Apu Asaungate - High Andes Lodge to Lodge trekking
Andean Hiking

A great lodge based hiking adventure is Camino Apu Asaungate - way off the beaten treck. Five days of serious trekking in an otherworldly mountainscape far away from the tourist trails of the lower altitudes. Proper acclimatization prior to going on this treck is essential. Only for people in excellent physical condition and experienced hikers.
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Salcantay - The alternative route to Machu Picchu
Salcantay Trek

This is the 'Alternative Inca Trail', a 5 day trip, a bit more demanding than the classic route, taking you through the back country to Machu Picchu. A great hiking adventure, though it is becoming rather popular these days since the number restrictions have been enforced on the Classic Inca Trail.
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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Inca Trail

This 4 day trek needs to be booked well in advance if you want a chance to trek the classic route to Machu Picchu. The authorities only allow 400 people each day to be on this trail, including the guides and porters. This has improved the quality of the hiking experience, but made it imperative to plan well ahead of time.
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Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca  - Catuacocha
Cordillera Blanca - Huaraz Trek

A five day trekking adventure in the Huascaran National Park. This is a hiker's dream - trekking in the worlds highest tropical mountain range, passing below towering peaks - Huascaran, Alpamayo, Taulliraju, Huandoy, Chacraraju and many others in the glacial canyons of Perus first mountain National Park and Biosphere reserve. Starts and ends in Huaraz. Departs every Sunday.
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Camping Tours to Manu National Park
Visit Manu Cloud Forest

Manu is the largest National Park in Peru. Access is via the Cloud forest road beyond Cusco, but only tour operators with a special license and licensed scientists are allowed into the reserve. An organized group tour is the best option to visit. Because this area is highly protected there are very few lodge options and accommodations is in tents of tented camps. A great way to experience the rainforest up close. 5, 7 and 9 day tours departing regularly on Sundays
View itineraries: 5 days, 7 days, 9 days

Naturalist Cruise on the Amazon River
Amazon Cruise

Once a month a naturalist cruise departs from Iquitos. This is not a run off the mill cruise adventure - instead the destination is decided upon based on last minute information as to where the best current wildlife viewing conditions are to be found. Daily naturalist excursions to the shore will show you parts of the rainforest that are virtually impossible to reach any other way.
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View all our Peru adventures

We can also customize any itinerary you have in mind, just drop us an e-mail with your ideas.

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Let your Foods Be Medicines, and your Medicines be Food

It is no longer a secret that proper nutrition plays a vital part in maintaining good health. But when Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine first proclaimed 'Let Your Foods Be Medicines and Your Medicines Be Food' he wasn't just talking about nutrition. Instead, he was referring to the fact that the distinction between staple foods, vegetables, spices, herbs and drugs are often rather arbitrary, and that many common foods have interesting healing properties, which are often much safer to use than 'chemically potent' drugs.

It may come as a surprise, but your kitchen cupboard is in fact a veritable medicine chest, that can provide remedies for all kinds of ailments, aches and pains for those who know how to use them. Let's consider some of our most ordinary everyday staple foods and vegetables:


Although often shunned by certain nutritionalists as 'fatteners', grains and starches are in fact an important part of a balanced diet. The operative word here is 'balance' and being mindful of what shape that starch takes - white flour products including bread and pasta, polished rice and fried potatoes have little to commend them and contribute virtually nothing but calories to the diet. Yet, in a less process form grains and starchy root vegetables, are considered 'the staff of life'. They should form the basis of a balanced diet, as they not only supply energy in the form of complex carbohydrates, but also provide a large range of nutrients. They are rich in fibre, too, which is especially important for maintaining a healthy digestive system, eliminating toxins and keeping cholesterol levels low. But, they should not dominate the diet but should be eaten in amounts that are appropriate in terms of your physical output. People who live a more or less sedentary lifestyle don't need lots of carbs to keep the burner going. Medicinally grains are more versatile:

Barley - image curtesy of

Barley (Hordeum vulgare)
Barley gruel is an excellent nutritional food useful for throat and stomach problems. Boiled in milk it promotes lactation. Externally it can be used as a poultice for sprained or stiff muscles, rheumatism and skin afflictions. Simmered in milk it soothes inflamed skin sores and ulcers. Even Barley beer has its virtues: it stimulates the appetite and increases the secretion of digestive juices, thus making fatty foods more digestible and easing heartburn. Warm beer acts demulcent and diuretic and is useful for urinary complaints.

Oats - curtesy of

Oats (Avena sativa)
Oats are very nourishing and provide an excellent food for convalescence. Plain oat porridge is one of the best foods for stomach and intestinal afflictions such as ulcers and inflammation. Oat bran ranks among the best inner cleansing agents, providing fibre that not only adds bulk, but also binds and eliminates endotoxins.

Wheat - curtesy of wikipedia

Wheat (Triticum sativum)
Wheat is one of the most important staple foods of the Western diet, though the highly refined and bleached form that is most commonly used for bread and pasta provides almost no nutritional value and it is hardly surprising, that wheat allergies are becoming common. As a less allergenic alternative try using spelt instead.
External use, however, seems mostly safe: pure, unadulterated wheat starch is a great drying and soothing powder for weeping skin rashes and inflamed sores (poison ivy!). Wheatgerm, is rich in vitamin E and numerous other nutrients. It is beneficial for debilitating or nervous conditions, circulatory problems, digestive troubles, blood impurities and skin afflictions. Wheat bran is often used as laxative or to create a sense of fullness when dieting. This is not a recommendable practice as wheat bran is water insoluble and thus does not bind endotoxins. While it adds bulk, the sharp edges of coarse bran can irritate the intestinal lining while adding no nutritional benefit. However, externally it can be used as a bath additive for rheumatism, gout and certain skin problems. Mixed with honey it makes a good combination for a facemask to treat blackheads and pimples.


Vegetables supplement carbohydrates by supplying a host of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and other trace substances that are vital to our health. Vegetables are essential, yet they should play a subordinate role: Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body and can be toxic if accumulated to excessive amounts. Too much asparagus can damage the kidneys and spinach can leech calcium from teeth and bones. But as vegetables are rarely eaten by the kilo, this seldom presents a problem.


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plantprofile hawthorn


Crataegus monogyna
(syn. Oxyacantha)


hawthorn tree flowers


A small, gnarly and hardy tree of the rose family that rarely grows to more than 30 ft. Botanists argue over the size of this extensive genus. It is not easy to say with certainty how many different species there are. Conservative estimates claim about 200 - 300 species. Hawthorns are quite liberal at interbreeding, creating many cross forms which some botanists deem variations of one type or the other, while others determining them to be separate species. North America has the greatest species diversification of this genus, but different species are native throughout the northern Hemisphere, including all parts of Europe, northern Africa, Middle East, Asia and even China.

The small, fragrant, showy, white five-petaled flowers, grow clusters and cover up almost every inch of the tree during the flowering season in late April/May.

The deeply cut, 3-lobed leaves emerge before the flowers develop. The leaves are deep green in colour and about 3 inches long. In the autumn they turn yellow.

Later in the year the little flowers turn into an abundance of bright red 'haws' - hard little berries, which attract wildlife, but are not especially palatable to humans.

Habitat and Ecology

Hawthorns are most familiar as hedgerow trees. They are undemanding as far as soil conditions are concerned, but prefer full sun. The can also often be found in open woodlands, or on the edge of the woods - or, most distinctively, as lone trees upon an open hillside.

Although the berries are not terribly tasty, small creatures eat them. But hawthorn's true value as a wildlife habitat tree lies in its impenetrable tangle of thorns and craggy habit, which provides many little hiding holes and crannies for small critters.



This familiar little tree, so common throughout the country hardly needs a description. Unassuming and inconspicuous, its often petite and straggly appearance does not really inspire awe. Rather like an old familiar friend, it waves its windswept branches from the top of a hillside or greets us as we pass it by in the old familiar hedge. Yet, there is something quintessentially British about this tree and it is little wonder that its ancient roots are deeply entwined with the myths and folklore of our 'dreamtime'.

Etymologically, the name at first seems to indicate nothing more than a utilitarian function for which indeed it is still very commonly employed: Hawthorn is a superb and quickly growing natural defence. A dense thorny thicket of Hawthorn is impenetrable indeed and its quick growth (it is also known as Quickset, or Quickbeam) aids this purpose, as does the fact that its branches become ever more dense the more they are cut or nibbled at by cattle.

But in the mindset of the ancients a hedge was more than just a living fence; it signified the boundary between the known, safe and civilized world, and the wild woods beyond. The word 'hedge' derives from 'Haga' which is contained in the old name for Hawthorn 'Hagathorn' and shares the same root as 'hag'. The hag, in old English was not just an old, ugly woman, but is cognate with 'haegtesse', a woman of prophetic powers, and 'hagzusa' spirit beings, and 'hedge riders' - in other words, beings that live 'between' the worlds of mundane reality and the otherworld beyond, and who could easily traverse the boundaries between them. Likewise, healers, seers and soothsayers were also considered 'boundary-walkers'. Thus, Hawthorn's symbolism is that of protection, but also as a gateway to this other world of magical beings.

Thus, in folk medicine it was primarily used to protect against all manner of evil spirits and demons that were apt to give you a sudden fright. To ward them off, amulets of hawthorn were carved and hung above doors or worn for protection.

Hawthorn bears both Pagan and Christian symbolism, for it is said that the thorn of Christ was made of Hawthorn. Also, some authorities claim that the Holy Spirit has a certain peculiar affinity with thorn trees as the Bible mentions its apparition in the burning bush, which is thought to have been a thorn.


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Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) could tackle dengue fever

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (2 - 8 March 2009)

CURITIBA - An Amazonian plant could form the basis of a drug to combat dengue fever, according to Brazilian researchers. A group of scientists at the Viral Immunology Laboratory of the Brazil-based Oswaldo Cruz Foundation has found that compounds of the plant cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) — native to the Amazon rainforest — have both antiviral and immune system-regulating properties when they come into contact with infected cells in the laboratory. Cat's claw is known in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory — immune system-regulating — effects, which prompted the scientists to investigate the plant.

"We reacted a solution containing substances extracted from cat's claw with immune cells and noticed that the product inhibited the production of cytokines, proteins necessary to react to the inflammatory effects of dengue," biologist Claire Kubelka, chief of the laboratory and one of the coordinators of the study, told SciDev.Net. The researchers also found fewer dengue virus cells in immune cells that had been treated with the cat's claw preparation. Dengue fever is a disease caused by a virus of the genus Flavivirus, transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The WHO estimates there might be 50 million dengue infections worldwide every year. No effective medicine exists so the only recommended treatment is hydrating patients while they are recovering. Besides Uncaria tomentosa, the Brazilian group is currently looking for anti-dengue properties in solutions of approximately 15 other plants. The research was published in International Immunopharmacology in December.
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Cork: World’s first winery to earn FSC certification

From: Rainforest Matters monthly publication, March 2009

The Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon, USA – the world’s first winery to earn Forest Stewardship Council / Rainforest Alliance certification for using cork stoppers harvested from responsibly managed forestlands – has launched a new cork recycling program -- Cork ReHarvest -- further demonstrating its commitment to environmental stewardship. A first for Oregon and a model for wineries around the globe, the program has two aims: to collect and recycle used corks and to educate the public about the importance of sustaining the cork forests of the Mediterranean. Read full story

Medicinal Plants: Nigeria revokes sickle cell drug license

From: SciDev.Net Weekly Update 16 - 22 March 2009

A long chapter in an internationally-watched experiment in the commercialization of an indigenous medicine has drawn to a close after the company charged with producing the drug had its license revoked. Nicosan — based on a traditional remedy for sickle cell anemia — has been manufactured by the company Xechem, in Nigeria, since 2003. But the Nigerian government's National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Development (NIPRD) has withdrawn the company's license, according to documents seen by SciDev.Net. The move follows the apparent collapse in production of the drug, which has left many Nigerian sickle cell sufferers without a medicine with which to alleviate their symptoms.

Nicosan (formerly Niprisan) is based on extracts from West African plants that had been known to generations of a Nigerian family as an effective treatment for sickle cell anemia. Around 12 million people suffer from the painful genetic illness. It has been labeled "probably the most neglected serious public health disorder in Africa" by Charles Wambebe, chief executive officer of the International Biomedical Research Institute in Abuja, Nigeria. The family who owned the recipe initially drew up a Memorandum of Understanding for its development with Nigeria's NIPRD. This pioneering agreement has been widely cited as a case study in "benefit sharing" — allowing vulnerable groups to have a stake in the profits from commercializing indigenous products. In 2003, in a controversial move, Xechem bought the rights to develop Nicosan. By February last year its subsidiary, Xechem Nigeria, said it was producing some 50,000 capsules a year (see Sickle cell drug mired in controversy). But the following month (March) a fraud complaint was brought before Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission against Xechem Nigeria. The complainant alleged that US$3.5 million of public funding from the Nigerian government, which was supposed to have been spent on drug manufacture, had been misused.
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Brazil: Land boost for Indians

Source: BBC News, 19 March 2009

A ruling by Brazil's Supreme Court has boosted the efforts of the country's disadvantaged indigenous groups to keep control of their lands. By ten votes to one, judges ruled to maintain an Indian reservation in the northern border state of Roraima as a single, continuous territory. It means that a small group of outside rice farmers with plantations in the area will now have to leave. The head of the court also accused the government of failing the Indians. This was the third occasion the court had met to reach a decision on the question, and the delays appeared to be just another indication of the sensitivity involved, the BBC's Gary Duffy reports from Brazil. The Raposa Serra do Sol reservation, which stretches more than 1.7m hectares (4.2m acres) along the Venezuelan border, is home to up to 20,000 Amazonian Indians. Indigenous leaders had feared a ruling against them would have signaled to land-owners and loggers that it was acceptable to invade their territory. Thursday's decision confirmed a decree issued by Brazil's President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who established Raposa Serra do Sol in 2005 exclusively as an area for use by the local Indian population.
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Cambodia: 'Ecstasy oil' distilleries threaten rainforests

Source:, Cambodia, 25 February 2009

Authorities, working with conservationists, have raided and closed several 'ecstasy oil' distilleries in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains. The distilleries posed a threat to the region's rich biological diversity, reports Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the conservation group involved in the operation. "The factories had been set up to distill 'sassafras oil'; produced by boiling the roots and the trunk of the exceptionally rare Mreah Prew Phnom trees (Cinnamomum parthenoxylon) and exported to neighboring countries," said FFI. "The oil is used in the production of cosmetics, but can also be used as a precursor chemical in the altogether more sinister process of producing MDMA – more commonly known as ecstasy. The distillation process not only threatens Mreah Prew Phnom trees, but damages the surrounding forest ecosystem. Producing sassafras oil is illegal in Cambodia."
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India: Ethnic groups crucial to biodiversity

Source: The Deccan Herald, India, 3 March 2009

With an estimated 10 percent of India's over 46,000 plant species being either extinct or in the endangered category owing to ruthless exploitation, scientists say that the key to conserving plant diversity lies in the protection of ethnic communities, who have traditionally lived in the forests. "The vast majority of important plants are still conserved by tribal communities residing in the remote forest areas of the different phytogeographic zones of India," says D C Saini, senior scientist and taxonomist at the prestigious Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow. "If the biodiversity of any area is to be protected and forest biota itself to be used for the benefit of mankind, the protection of ethnic communities and their involvement in the conservation of bio-diversity need to be strengthened and expanded," Dr Saini told Deccan Herald. He said the rich biodiversity of the country comprises more than 46,000 plant species of all groups of plant kingdom and 573 tribal communities. "Owing to its richness in vegetation and extreme diversity in floristic compositions, the Indian sub-continent is designated as one of the twelve mega-centers of biodiversity in the world, representing two of the 18 hotspots of biological diversity, namely the Western Ghats and North-Eastern Himalayas," he said.
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India moves to protect traditional medicines from foreign patents

Source: Guardian. Co. UK, 22 February 2009

In the first step by a developing country to stop multinational companies patenting traditional remedies from local plants and animals, the Indian government has effectively licensed 200,000 local treatments as 'public property' free for anyone to use but no one to sell as a 'brand'. The move comes after scientists in Delhi noticed an alarming trend – the 'bio-prospecting' of natural remedies by companies abroad. After trawling through the records of the global trademark offices, officials found 5,000 patents had been issued — at a cost of at least $150m (£104m) — for 'medical plants and traditional systems'.

"More than 2,000 of these belong to the Indian systems of medicine ...We began to ask why multinational companies were spending millions of dollars to patent treatments that so many lobbies in Europe deny work at all," said Dr Vinod Kumar Gupta, who heads the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, which lists in encyclopaedic detail the 200,000 treatments. The database, which took 200 researchers eight years to compile by meticulously translating ancient Indian texts, will now be used by the European Patent Office to check against 'bio-prospectors'. Gupta points out that in Brussels alone there had been 285 patents for medicinal plants whose uses had long been known in the three principal Indian systems: Ayurveda, India's traditional medical treatment; Unani, a system believed to have come to India via ancient Greece; and Siddha, one of India's oldest health therapies, from the south. Read full article

UN Declares April 22 International Mother Earth Day

Environmental News Service

NEW YORK, New York, April 22, 2009 (ENS) - As the United Nations General Assembly today officially designated April 22 as International Mother Earth Day, its president called on governments to "cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystems." General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto stressed that developed countries bear the responsibility for supporting an urgent shift to sustainable development. 2009 UNEP Champions of the Earth awards were announced at in Paris.
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Terminating Food Sovereignty in Ecuador?
President opens door to Terminator seeds

On February 18, 2009, the Ecuadorian Congress approved a new Law on Food Sovereignty, which, among other important points, declared the country "free of transgenic crops and seeds." However, in spite of vocal popular opposition, the legislation left the door open to approvals of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in "exceptional" cases. Now, President Rafael Correa has proposed several changes to the legislation – in what is known in Ecuador as a partial-veto – and sent it back to the Congress. The president's changes dangerously weaken the law and open the door to Terminator seeds.

Terminator technology is designed to make "suicide seeds," genetically engineered to be sterile in the second generation. The technology has been widely rejected around the world by farmers' movements, governments, research institutions and UN agencies as dangerous, immoral and undesirable.
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May 2, 2009

Herb Fest: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.:. Colorado Springs, CO, USA.

Rain or Shine. Free admission when you bring canned goods for Silver Key Senior Pantry. Herbal "marketplace" with more than 36 booths representing local herbalists, healing practitioners, skin care items and therapies, aromatherapy, herbal books and products and much much more! The festival will include free hourly lectures and presentations from herbal experts. Perhaps you might even purchase a few herb plants for your own herb garden. Explore the Silent Auction for many services and products. While you shop for crafts and gifts at a variety of booths, you can touch, smell and taste some herbs, then relax, sit back, with a nice cup of tea. For more information, please contact Sharon & Ravi Schulman at 719-533-0707, or visit the Web site:

May 2-3, 2009

Denver Green Festival. Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO, USA

A joint project of Global Exchange and Co-op America. We are pleased to add this stunning city to our schedule of premier sustainability events, not only for its charm and natural beauty but also for its outstanding efforts through the City’s Greenprint Denver program to restore the splendor of its region and the planet. Find out how neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are working together to make this spectacular city a healthier place to live. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:


Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street
Denver, CO 80202
United States

May 8-10, 2009

Medi Herbal Expo 2009, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India

Medi Herbal Expo is a logical exposition for all concerned with this trade, from farmer to exporters of value added products. New agri entreprenuers are also venturing into this vast unexplored area & joining traditional growers to grow varieties that will give them more profit. For more information, please visit Web site:

May 10-13, 2009

6th Annual Nutrition & Health Conference. Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL, USA

Nutrition and Health: State of the Science and Clinical Applications is the premier nutrition conference for health professionals in the U.S. Co-presented by the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the conference assembles internationally-recognized researchers, clinicians, educators, and chefs, all of whose work focuses on the interface between nutrition and healthful living. You will leave understanding the links between nutrition, disease and health to better advise patients on nutritional recommendations that improve their conditions. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

May 12-15, 2009

North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine. Minneapolis, Minnesota

The conference will showcase original scientific complementary, alternative and integrative medical research (CAIM) through keynote and plenary presentations, oral and poster presentations, and innovative scientific sessions. Areas of CAIM research presented and discussed at this conference will include:

For more information please visit Web Site:

May 16-17, 2009

Chicago Green Festival. Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, USA

A joint project of Global Exhange and Co-op America, this festival will showcase more than 350 diverse local and national green businesses. More than 150 renowned speakers will appear for insightful panel discussions and presentations. You’ll also enjoy great how-to workshops, green films, a Fair Trade pavilion, yoga classes, kids' activities, delicious organic beer, wine and cuisine, and live music. Find out how Midwest neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are working together to make their cities healthier places to live. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:


Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

May 16-17, 2009

United Plant Savers Inaugurates: TALKING FOREST MEDICINE TRAIL

Goldenseal Sanctuary, Rutland, OH, USA. United Plant Savers (UpS), the non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of native medicinal plants, will host 'The Talking Forest Medicine Trail' Inauguration & Celebration. Highlights include an inauguration ceremony for the trail; guided hikes among some of America's largest remaining stands of ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh, and other medicinal plants; and classes with some of the country's leading herbalists. Along with the guided hikes and classes, lunch, a marketplace of herbal products, and an evening program will be offered. Overnight camping is available. The cost for attendance is $35 for the general public, $20 for UpS members. To register or find out more information, contact United Plant Savers at (802) 476-6467 or visit

May 30-June 1, 2009

Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium. Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC, USA

Annual symposium on herbal medicine at beautiful Blue Ridge Assembly near Asheville, North Carolina. Keynote speaker: Dr. Vasant Lad. Symposium topics include: Ayurvedic Rejuvenation; Osteoporosis- Beyond Calcium and Vit D; Early Botanical Intervention in Declining Cognition; Use of Herbal Anti-inflammatories; Psychoactive Botanicals; Weaning Patients from Hypertensive Medications, Health Maintenance for an Aging Population and much more. Herb walks in the surrounding forest, medicine making and food preparation demonstrations in the new herbal fair and exhibit area. Preconference intensive May 29: Women and Natural Medicine- Consciousness and Science. CE credits for health professionals. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site: or call 1-800-252-0688.

*Mark Blumenthal, Founder & Executive Director of ABC, will be speaking at this event.


Blue Ridge Assembly
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711
United States

May 31-June 3, 2009

11th North American Agroforestry Conference - Agroforestry Comes of Age Putting Science into Practice
Stoney Creek Inn, Columbia, MO, USA

The conference will be hosted by the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry and the Association for Temperate Agroforestry. The intent of the conference is to further stimulate development and adoption of sustainable rural land management practices centered on the integration of trees into the landscape. The conference will provide a forum for individuals associated with or practicing agroforestry to share their experiences and discuss production, environmental and social attributes of different agroforestry practices. Upland and riparian forest buffers, windbreaks and shelterbelts, silvopasture, alley cropping and forest farming practices will be the main foci discussed during the conference. There will be concurrent sessions, a poster session, field trips and time for discussion that focus on the successes, opportunities and constraints of agroforestry. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

May 31 - June 4, 2009

The Society for Economic Botany Annual Conference: Celebrating 50 Years - Join Us

College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA. More information on the conference will be posted in the coming months to the following Web site along with registration information:

June 3-7, 2009

FAPRONATURA 2009: 2nd International Symposium about Pharmacology of Natural Products
Sirenis La Salina Hotel, Varadero, Cuba

The International Symposium about Pharmacology of Natural Products is organized by the Cuban Society of Pharmacology to discuss update aspects concerning the development of the research in Natural Products for human and veterinary uses. The Keynote Address, Interactive Symposia, and Poster Exhibitions will give a unique opportunity for discussion and cooperation to all Colleagues from Academia, Industry, Governmental Services and Research Institutes in the World who are interested in sharing last experiences in these fields. We look forward to the great opportunity of welcoming you warmly at our International Symposia on Natural Products in Cuba. For more information, please visit Web site:

June 9-13, 2009

2nd International Conference on Landscape & Urban Horticulture. Bologna, Italy

During this conference themes dealing with the relationship "People - Plants - Quality of Life" will be discussed. The conference will explore the advances being made in a wide range of topics: from ecophysiology and plant management in urban environment, through psychological and social aspects of gardening, plant use and garden design - including transversal views where landscape architecture meets functional horticultural management in the cities to urban agriculture. Participants contributing with innovative solutions for garden design and management, including ecological engineering and technologies, are warmly welcomed.For further information including details for submission of abstracts, please visit the conference website:

June 11-14, 2009

Food As Medicine: Professional Nutrition Training Program
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C., USA

This program provides the latest in science-based nutrition education and is designed to give graduates the knowledge, confidence, compassion and skills required to integrate food as medicine in their clinical practice. This is the nutrition class that health care professionals tell us they've been looking for.

Topics include:

For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

June 15-17, 2009

8th International Symposium on the Chemistry of Natural Compounds (8th SCNC)

Anadolu University, Atatürk Culture & Art Centre (AKM), Eskisehir, Turkey


The 1st Symposium on the Chemistry of Natural Compounds (SCNC) was held between October 5-7, 1994 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Symposium also incorporated the 1st Uzbek-Turkish Symposium of the Chemistry of Natural Compounds with the participation of Turkish scientists. According to an agreement between the Anadolu University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy in Eskisehir, Turkey and the Institute of Chemistry of Plant Substances (ICPS) of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, this symposium is organized biennially in Turkey and Uzbekistan. We invite interested scientists to attend the symposium with or without scientific contribution. We believe that the symposium will provide a medium for mutual contacts and contribute to the advancement of the chemistry of natural compounds. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

June 17-21, 2009

4th International Symposium Breeding Research On Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (ISBMAP 2009). Ljubljana, Slovenia

The theme of the symposium is "Biodiversity conservation and use of genetic resources." Conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) represent the basis for cultivar development and provision of high quality raw materials used in target processing industries (pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic...). The global biodiversity drop in many MAP species urge for the implementation of conservation strategies, aimed at conserving the natural heritage, at the improvement of the knowledge on the genetic variability of MAPs and on their biological activity as well.

Professional and scientific information on aspects like diversity evaluation, reproduction biology of MAPs and its implications/relevance for conservation, breeding work and cultivar development is rather scarce. This is the motive to organise a symposium joining experts involved in plant genetic resources conservation and breeders who are both concerned with genetic diversity and its evaluation. Important prerequisites for successful breeding are populations with a high variability of the traits of interest. In the case of MAPs, the use of the available wealth of natural diversity is yet the main approach to breed new varieties. The symposium intends to build a bridge between the scientific disciplines of genetic resources and breeding research. The synopsis of both fields of expertise provides the platform to present the most recent research findings and for fruitful discussions.

The organizing committee extends a cordial invitation to all researchers and interested colleagues to attend the symposium which will convey important impulses for future activities of the participants regardless their belonging to academia, government, NGOs or private industry.

For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

June 18-21, 2009

The 5th International Medicinal Mushroom Conference (IMMC5). Nantong, China

The international movement for the medicinal mushroom industry marked an important milestone when Begell House Publisher (USA) launched the International Journal of Medicinal Mushroom (IJMM) in 1999. Solomon P. Wasser is the current Editor-in-Chief of the IJMM. The inaugural International Medicinal Mushroom Conference (IMMC) was held in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2001. Afterwards, it was agreed to hold an international conference of medicinal mushrooms every two years. The IMMC2 was held in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2003; IMMC3 was held in Port Townsend, USA, and the IMMC4 was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2007. We look forward to the next IMMC5 in Nantong, China, June 18 - 21, 2009. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

June 19-21,2009

9th International Herb Symposium. Norton, MA

For more than just an educational event, the IHS is a joyful celebratory gathering of people who love plants. A symposium to touch your heart and soul as well as mind and spirit, the International Herb Symposium offers herbal enthusiasts and practitioners an incredible opportunity to learn from the world's leading experts in botanical medicine. Whether a novice or advanced in your herbal interests, the Symposium Features a wide variety of classes and sharing experiences to touch every level of your being . For more information please visit Web Site:

June 22-23, 2009

2009 Berry Health Benefits Symposium. Portola Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monterey, CA, USA

An international conference dedicated to exploring the latest scientific research related to berries and human health. Scientists worldwide have firmly established that the dietary intake of berries has a positive and profound effect on human disease prevention. This symposium will showcase the latest research into the compositional elements and biochemical activities of berries and their relationship to a variety of health benefits. Attendees and presenters will have an opportunity to discuss new research findings with the goal of developing new ideas and directions to further the knowledge base. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

June 22-24 and 25-29, 2009

Biodiversity Hotspots in the Mediterranean Area: species, communities and landscape level Cagliari, Italy

The congress will cover the following subjects in three different sessions:

The first day will also be devoted to two parallel side events:

The second day will be dedicated to the following side events:

For more information, please contact:

Consulcongress S.r.l.
Via San Benedetto 88
09129 Cagliari, Italy
Tel. +39 070 499242
Fax +39 070 485402
info at

June 27 - July 1, 2009

50 Years Anniverary Meeting of the American Society of Pharmacognosy: Fifty Years of Natural Products & Beyond: Celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the ASP.
Sheraton Waikiki, Honolulu, HI, USA

In 2009, the American Society of Pharmacognosy celebrates the 50th year since our founding in 1959. In the unique setting of Hawaii, we are planning an exciting scientific and social program to commemorate our Golden Anniversary. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

July 6-9,2009

Indigenous Plant Use Forum (IPUF) 2009 Annual Conference Stellenbosch, South Africa

The 12th annual Indigenous Plant Use Forum (IPUF) conference will be held at the Agricultural Research Council's Infruitec-Nietvoorbij facility, in the Olive Grove Hall (Infruitec campus) in Stellenbosch, with the theme "Exploration and commercialization: Opportunities and challenges".

As in the past, several short symposia will be held by grouping together oral papers and poster papers submitted by IPUF members for the 2009 Forum. Efforts will be made to accommodate all contributions on Indigenous Plant Use or related subjects. Typical symposia include:

For more information, please contact:

Bernard de Villiers
IPUF secretariat
Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology
University of Johannesburg
P.O. Box 524
2006 South Africa
Mobile: +27 (0) 71 225 3181
Tel: +27 (0) 11 559 2436
Fax: +27 (0) 11 559 2411
Email: ipuf at

July 6-11, 2009

International Conference on Plants and Environmental Pollution 2009,
Kayserim, Turkey

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Dilek Demirezen Yilmaz
or Dr. Fatih Duman
or Dr. Mehmet Gökhan Halici
Erciyes University
Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Biology Department
38039 Kayseri, Turkey
Email: or

July 17-19, 2009

Colorado Integrative Medicine Conference (cIMc 2009): Focus on Mind-Body Medicine
Peak Lodge at YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO, USA

An evidence-based conference with talks and workshops geared toward health professionals and the general public looking for cutting edge tools to help patients achieve optimum mind-body health, trauma healing and stress management, as well as knowledge about self-care. For more information about this event, please visit Web site: or contact Kerri Diamant at 970-310-3030 or

July 25-26, 2009

NW Herb Fest 2009. Wise Acres, Eugene, OR, USA

Annual symposium on herbal medicine at Wise Acres Educational Farm. Two days with a variety of presenters. Beginning and advanced classes offered. Herb walks are available throughout the conference. CE credits available for some health professionals. $145 prior to May 1st. For more information, please visit Web site:, email, or call 541-736-0164.

July 30 - August 1, 2009

Aromatherapy, Clinical Phytotherapy & Endobiogénie Retreat & Trade Show. Snowbird Resort, Cliff Lodge, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Sponsored by the Endobiogenic Integrative Medical Center. Featuring Jean Claude Lapraz, M.D.; Jean Bokelmann, M.D.; Kate Damian; Mindy Green, RH; Kamyar Hedayat, M.D.; John Black; Mark Blumenthal, Founder & Executive Director of American Botanical Council. Visit or call Belen Flores at 208-478-8400 for more details.

August 16-20, 2009

57th International Congress & Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant & Natural Product Research. Geneva, Switzerland

The 57th Annual Meeting will address classical themes, such as the isolation, structure determination, analysis and bioactivity of natural products. In addition, there will be sessions such as plants relevant to the problems of aging of the population, natural products and neglected diseases, and anti-cancer agents. Scientific contributions in other topics related to medicinal plant research will also be welcomed. There will be poster sessions and a special workshop for young scientists and a workshop on regulatory affairs. Beside the scientific programme, a full social programme will be offered, which will leave you with unforgettable memories of Geneva and its majestic mountains and lake. For more information, please visit Web site:

August 19-22, 2009

AANP's 24th Annual Convention: Physicians, Heal Thy Planet. Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center (GTCTC), Tacoma, WA, USA. The purpose of the exhibition portion of the AANP Annual Convention is to complement the continuing education sessions and to inform and educate attendees on the latest developments in natural healthcare related technologies, products, services and equipment. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

August 21-26, 2009

Tunza International Youth Conference on the Environment
Daejeon, Republic of Korea

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the UNEP National Committee for the Republic of Korea will be organizing its Tunza International Youth Conference on the Environment on the theme of: Climate Change: Our Challenge. It will bring together 200 youths to learn about the environment through plenary sessions, workshops and field trips.

The daily themes include:

Organized by the United Nations Environment Programme in Cooperation with the UNEP Committee for the Republic of Korea
Nominations must be submitted to UNEP on or before 31 March 2009
For more information on the Conference, and to submit a nomination from your organization:

The Children and Youth Unit
Division of Communications and Public Information
United Nations Environment Programme
P.O Box 30552
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254 -20-7623937
Fax: 254 -20-7623927/4350

August 23-28, 2009

2nd World Congress of Agroforestry (WCA2009). Nairobi, Kenya

The 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry promises to be the premier event for 2009 a platform to share global knowledge and experience on the opportunities that will leverage agroforestry science and development as a sustainable land use system worldwide. The Congress will serve as a forum for researchers, educators, practitioners and policy makers to share ideas and solutions that will impact positively on rural livelihoods, food security and the global environment. The overall Congress theme is "Agroforestry - The Future of Global Land Use". Plenary, symposia, concurrent sessions, and poster sessions will be organized around different major topics, based on the following:

For more information, please visit Web site:

August 23-29, 2009

Applied Nature Studies: Wild Plants as Medicines, Teas, & Foods with Frank Cook. Humboldt Field Research Institute, Steuben, ME, USA.

During our week together, we will pursue an experiential approach to encountering the world. We will initially discuss the context of the phenomena that we are studying—be it plants, mushrooms, seaweeds or the land forms we explore. Our aim is to pursue a holistic understanding of nature bringing together such diverse fields as botany, mycology, fermentation, permaculture, ethnobotany, and ecology. Once we have achieved a degree of understanding we will take frequent trips into the surrounding ecosystems, and learning the techniques for collecting from the wild. From these gatherings we will process and ferment wild foods and natural medicines. By the end of the week, the participants will have been exposed to many of the qualities of complex ecosystems and ways in which humans can study and connect with their environment. We will encounter some of the challenges facing humanity and ways to apply our understanding of nature to address them. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

August 30-September 5, 2009

Medicinal Plants, Aromatic Phytochemicals, & Aromatherapy with Dr. James A. Duke
Humboldt Field Research Institute, Steuben, ME, USA

This seminar will provide a broad overview and introduction to botany, chemistry and economic potential of aromatic plants, in the field in Eastern North America. The aromatic phytochemicals will be discussed in the context of Native American, Eclectic, and Modern Medicine and Aromatherapy, American perspective, but also in the Cosmopolitan Context of Aromatic Phytochemicals and Spices. Practical uses of aromatic and medicinal plants will be the main focus,in the field, with mention also of edibility, culinary, and cultural usages, and any hints of toxicity. At night, participants will review locally available literature and databases. This year, Duke will stress the evidence base for culinary medicinal plants and spices. Students will be encouraged to collect, identify, label, and share herbarium specimens they make during the week. Field trips will focus on discussions and group studies relating to the evidence-based medicinal uses of plants in several different habitats. For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

September 7-11, 2009

7th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine (ICTAM VII): Asian Medicine: Cultivating Traditions & the Challenges of Globalisation. Thimphu, Bhutan

Presentations of relevance to the medicinal plants trade will include:

For more information, or to register, please visit Web site:

September 10-13, 2009

23rd Breitenbush Herbal Conference: 'Bringing Herbalism Home'. Portland, OR, USA

2009 brings us the 23rd Breitenbush Herbal Conference. This conference “Bringing Herbalism Home” focuses on finding the home and hearth in Herbalism. Workshops, demonstrations, herb walks and merriment, will appeal to beginner through advanced students. The healing waters and ancient forests of Breitenbush are an added bonus while attending this gathering. Inquire about Professional Continuing Education Credits and our Children's program. We look forward to sharing this amazing experience with you. In addition to the main conference, beginning Friday at 4:30, we will offer 2 pre-conference intensive workshops from 9:30 to 3:30 on Friday. Lodging at Breitenbush Thursday night is required. Topics to be announced. Extra fee required.

Each year some of the finest herbalists share their knowledge, and wisdom. The 2009 teachers include: Cascade Anderson Geller, Paul Bergner, Stephen Buhner, Ryan Drum, EagleSong, Sally King, Leslie Korn, Bob Quinn and many more.

Begins: Friday dinner; Ends: Sunday lunch

Information and Registration: or 503-288-3588 or

October 12-16,2009

Plant Conservation for the Next Decade: A Celebration of Kew's 250th Anniversary
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, UK

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is hosting a celebratory scientific conference on 12-16 October 2009, "Plant Conservation for the Next Decade: A Celebration of Kew's 250th Anniversary." The program will include three days of scientific sessions in the Jodrell laboratory, showcasing Kew's conservation research and inviting leading international research scientists to present papers in six sessions - Plant Conservation: Policies and Politics; Plant Conservation: Management and Restoration; Plant Conservation and Human Cultures; Plant Conservation and Agriculture; Frontiers of Plant Conservation Technology; and, Plant Conservation: What Can We Afford to Lose?

Keynote speakers include Dr. Peter Raven, Dr. Judy West, Professor Hongwen Huang, Professor Michael E. Kane, Dr. Saw Leng Guan, Professor Richard Hobbs, Ms. Sara Oldfield, the current Director of Kew Professor Stephen Hopper and previous Directors Professor Sir Peter Crane and Professor Sir Ghillean Prance.

Kew now invites interested parties to submit abstracts for posters and oral presentations, to be considered for inclusion in this exciting conference. Participating authors are also invited to contribute to a special issue of Kew Bulletin, subject to standard scientific review. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words, excluding the title, and the deadline for abstract submission is 9 April 2009.

For more information, please contact:

Plant Conservation Conference
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Surrey TW9 3AB

October 18-25, 2009

XIII World Forestry Congress. Buenos Aires, Argentina

The main objective of the Congress is to provide a forum for the exchange of personal experiences and for discussions on topics related to forestry activities, involving professionals and other interested people from all over the world. Approximately 6,000 participants from more than 160 countries are expected. Activities at the Congress will include conferences, round-table discussions, poster presentations, parallel events, exhibits, study and technical tours. All will focus on subjects related to the main subject theme of the WFC: "Forests in development - a vital balance." For more information, please visit Web Site:

October 27–28, 2009

Decentralization, Power and Tenure Rights of Forest-Dependent People
Sadguru Foundation, Gujarat, India

The aim of the symposium is to share recent research experiences of participants and to review state-of-the-art approaches related to decentralization policies and local forest institutions, power and political position of forest-dependent indigenous peoples, pastoralists and tribals, and legislative recognition of forest tenure rights.

For scientific information and abstract submissions, please contact:

Purabi Bose (purabi.bose at

For registration or to co-sponsor, please contact:

Harnath Jagawat (nmsadguru at

For more information, please see:


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