International Workshop on Bioprocessing, Policy and Practice: Conservation and Use of Medicinal Plants of the Small Island Developing States of the Indian Ocean and Madagascar
20-22 April 2011 (Ebène, Mauritius)

A partnership between UNESCO and Mauritius’ Centre for Phytotherapy and Research, this workshop aims to share information and experience of the Indian Ocean SIDS and Madagascar in the conservation, management and exploitation of the region’s medicinal plants. Special emphasis will be laid on: the role of natural products chemistry and potential for drug development in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries; policy frameworks for management and conservation; and intellectual property rights and access and benefit-sharing. Particular attention will be paid to integrating the perspectives, concerns and rights of traditional medical practitioners into the process.

During the workshop, a new UNESCO book on “Women’s Knowledge: Traditional Medicine and Nature (Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues)” will be launched. Available in French only, this book draws attention to the unique medical traditions of the Islands of Reunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues, and the knowledge of medicinal plants and medical practices of women on these islands, with special focus on childbirth. It also considers the place of medicinal knowledge within these evolving societies that are actively confronting the threats and opportunities that globalization poses to local identities. Visit the workshop’s website … Read a UNESCO release on the book and workshop …