Medicinal Plants

Promoting Best Practices - Sharing Innovative Experiences




Andrographis paniculata

Cultivation of
Andrographis paniculata.
Photo: Chulabhorn Research Institute, Thailand


The case studies published in collaboration with UNDP/TCDC can be browsed online:

Vol. 7 - Conservation and Wise Use of Indigenous and Medicinal Plants

Vol. 10 - Examples of the Development of Pharmaceutical Products from Medicinal Plants.


Quassia amara leaves, fruits and flowers


Sustainable Use of Medicinal and Indigenous Food Plants in Developing Countries

The project - supported by the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Special Unit on Technical Cooperation with Developing Countries (TCDC) - involved the establishment of a network of centres of excellence in the South in medicinal and food plants for the purpose of identifying and sharing best practices and promoting collaboration among participating centres. 13 case studies from 13 countries were received in 2000 and evaluated and edited by experts. A workshop involving the authors of the case studies was held at the H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry in Karachi, Pakistan, in September 2000 to exchange views, share experiences and discuss collaborative programmes. The case studies were published in book form in 2001, and are also available online from the WIDE website (Vol. 7).

A second book (Vol. 10), featuring case studies from 17 institutions in 16 developing countries, was produced on the basis of the international workshop held in Trieste, Italy, from 3 to 6 February 2004 (see box on the left).

Development of Pharmaceutical Products from Medicinal Plants

In many parts of the developing world more than 80 percent of people depend on traditional medicines. How can these traditional herbal remedies be developed into potentially lucrative pharmaceutical products?

Some 20 scientists from 15 developing countries attended an event organized by the Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) to discuss just this issue. The meeting was held from 3-6 February 2004 at the headquarters of TWAS in Trieste, Italy.

Along with TWNSO and TWAS, the meeting was co-sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme's Special Unit for Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries (UNDP/TCDC).

Detailed information on the proceedings and on subsequent action deliberated at the meeting are available in the bimonthly e-newsletter that the Medicinal Plant Network agreed to produce:

arrowRight word icon MPN-News1-1_March2004.doc (136 KB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News1-2_May2004.doc (280 KB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News1-3_July2004.doc (224 KB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News1-4_Sept2004.doc (280 KB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News1-5_Nov2004.doc (912 KB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News2-1_Mar2005.doc (1 MB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News2-2_May2005.doc (1 MB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News2-3_July2005.doc (304 KB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News2-4_Dec2005.doc (296 KB)

arrowRight word icon MPN-News3-1_Mar2006.doc (168 KB) new


arrowRight word icon Recommendations of the Advisory Board


arrowRight word icon From Fields to Pharmaceuticals (TWAS Newsletter Vol. 16 No. 2 - 2004 - p. 16, 449 K)

arrowRight word icon Growing Profits from Plants (TWAS Newsletter Vol. 17 No. 1 - 2005 - p. 36, 224 K)


arrowRight Workshop Photo Gallery


Red Latinoamericana de Botánica honoured for Environmental Achievement
The Red Latinoamericana de Botánica (RLB) was selected as one of two recipients of the 2004 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, adding to the distinguished group of Tyler Prize Laureates. Co-laureate is the Barefoot College, recognized for its contribution in the field of environmental technology transfer and dissemination in rural India. As a 2004 Tyler Prize Laureate, the RLB was presented a cash prize of US$100,000 and a commemorative 10 karat Tyler Prize gold medallion in a ceremony held on Friday, 30 April 2004 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, California. According to the Tyler Prize Committee, the RLB is recognized "for its contribution to the advancement of botanical sciences in Latin America by the unprecedented program of courses, student exchanges, and collaborative research projects and especially by promoting regional pride, self-sufficiency and strong and healthier international relations among the countries of Latin America."