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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on farming systems research and development
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on integrated systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on cropping system
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agroecology
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agrometeorology
close this folderAbstracts on agroforestry
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Tree products in agroecosystems: economic and policy issues.
View the document2. Sustainable use of plantation forestry in the lowland tropics.
View the document3. The palcazu project: forest management and native yanesha communities.
View the document4. Opportunities and constraints for sustainable tropical forestry: lessons from the plan piloto forestal, quintana roo, Mexico.
View the document5. The taungya system in south-west Ghana.
View the document6. Planning for agroforestry.
View the document7. Sowing forests from the air.
View the document8. Agroforestry pathways: land tenure, shifting cultivation and sustainable agriculture.
View the document9. Food, coffee and casuarina: an agroforestry system from the Papua New Guinea highlands.
View the document10. Agroforestry in africa's humid tropics - three success stories.
View the document11. Agroforestry and biomass energy/fuelwood production.
View the document12. Regeneration of woody legumes in Sahel.
View the document13. Medicines from the forest.
View the document14. Potential for protein production from tree and shrub legumes.
View the document15. Agroforestry for sustainable production; economic implications.
View the document16. Living fences. A close-up look at an agroforestry technology.
View the document17. Homestead agroforestry in Bangladesh.
View the document18. Guidelines for training in rapid appraisal for agroforestry research and extension.
View the document19. Erythrina (leguminosae: papilionoideae): a versatile genus for agroforestry systems in the tropics.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on homegardens
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on seed production
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on plant protection
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on water management
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on soil fertility
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on erosion and desertification control
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands

13. Medicines from the forest.

SPORE, 37, 1992,. p.5

The medicines in the United States show that 38% contained one or more products of plant origin as the therapeutic agent. Not all plant-derived drugs originated in the tropics but many did so and tropical forests are the richest potential source of new medical agents.

In Ghana, for example, more than 800 woody plants and many other herbaceous species are known for their medical properties. In Asia and the Pacific it is estimated that over 4% of indigenous flora has been utilized in traditional medicine. Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly the Amazon forests, are widely recognized for their contributions to human health in the past and their potential for future discoveries.

Over half of all plant species are natives of tropical forests.

It is estimated that half of the tropical forests have been cleared already. Destruction continues at 25 to 30 million hectares per year and the majority of plant species are vanishing before they have been recorded or investigated. The fund of knowledge carried by the forest dwellers who are displaced is also being lost.

New strategies must be developed to safeguard them.

The best hope for saving the remaining forests, the potential medicines that they contain and the peoples who know most about them may be in developing what has been termed "chemical prospecting". This permits commercial organizations to collect and identify plant materials with potential for medical uses in exchange for proper remuneration to the host country.

A similar strategy is to develop "extractive reserves" for sustainable development of forests where forest dwellers would collect rubber, nuts, coca, palm products and medicinal plants for sale. Brazil already has some such reserves and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) supports a project in Cameroon in collaboration with the Cameroons Centre for the Study of Medicinal Plants. In eleven villages local people helped researchers investigate the plants of the surrounding forest, leading to a collection of hundreds of herbal remedies.

A UK company acts as a broker to find potential buyers for medicinal plants on behalf of tropical countries and has supplied major pharmaceutical companies with plant material from Africa and Asia.

To-date the main focus of activities appears to be in Central and South America and parts of Asia.

1174 92 - 7/88


Tropics, Caribbean, study, protein production, legumes, trees and shrubs, livestock production, CTA


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