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...and Happy Solstice everybody! In my neck of the woods it has been feeling like summer since April. With temperatures in the 90s and hardly any rain... And although everybody has been enjoying the wonderful early summer, there is a tangible unease, as even the last person finally realizes that global warming is here. Elsewhere there have been unseasonal and extremely heavy floods, thunderstorms, or droughts. Everyday there are new reports about scary consequences of climate change - bears coming out of the woods in search of food, toxic algae blooming in overheated lakes, reefs dying, fish and crustaceans being washed up on the shores because their habitat has become unlivable. All of a sudden people are becoming concerned, and even industrialists and politicians are beginning to address the issue. Unfortunately so far most of what is being proposed has the sour taste of 'too little, too late', - though, something may be better than nothing.

But while we wait for politicians and industries to do something, like come up with new ways to use old and easily available fuel sources (check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKM4pb9Oxrg) and schemes that encourage energy efficiency, we can each do something in our own lives right now - turn off lights when they are not in use, use energy efficient lightbulbs and appliances, walk and cycle instead of taking the car, turn electronic equipment off rather than keeping everything on standby, offset carbon emissions through carbon off setting schemes, choose eco-friendly destinations, hotels and tour operators when you go on holiday - or go on a hiking, biking or canoeing trip. Check out http://www.ecotravelling.co.uk/home.html for plenty more great eco-travel ideas or take a look at Sacred Earth Travel for our featured destinations and tours with some of the best responsible tour operators in Central and South America. Summer is upon us - stay cool and keep Gaia in mind while you enjoy this blissful time of the year.

Happy Summer Solstice
Kat Morgenstern, June 2007

I would love to hear your comments on the new format, so please send your feedback to: kmorgenstern@sacredearth.com

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Cattails

Foraging Cattails

Cattails


Some foragers get truly ecstatic when you whisper the word 'cattail' into their ear. Their eyes glaze over and you'd better have some tissue handy in case they start drooling. I am not quite as enamoured with them, but I admit that they are a great all round (and all year round) foraging plant. Indeed, in times gone by, some hunter and gatherers relied on them as one of their staple foods.

Cattail offers two great advantages: a) it is an extremely rich source ofstarch and b) it is available throughout the year. Almost every part of Cattail is useful or edible...

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Remember:

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 inadvertantly 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 conscienscious 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.

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To Bee or not to Bee

Traditional beekeepingThere has been much buzz on the internet and in the media in recent months regarding a potentially catastrophic phenomenon - the mysterious disappearance of honey bees. In the US beekeepers from 24 States have reported unusually high losses of their colonies. But the phenomenon is not restricted to the US alone. Bees have also disappeared in parts of Europe and the Middle East, although losses are less drastic. Scientists and Beekeepers are confounded by the odd phenomenon, which despite concerted efforts to grasp at possible clues, remains unexplained.

Bees play a vital role in our ecology and economy. Ancient cultures have revered and worshipped honey bees for all the wonderful things they provide: honey, bee pollen, propolis, jelly royal, and beeswax are the most obvious. They also revered them as a source supplier for one of the earliest known inebriants - fermented honey drinks were among the first alcoholic beverages known to man. They still survive as honey wine and mead. And finally, even the ancients were well aware of their importance in bringing abundance to their crops.

Honeybees are vitally important pollinators. Although they are not the only creatures that perform this job, they are among the most efficient - and, importantly for agriculture, they are the easiest to manage. Over thousands of years man has developed a symbiotic relationship with bees, although the trade off has been heavily in mankind's favour. These days beekeeping is not a very romantic pursuit - it resembles the meat industry in the way these precious little creatures are manipulated, drugged and exploited.

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Tahuayo Amazon Lodge - Explorer Style Rainforest Adventure

Tahuayo LodgeLocated in the northwest Amazon close to the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve, which is noted for its outstanding biodiversity, Tahuayo Lodge offers one of the most flexible programs of any Amazonian Lodge. Instead of joining a fixed itinerary, guests can choose from a wide range of options each day. Each guest is assigned to a personal guide who helps to tailor an itinerary to your personal interests and set to your pace. Whether you want to focus on birdwatching, or swim and listen to pink river dolphins, or whether you want to learn about native culture in nearby communities, study medicinal plants or view rare orchids...chances are, you won't get bored.

The lodge itself is comfortable yet rustic. There is no electricity except for a small generator for recharging batteries and only half of the cabins have private bathrooms. All the cabins are fully screened and beds are covered with mosquito-nets. Food is served buffet style and offers something for every taste.

Meditation Room at Tahuayo LodgeThe bilingual guides are extremely knowledgable regarding plants, animals and the ecology of the rainforest. Their enthusiasm and knowledge can ignite the explorer fire in anyone - yet they are happy to help you discover those things that are of most interest to you at your own pace. This is a lodge for individualists and explorers. Biologist and natural history buffs love this lodge.

For the most adventurous there is even an option that takes you on a survival training excursion into the jungle where you'll sleep under the stars in a shelter you've constructed yourself with the help of your guide. Can't get closer to nature than that!

View details and itinerary options for Tahuayo Lodge

Tourism and Conservation

The reserve is managed with one of the most innovative conservation programs in the Amazon. It is the only program that enlists the collaboration of natives living downriver to subscribe to game management goals set by conservation managers. Fund raising for the conservation program is operated by the Rainforest Conservation Fund. Amazonia Expeditions is a major financial donor of the Fund as well as working to reinforce the goals of conservation among the local communities.

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New Opportunities for Teachers, Students and Tourists

In 2007 Tahuayo Lodge launched its new Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center (TRARC), a long-term conservation initiative undertaken in consultation with government offices in Iquitos (Loreto, Peru) and in collaboration with Chicago's Rainforest Conservation Fund (RCF; www.rainforestconservation.org), Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Tahuayo River villages’ Comite de Gestion approved the TRARC undertaking at its March 2007 meeting in return for the facility’s sharing of project findings with the region's indigenous villages.

students at Tahuayo River Amazon Research CenterTahuayo Lodge is proud to be part of a this conservation initiative known as , which will be officially inaugurated on the 18th of July, when Michael Periera will take his post as director. This new initiative is set up to study the rainforest ecology, conservation biology and cultural anthropology. One of the planned research activities is a census of primate species found in the reserve - and, unique to Tahuayo Lodge, assisting in this real-life research will be one of the new options available to travellers. Furthermore, TRARC in conjunction with Tahuayo Lodge is offering field biology workshops and programs for teachers and students, which can be tailored to each individual groups's interest. The only other lodge that has long been offering similar sort of educational programs is the TRC in the Tambopata region of southern Peru.

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Or check out our other Peruvian Adventures


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beauty lies in the eyes of the beholderExactly when, where and how our human obsession with 'beauty' started is hard to say. Fact is, it has been around for a very, very long time. Remains of ancient perfumes, potions and make up have been found in Egyptian tombs and uses of beauty products in classical Greek and Roman times are well documented. But even 'tribal societies' have a well established tradition of skin care and cosmetic uses, though they may be less apparent, when viewed from our modern perspective.

In modern society the aim and purpose of using such products seem primarily to consist of making our appearance more attractive to the opposite sex. In ancient times however, people sought to make themselves more appealing to beneficial Gods and spirits, or attempted to ward off nasty demons.

Beauty is an ephemeral quality and since its inception it has always been a moot point. Culture and fashion greatly influence what we perceive as beautiful. In ancient Greece for example an un-oiled body was thought to be offensive to Gods and humans alike and olive oil was extensively used to make the body smooth and shiny. In other societies animal grease, such as bear fat was used to achieve a similar effect, but on a spiritual level, it was also thought to transfer some of the animal's perceived powers.

perfume testing (22K)All over the world good smells were believed to attract the benevolence of helpful deities, while bad smells were always associated with the Gods of the underworld, harmful demons, or later, the devil. Thus, people soon adopted the many wonderful fragrances of herbs and flowers to serve their own purposes. Flower garlands, head wreaths and armbands were not only meant to look pretty, but were also supposed to send fragrant messages to the spirit world. Likewise, 'make up' and body paint was not only used to enhance physical beauty, but also to protect against the much feared evil eye and other harmful influences. The same thinking motivates indigenous tribal people, who use face and body paints to ward of natural and supernatural enemies. Originally, such paints often really had protective qualities as they were made from herbs, roots and clays with anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties, but even in ancient times minerals were discovered and utilized for cosmetic purposes which actually caused more harm than good for those who wore them.

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aloe vera flower

Plant Profile: Aloe vera

Liliaceae

Description:

Although originating in the hot and arid climes of northern Africa, Aloe Vera is no longer an exotic stranger to most of us. Not only do we see it advertised as a common ingredient in a multitude of household products, from dishwashing liquid to latex gloves and even razors, but many of us have in fact encountered the plant itself. Aloe Vera is a perennial succulent, undemanding and not particularly eye-catching, vaguely resembling a small version of the century plant that is such a common sight in the North American Southwest. However, despite the superficial similarities, Aloe is an entirely different species of plant. In fact, it is a member of the Lily family and distantly related to onions, garlic and asparagus. Its fleshy, succulent leaves contain a clear, gooey gel. The leaf margins bear 'sharp teeth' which act as quite an effective deterrent against many casually browsing animals. Aloe loves hot and dry conditions and appears to wilt only if it receives excessive amounts of water or if exposed to freezing temperatures. If grown in the right conditions, that is -mostly ignored, the plant will do fine. If it is really happy with its care and location it may even send up a central shoot once a year with short tubular yellowish flowers growing around the top to middle part of the spike.
There are about 400 species in the genus Aloe, of which Aloe Vera is considered medicinally the most useful. Mature plants of about 4-5 years of age provide the most potent healing compounds.

Ecology:

Originally Aloe Vera is native to arid regions of north-eastern and southern parts of Africa and Madagascar. Thanks to its tremendous value as a healing plant, it quickly spread to arid regions throughout the world. Today it is widely cultivated in similar environments around the world, including Mexico, USA, Japan and China.

History

As is often the case with so called 'miracle plants' their exaggerated reputation actually discredits them. Aloe Vera is a truly wonderful plant with no shortage of members for its fan club. It has a very long and well established reputation as a healing plant, particularly for skin conditions, minor cuts and abrasions. The dried latex, which is not the same as the gel, but instead derives from the yellow juice contained in the pericyclic tubules of the inner leaf is a well known laxative.

Despite the fact that Aloe has been in documented use for at least 3500 years, controversial and contradictory information about this plant abounds. The earliest reference to its use can be found in the famous Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, which dates back to 1500 BC and is widely regarded as one of the earliest documents on what was to become the western Materia Medica.

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Click on 'Stop the Clock' to sign the Conservation International Petition to stop species loss!


DECLARATION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' RIGHTS TO GENETIC RESOURCES AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE
DATE: 20 May 2007

Convened at the Sixth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues May 14-25, 2007 New York, New York We, the undersigned Indigenous peoples and organizations, having convened during the Sixth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, from May 14-25, 2007, upon the traditional territory of the Onondaga Nation present the following declaration regarding our rights to genetic resources and indigenous knowledge:

For full Declaration see
http://lists.ipcb.org/listinfo.cgi/ipcb-net-ipcb.org


'INSULTED' ANDEAN FARMERS PICK GM POTATO FIGHT WITH MULTINATIONAL SYNGENTA

A coalition of indigenous farmers in South America will today (12 January) launch an international protest against the multinational corporation Syngenta, claiming that its plans threaten their region's biodiversity, culture and food sovereignty. In an open letter signed today by representatives of 34 indigenous communities in Peru, the coalition says Syngenta's claims that its patent for 'terminator technology' potatoes is neither relevant nor applicable in the region are "deeply offensive".

For full article see http://www.iied.org and http://www.andes.org.pe


REVOKED!! Monsanto Monopoly Nixed in Munich but little joy in foiling soy ploy at this late date

ETC Group News Release, 3 May 2007
Munich - The European Patent Office today put the brakes on Monsanto's over-the-top corporate greed by revoking its species-wide patent on all genetically modified soybeans (EP0301749) - a patent unprecedented in its broad scope. ETC Group, an international civil society organization based in Canada, won its 13-year legal challenge against Monsanto's species-wide soybean patent when an EPO appeal board ruled that the patent was not new or sufficient (i.e., the invention claimed was not sufficiently described for a skilled person to repeat it). The patent challenge was supported by Greenpeace and "No Patents on Life!" Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher of UK-based EcoNexus also joined the opposition team in Munich as a scientific expert. The patent was vigorously and formally opposed by Monsanto itself until the company purchased the original patent assignee (Agracetus) in 1996. The technology related to the now-revoked patent has been used, along with other patents in the company's portfolio, to corner 90% of the world's GM soybean market.

For full press release please see: http://www.etcgroup.org/en/materials/publications.html?pub_id=619
[For more information, see ETC Group News Release, "Monsanto's Soybean Monopoly Challenged in Munich," April 30, 2007 http://www.etcgroup.org/en/materials/publications.html?pub_id=616]


Congo (Democratic Republic): Greenpeace spotlights rainforest damage

Source: Citizen, South Africa, 12 April 2007 The environmental group Greenpeace called for urgent action on Wednesday to prevent illegal logging in the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, accusing international companies there of "causing social chaos and wreaking environmental havoc." In a report which accused the World Bank of failing to stem the problem of illegal logging, Greenpeace said over 15 million hectares (37 million acres) of rainforest had been granted to the logging industry since a moratorium was agreed by the country’s government in May 2002. The group's report, "Carving up the Congo", also accused international logging companies of deception and intimidation to get timber. The Democratic Republic of Congo has the second-largest primal tropical forest in the world with 86 million hectares (212 million acres) of which 60 million (148 million) are potentially exploitable for logging. –Sapa-AFP

For full story, please see: http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=36429,1,22


Rainforest protection: New fund to conserve Congo Basin

Source: Belfast Telegraph, UK, 22 March 2007 Britain is to give £50m towards helping to save the second-largest rainforest in the world, the Congo Basin in central Africa. In one of the Budget's most eye-catching and unusual items, Mr Brown announced an £800m Environmental Transformation Fund, to help developing countries cope with environmental changes such as global warming - and the Congo forest will be the recipient of its first major grant.

For full story, please see: http://tinyurl.com/24xr4d


Uganda: Poverty destroying forests, says Minister

Source: The Nation (Nairobi), 19 April 2007 While Uganda suffers violent protests over plans to turn a big chunk of Mabira rainforest into sugar cane plantation, Ugandans are destroying eight times as much forest every year due to poverty, a minister said yesterday. Minister of State for Environment Jesca Eriyo told agencies that rural poverty and population pressure on increasingly scarce land and resources was devastating the east African country's forest cover. "About 55,000 hectares of forest cover per annum disappears," she said. "That is a big challenge to us." Last week, a protest against government plans to give at least 7,100 hectares (17,000 acres) or nearly a third of Mabira Forest Reserve to the Indian-owned Mehta Group's sugar estate turned violent, with three people being killed.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200704180911.html


Uganda Shelves Plan to Give Rainforest to Cane Farm

Source: Copyright 2007, Reuters, Date: May 23, 2007, Byline: Tim Cocks
Uganda's cabinet has suspended a proposal to give away part of a rainforest to a sugarcane grower, the environment minister said on Tuesday, weeks after three people were killed in a protest against the plan. President Yoweri Museveni has faced vocal opposition over the plan to raze 7,100 hectares (17,540 acres) of Mabira Forest, a nature reserve since 1932, and give the land to the privately- owned Mehta Group's sugar estate. "There is a suspension until the committee reports back," Mutagamba said. "It is an extensive process -- it is not going to be finished in a week or a month."
A protest to save Mabira last month turned violent, leaving three dead, including an Indian man stoned to death by rioters. Mehta is owned by an ethnic Indian family. Mutagamba said the lands ministry would draw up a map of land available to investors in Uganda for sectors such as coffee, sugar, manufacturing or tourism, to see if there was alternative land for Mehta's sugar. Critics say razing part of Mabira would destroy a fragile environment -- drying up rainfall, threatening a watershed for streams that feed Lake Victoria and removing a buffer against pollution of it from Uganda's two biggest industrial towns. It also threatened species like rare monkeys and the prized Tit Hylia bird -- found only in Mabira and surrounding forests.


Stop WWF's Betrayal of the Earth's Last Ancient Forests

By Rainforest Portal, a project of Ecological Internet, Inc. http://www.rainforestportal.org/ May 24, 2007

TAKE ACTION WWF is the world's largest ancient forest logging apologist; actively promoting questionable "certified, sustainable" logging in Guyana, Russia and -- and may be the World's greatest threat facing endangered ancient forests . For many years the international conservation group WWF has supported Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification that first-time logging of ancient primary and old-growth forests is "sustainable". Millions of hectares of intact, large rainforest ecosystems have been and are being heavily industrially logged for the first time with WWF and FSC's stamp of approval.
Take action now at: http://tinyurl.com/37qmea


Boswellia serrata extract scores well in COX-2 comparison

Source: NutraIngredients-usa.com, France, 20 March 2007
Boswellia serrata extract performed as well as a selective COX-2 inhibitor in a controlled clinical study to assess its effect on relieving osteoarthritis pain, researchers report in the Journal of Indian Pharmacology. Their positive findings give further backing to the efficacy of the extract in addressing joint health - an area in which patients have been casting about for natural alternatives to COX-2 inhibitors following revelations about serious adverse events and subsequent withdrawals.

For full story, please see: http://tinyurl.com/3c66nx

LAUNCH OF NEW JOURNAL - PHCOG REV.

Pharmacognosy Network Worldwide (www.phcog.Net) is delighted to announce the launch of its latest peer-reviewed title, Pharmacognosy Reviews [Phcog rev.] [ www.phcogrev.com] (ISSN 0973-7847), which will appear half-yearly from June 2007, and features an acclaimed editorial board of international and national experts. The journal promises to be uniquely medicinal plants-focused, addressing the important challenges and advances in Pharmacognosy. The journal has been developed to be available for free online and it is managed at Editorial Office of Phcog Mag www.phcog.net/phcogmag.

Phcog Rev. aims to publish original, peer-reviewed review articles in areas such as Pharmacology, Phyto-pharmacology, Marine Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology. Phcog Rev. is free for both readers and authors, edited and refereed online [via e-mail], and widely available through Internet. We are actively seeking new, high-quality review articles for submission to the journal, and encourage researchers to consider publishing with us. More information about the journal topics, its editors, and author instructions, are available at: www.phcogrev.com

CONTENTS OF FIRST ISSUE OF PHCOG REV. :
www.phcogrev.com/issue1/index.htm


Medicinal plants in Botswana: Hoodia gordonii a rare medicinal hope

Source: Republic of Botswana, Botswana, 27 March 2007
TSHABONG - Some Bokspits residents call the plant seboka while others know it as tlhokabotshwaro. Outsiders have named it Bushman’s Hat, Queen of the Namib, and many other names. Scientifically, however, the wild plant is known as Hoodia gordonii and is reputed to have medicinal properties. Found in the Bokspits region, the plant is now being grown commercially to benefit the communities of southern Kgalagadi where it grows wild. Local Khoi San communities, however, have long known about the special medicinal value of the plant and have chewed the succulent stems of the plant to suppress hunger.

For full story, please see: http://tinyurl.com/3y842x


Moringa oleifera: NGO develops local plant for water purification in Nigeria

Source: This Day (Lagos). 10 April 2007
A water filter that uses the local plant Moringa oleifera has been developed to help purify water for domestic use in several communities (both rural and urban) in the Niger-delta area of Nigeria. Moringa oleifera, which grows widely in several parts of Nigeria, is known in Yoruba language as 'Ewe ile'; gawara in Fulani; baga-ruwar maka in Hausa; while the Ibos call it odudu oyibo. The plant filter, which was developed by the NGO Rural African Water Development Project (RAWDP) has a removal efficiency of 99.5 percent for turbidity, 98 percent for suspended solids, 90 to 99 percent for bacteria of 1 to 4 log units, and 100 percent for water hardness, claims which are allegedly backed by a World Bank report.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200704110281.html


Ramps: Are ramps under threat? (WV, USA)

Source: AP in CFRC Weekly Summary 12 April 2007
Demand for ramps from celebrity chefs, avant-garde restaurateurs and avid foodies has some experts worried for the future of the pungent wild leeks grown in the hills of Appalachia. "[Ramps are] becoming harder to find in many areas because they've become so popular and people frequent all the festivals that are held in their honour," said Jeanine Davis, an associate professor of horticulture at North Carolina State University who focuses on specialty crops like ramps. Davis said the increase in popularity over the years means that chic big-city eateries and their adventurous chefs are vying for the bulbs but "very few people are producing these commercially." The ramp plant takes three years to mature to the stage where it's edible, and two more years before it begins bearing seed for reproduction.

For full story, please see: http://www.forestrycenter.org/headlines.cfm?refid=98076


Seabuckthorn: Synergistic Superfruit

Source: Press release, SBT Seabuckthorn International Inc., 16 April 2007 (in openPR)
Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.), named a 'superfruit' for its robust nutritional properties, is poised to outrun and outgun many other functional foods, and the health industry is standing up and taking notice. Dr Paul Gross (www.berrydoctor.com) recently rated seabuckthorn second out of ten potential 'superfruits', based upon four criteria including nutrient density and potential for disease impact. While Asia and Europe have used seabuckthorn commercially for several decades, the industry is new in North America. The health and supplement industries are just starting to pay attention (and draw attention) to this plant.

For more information, please contact:

Chuck Barton, VP Sales & Marketing
SBT Seabuckthorn International Inc
4154 Ponderosa Drive
Peachland, British Columbia, Canada
1-250-767-6100
sales@seabuckthorn.com

For full story, please see: http://www.openpr.com/news/18456/Seabuckthorn-Synergistic-Superfruit.html


Cosmetics au naturel - because they're worth a lot

Source: The Guardian, London, 12 April 2007 (in Taipei Times)
When L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetic company, bought the Body Shop little more than a year ago, industry observers reacted with shock as a small, ethical brand was gobbled up by a huge multinational. They represent polar opposites of the US$197 billion global beauty industry. But a year later it has become clear that the US$1.3 billion acquisition was the start of something new at L'Oreal — the group has taken a leaf out of Body Shop's book and has decided to go natural.

For full story, please see: http://tinyurl.com/2ttvup


Unilever, the World's Largest Tea Company, Commits to Rainforest Alliance Certification

May 25, 2007
Unilever, the world's largest tea company, has announced plans to source its entire tea supply sustainably, starting with the certification of its tea producers in East Africa, to Rainforest Alliance standards. The news also signals the Rainforest Alliance's move into certifying tea farms in addition to its long-established programs in coffee, cocoa, bananas and other crops; sustainable forestry, and tourism.

For full story please see: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/news.cfm?id=unilever

Events

11-15 June 2007

Sharing Indigenous Wisdom: An International Dialogue on Sustainable Development
Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

Indigenous peoples all over the world are steadily confronted with outside pressures of having both their land and cultures assimilated into the dominant cultural context. There is currently an acute need to explore successful models of sustainable development that allow for the preservation of indigenous lands, sovereignty and culture, while also allowing for the integration of economic development, institutional capacity-building and technological advancement.

This conference is designed to bring together scholars and practitioners who are committed to the concepts of sustainable development. This year the conference will focus on the Natural Environment foundational element in the Menominee model of sustainable development.
For more information, see http://www.sharingindigenouswisdom.org/default.asp


June 22-24, 2007

8th International Herb Symposium
The 8th International Herb Symposium brings together some of the world’s most respected and honored herbal healers to share their wisdom, love, and knowledge of the plant world. As our Earth Mother becomes smaller, the need for planetary healing and consciousness becomes even greater. Part of the proceeds from the Symposium will be used to support the work of United Plant Savers, a non profit organization dedicated to preserving "At Risk" native medicinal plants and to ensuring an abundant renewable supply of herbs through organic cultivation.
http://www.sagemountain.com/


June 24-30, 2007

Ethnobotany: Wild Plants as Medicines, Teas, and Foods
Steuban, ME, with Dr. James A. Duke

This seminar will provide a broad overview and introduction to the field of ethnobotany from a North American perspective, though species will also be considered in a worldwide context. Practical uses of medicinal plants will be the main focus, but edible plants, plants used as teas, and poisonous plants will be covered as well.
Please visit the Humbolt Field Research Institute's web site for more information: http://www.eaglehill.us/. Phone: 207-546-2821.


June 27-28, 2007

The New Regulatory Framework for Herbal Medicinal Products
Vienna, Austria

Hear an exclusive interview with Peter De Smet Scientific Institute of Dutch Pharmacists. He will be speaking at the"Informa Life Scinences " The New Regulatory Framework for Herbal Medicinal Products. If you would like to find out more about Peter De Smet, visit our website for his exclusive interview! http://www.iir-events.com/. for more information about the event phone:+44(0)20 7017 7481.


July 14, 2007

United Plant Savers(UPS) presents "Planting the Future"
Williams, OR

A celebratory conference on the Cultivation, Preservation and Uses of Native Medicinal. Teachers included Cascade-Anderson Geller, Steven Frost, Robin Dipasquale, N.D., Tori Hudson, N.D., Ed Smith, Deborah Frances, N.D., Mindy Green, Richo Cech, Jonathan Treasure and others.
For more information call Betzy Phone: 802-479-9825
or visit Web Site http://www.unitedplantsavers.org/
or http://www.herb-pharm.com/
send email to plants@unitplantsavers.org/


July 17 - 20, 2007

3rd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

We welcome papers on traditional uses of medicinal plants, history of medicine and botany, ethnopharmacological and ethnobotanical research from all countries. Organized by: Inter- Islamic Network for Tropical Medicine; Traditional Medicine and Materia Medicine Research Center S. Beheshti Medical Science Univ; IRAN. For more information contact Malinda Abdullah at Email:malinda@protemp.com.my or visit Web site: http://www.ictmmm2007.org/


July 20 - 22, 2007

A Weekend with Phyllis D. Light Join us in this weekend where lore and legend meets cutting edge thought in the scientific workings of the endocrine system. As a fourth generation herbalist, Phyllis's teachings are a rare blend of southern humor, stories and well grounded scientific thought. She is a true herbalist in that she teaches us how to watch the seasons and growth patterns in the plants around us. Her studies in traditional herbalism began with lessons from her grandmother, whose herbal knowledge had its roots in her Cherokee/Creek heritage. This workshop is suitable for all levels of interest.
http://www.sacredplanttraditions.com/phyllislight.html


August 22 - 24, 2007

1st World Conference on Life Sciences and Traditional Medicines
2007 Dipoli Congress Centre, Espoo, Findland.

The purpose of this new series of world conference is to explore the possibilities for new therapeutic strategies and product innovations from convergence of life science and traditional medicines, present leading edge research applying new scientific methods to traditional herbal medicines, and provide a forum for researchers to present ideas for new products to the industry and investors.
For more information and registration vist website: http://www.bhbiotech-conference.com/ or email:tomi.heiskanen@5esb.com/


Sept. 2-6, 2007

55th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant Research
Graz, Austria

Scientific Topics: Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory active natural products, Natural products with antimicrobial activity, Analysis and biopharmacy of herbal medicinal products, and medicinal plants in animal healthcare.
For more information visit Web site: http://www.ga2007.org/


Sept. 5 - 8, 2007

Materia Medica-Linnaeus and Medicinal Products
Uppsala, Sweden

An international conference on drugs of natural origin in the honour of Carl Linnaeus.
For more information visit Web Site: http://www.lakemedelsakademin.se/

Sept. 7 - 9, 2007

Breitenbush Herbal Conference
Portland, OR

3 Days of workshops, demonstration, & herb walks, for advanced through beginning herbalists, amidst the healing water and ancient forest of Breitenbush. This year's teachers include: Cascade Anderson Geller, Paul Bergner, Jane Bothewell, Howie Brounstein, Christopher Hobbs, Glen Nagel, Michele Palazzo, Deb Soule, Jonathan Treasure and more.
For more information contact Phone: 503-236-2220 or visit Web site: http://www.trilliumbotanicals.net/


Sept. 3-7, 2007

International Conference on Poverty Reduction and Forests Tenure, Market and Policy Reforms
Bangkok, Thailand

The conference is being organized by RECOFTC, in collaboration with other Rights and Resources Initiative partners, and many other organizations and donors that are concerned for poverty and forest issues.

It is well established now that areas with high rates of poverty and forest areas often coincide. There is much interest in exploring ways of using forest resources in ways that benefit the poor, while sustaining the resource base. There is increasing evidence though that the potential of forests to contribute to poverty reduction is only being partially realized. There is also growing recognition that this will continue to be the case unless critical issues are addressed such as the need for greater tenure security, market reform and other supportive changes in policy to improve access to resources and markets by the poor.

This conference aims to support discussion and exchange on the critical factors surrounding forests and poverty and current efforts to reduce poverty through forest management and use. It will strengthen existing, and help build new, strategic networks of key stakeholders to advance tenure, market and policy reforms in support of poverty reduction. Based on the evidence and experiences shared at the conference, participants will be invited to craft a common agenda of priorities to strengthen reforms for poverty reduction and forests in Asia. Arrangements at the national and regional level to support the implementation of the agenda will also be considered.

Call for papers and posters

Papers are called from potential participants addressing the central theme of the conference - the relationship between forests and poverty, and particularly the role of forest resources, products and services in poverty reduction. The following themes and topics provide examples of the types of contributions that the conference organizers are looking for:

For more information about how to submit abstracts, register for the conference and other conference details see the conference website http://conference.recoftc.org or contact conference@recoftc.org


Sept. 28-30, 2007

Southeast Women's Herbal Conference

http://www.redmoonherbs.com/womens_herbal_conference/index.php

Oct. 19 - 21, 2007

Sacred Plant Medicine with Stephen Harrod Buhner
This introductory course has not been offered here in a number of years and it is a privilege to do so once again. This three day intensive will give participants the skills needed to begin to explore tools for working with themselves as well as herbs in the sacred language of plants. Through Stephen’s elegant prose, stories from experience and his profound way at holding sacred space, this weekend is for all those wishing to deepen their relationship with Nature. This is powerful work for the powerful times we are living in. We will be gifted Saturday night by a Pipe Ceremony as well.
http://www.sacredplanttraditions.com/buhner.html


Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2007

International Congress on A Global Vision of Forestry in the 21st Century
Toronto, Canada.

The congress discussions will be organized under the following 3 themes and 8 sub-themes:

  1. Global Challenges, Responsibilities and Leadership in Forestry: 1.1 Challenges and Responsibilities of Political Leadership and Governance Structures 1.2 Challenges and Responsibilities of Constitutional, Legal and Policy Experts. 1.3 Challenges and Responsibilities of the Business Community 1.4 Challenges and Responsibilities of Civil Society
  2. Frontiers of Science and a Healthy and Diverse Forest Environment 2.1 The Forest Environment, its Diversity and Productivity, and Scientific Challenges 2.2 Human Health and the Forest
  3. Cultures, Markets and Sustainable Societies 3.1 Markets and Sustainable Societies 3.2 Culture, Ethics, and Sustainable Societies

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Shashi Kant
Chair - Organising Committee
Faculty of Forestry
University of Toronto

e-mail: shashi.kant@utoronto.ca
http://www.forestry.utoronto.ca/centennial/int_congress.htm


Oct. 16-18, 2007

The Future of forests in Asia and the Pacific: outlook for 2020
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Recent and unprecedented economic and social change in the Asia-Pacific region has significantly altered the way forests are regarded and used. It is in acknowledgement of a new kind of society-forest dynamic in the region that the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, in partnership with member countries and other international organizations, is conducting the second Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study (APFSOS II). This major international conference is being organized to strengthen the consultative and capacity-building processes of APFSOS II by bringing together diverse stakeholders and expertise to provide broader perspectives on emerging changes, probable scenarios and their implications for forests and forestry in the region.

The conference will provide opportunities to present selected voluntary papers. Main discussion areas and subjects on which to present voluntary papers will include:

Abstracts (about 250 words) of voluntary papers should be submitted not later than 15 May 2007 and full papers should be submitted not later than 15 August 2007.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Patrick Durst
Senior Forestry Officer
FAO Regional Officer for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Email: patrick.durst@fao.org
Tel: + 66 2 697 4139
Fax: + 66 2 697 4445

Oct. 26-28, 2007

AMERICAN HERBALISTS GUILDS SYMPOSIUM
Beyond the Basics, Beyond the Books: Clinical Botanical Medicine in Real Life

Venue: Columbia Sheraton: Columbia, Maryland
Dates: preconference intensives on October 25


November, 21-24 2007

3rd Global Summit on Medicinal and Aromatic plants
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Medicinal plants in many forms have been used since ancient times in traditional medicine and for health care. Aromatic plants and their products, particularly essential oils, are also becoming more important. Traditional medicine is, at the present time, accepted as an alternative for or used in conjunction with the western medical practice in many countries. The 3rd Global Summit on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants is therefore being organized to provide a forum for the scientists, researchers, representatives from the medical and pharmaceutical industries as well as traditional medicine to discuss, share the ideas, information and experiences for future collaboration in the global development of medicinal and aromatic plant industries.

The theme of the Summit will be "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Health Care" with the emphasis on the following subtopics:

For more information, including the call for paper and posters, please contact:

Dr. Thaneeya Chetiyanukornkul, Secretariat
International Centre, UNISERV, Chiang Mai University
239 Huay Keaw Road, Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand
Tel.: + (66-53) 94-2861, Fax: + (66-53) 94-2890
http://www.gosmap3-cmu.co.nr TOP
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