In a meeting of the Secretariat of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) in Paris, nine international organizations decided to establish an international non-governmental body, the International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ICMAP) [www.icmap.org]. The general objective was to promote international understanding and cooperation between national and international organizations on the role of medicinal and aromatic plants [MAP] in science, medicine and industry, and to improve the exchange of information between them. One of the functions of ICMAP is to arrange a world conference on medicinal and aromatic plants [WOCMAP] every five years. The first was in Europe [Maastricht, Netherlands 1992], the second in South America [Mendoza, Argentina 1997], and the third was held in Asia [Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2003]. ICMAP Bureau has invited the leader of the Phytomedicine Programme to organize WOCMAP IV in South Africa in November [www.wocmap2008.com]. This conference was attended by many delegates from all over the world and by the leaders in the field of medicinal and aromatic plants.
The Phytomedicine Programme has presented a training course with funding from the UK Royal Society in association with Prof Peter Houghton for c. 25 students from South Africa on isolating and characterising biologically active compounds from plants in February 2008.
The ICS-UNIDO invited the Phytomedicine Programme to organize a training workshop on Training Course on˝Bio-evaluation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for Human and Animal Health˝ for c. 25 scientists from all over Africa from 23-27 June 2008.
A symposium on ethnoveterinary medicine was organized during the meeting of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology in Sao Paolo in 2008.
In 2009 a symposium for scientists from different southern Africa countries was organized on “Success stories in commercializing plants from southern Africa”. This symposium was funded by ICART SADC. A book entitled Green Gold was also published with funding from ICART SADC.
In 2010 the Phytomedicine Programme have organised a Symposium on Commercializing medicinal plants during the meeting of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology in Spain.
In 2011 the Phytomedicine Programme organized a one day symposium on using plants for animal health and productivity with funding from Novus international during the NAPRECA symposium in Nairobi, Kenya
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