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Resolutions of WOCMAP III

The participants of the Third World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for Human Welfare - WOCMAP III - meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from 03-07 February 2003, bearing in mind that:

  • the growing global demand for medicinal and aromatic plants products,
  • the unique role that MAP play and will continue to play for ensuring human and social welfare and economic development, both in developing and developed countries,
  • the growing threat to these resources caused by the continual conversion of natural and semi-natural ecosystems to other uses,
  • the need for the sustainable use of these resources,
  • the need to implement quality control of herbal medicinal products and other natural plant products,

AGREED on the following Proposals and Resolutions;

Theme 1: Biodiversity prospecting and ethnopharmacology.

That global and significant efforts be devoted by Governments, NGOs and others to promote research in order to realize the great potential of MAP and traditional therapies for human welfare, sustainability of resources, and sustainable development.

There is an urgent need to promote active dialogue and sharing of information, practices and technologies at local, national, and international levels for improved collaboration among governments, industry, health practitioners, international agencies, NGOs and local communities for the sustainable management of MAP resources for health, livelihoods and environment through electronic and other communication fora.

Theme 2: Conservation, cultivation and sustainable use.

That the important role of MAPs should be highlighted by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and that consideration should be given including appropriate action for their conservation and sustainable use in its future work programme and in the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and the Bonn Guideline for Access and Benefit Sharing (adopted by COP VI).

To welcome the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation of the CBD (www.biodiv.org/decisions).

That there is a need for increased awareness amongst different stakeholders to understand the diversity, genetic variation, distribution, demography, biology, conservation status and threats to MAPs and related traditional knowledge and practices.

That national governments, other policy makers and industry:

  • Develop and implement monitoring management plans for the harvesting of MAP in the wild;
  • Provide incentives for conservation and sustainable management of MAP resources by providing secure tenure and equitable access for local communities;
  • Create economic and other incentives for wild harvesters, small scale cultivators and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to manage MAP resources for long-term use, building on local knowledge and participation.
  • Recognize the need for establishing mechanisms for the traceability of quality combined with social and environmental sustainability of MAP raw materials;
  • WHO should incorporate appropriate sustainability criteria in its Guidelines for Good Agriculture and Collection Practice which are under preparation.
  • Develop and promote Good Agricultural Practices for application in MAP cultivation at all levels (including local communities).

Theme 3: Perspectives in natural products chemistry.

Theme 4: Targeted screening approaches for drugs and cosmetics.

Theme 5: Quality, efficacy and safety of phytomedicines and phytocosmetics.

Theme 6: Developments in industrial processing of MAPs.

Theme 7: Economics of ecological sound supply and the marketing of MAP materials.

Greater recognition should be given to the need for developing marketing strategies and trading practices for the benefit all stakeholders, especially the small-scale growers and processors.

Theme 8: New developments in laws and regulations for the use of MAPs.

That in order to ensure appropriate quality, efficacy and safety of herbal medicinal products, a suitable legislative framework is required. This should include the well-established medicinal use based on bibliography, such as ESCOP/ WHO monographs and clinical/ pharmacological studies as well as the traditional use with long-term experience [in all continents].

That renewed efforts should be made to harmonize existing regional and national standards and that every effort should be made to exchange information between different systems on a global basis.

That international communities should prioritize the development of policies and regulations to protect local rights and interests of MAP knowledge and resources for equitable sharing of benefits.

Theme 9: Traditional medicine and health systems for new and old diseases.

That the integration of traditional medicine in national health care policies and programmes through the documentation and assessment of traditional medicine and practices for safety and efficacy in collaboration with local healers and communities should be recognized in national governments health care policies.

That global efforts are needed to raise the level of evidence in the use of herbal medicinal products.

That documentation, publication and benefit sharing of local health traditions-based knowledge and practices should - as far as possible - follow ethically sound practices.

That efforts should be made to avoid exploitative commercialization and industrialization effects on the conservation status of the resources and good traditional practices;

That traditional and modern medicinal practices be integrated so as to benefit local people and protect their knowledge systems.

Theme 10: Nutraceuticals.

Theme 11: Trade and industry perspective.