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The Video Project is a non-profit organization which distributes educational documentaries on the environment, human rights and related issues. Over 250 programs are available for sale, including:

In Good Hands: Culture and Agriculture in the Lacandon Rainforest documents the farming methods of the Lacandon Maya of Chiapas in southern Mexico, examining the influence of culture, mythology and religion on their agricultural practices. It features James Nation of Conservation International, known for his works on Mayan agroecosystems.

The Moonís Prayer: Wisdom of the Ages examines how Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest of the United States are fighting to protect and restore their lands.

Cry of the Forgotten Land is a study of the Moi people of Irian Jaya and their struggle to conserve their rain forest environment. It is narrated by ethnobotanist Wade Davis

Rain Forests: Proving Their Worth, an intimate look at rain forest peoples and the local forest products they harvest. It includes details on producing and distributing forest products and initiating commercial partnerships, and refers to the work which Jason Clay, senior fellow at WWF-US, was carrying out in the late 1980s.

Regular notices about new releases can be obtained by sending the message ‘subscribe videoproject-l’ to e-mail address: majordomo@igc.apc.org. Contact: The Video Project, 200 Estates Drive, Ben Lomond, CA 95005, USA; Tel. +1.408.3360160, Fax +1.408.3362168, e-mail videoproject@videoproject.org Internet http://www.videoproject.org/videoproject


Reference Publications has worked with noted botanists from many countries to develop a highly regarded series, Medicinal Plants of the World. The aim of this series is to collect widely dispersed data from different parts of the world into one convenient sourcebook for each region. Volumes published to date cover the medicinal plants of China, India, West Africa, North Africa and the West Indies. A new volume on Brazil, written by three noted Brazilian scientists, will be released shortly. Contact: Aline Irvine, Reference Publications, 218 St. Clair River Drive, Box 344, Algonac, Michigan 48001-0344, USA; Tel. +1.810.7945722, Fax +1.810.7947463, e-mail referencepub@juno.com

Courses and workshops

The Education Section of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew provides educational programs, both on-site at Kew and Wakehurst Place, and off-site via an outreach unit. Among other activities, the Higher Education and Training Program coordinates capacity building courses for international students. A five-week Education in Botanic Gardens course is run jointly with BGCI. Other offerings include Conservation Techniques, Botanic Gardens Management and Herbarium Techniques. These courses have been given in different regions of the world, including Herbarium Techniques in Russia and Malaysia, Conservation Techniques in Kenya and Education in Botanic Gardens in Tasmania. Contact: Education Department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK; Tel. +44.181.3325623 or 3325626, Fax +44.181.3325610, e-mail courses@rbgkew.org.uk Internet http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/

The Conservation Media Center (CMC) is working to promote public understanding of environmental issues in Latin America. Established in 1990 by the Rainforest Alliance (PPH 2:7), the CMC works with NGOs, helping them to improve and develop their communication skills to educate local people, share information with other groups, stimulate activism, influence policy and obtain needed resources. CMC runs workshops in communication skills for environmental groups in Mexico and Central America. These are designed to help conservation leaders develop effective and efficient public information strategies. Training sessions deal with press releases, newsletters, posters, workshops, brochures, networking and proposal writing. CMC runs media workshops in which reporters and journalism students from the US and Central America visit conservation projects in the field. Complementary to these courses, two publications have been produced in Spanish: Periodismo Ambiental en América Central, describing the challenges facing environmental reporters in the region; and Difundan Su Mensaje, which explains how conservation groups can design successful public-information campaigns. The CMC publishes a bimonthly bulletin Eco-Exchange, which features innovative conservation projects in Latin America and information about environmental issues. This bulletin, published in English and Spanish, is distributed free of charge to media outlets, conservation groups, government agencies and scientists throughout the world. CMC also serves as an information clearing house, providing facts and referrals to reporters and scientists needing information related to biodiversity in Latin America. Contact: Diane Jukofsky or Chris Wille, Directors, Conservation Media Center, Apdo. 138-2150, Moravia, San José, Costa Rica; Tel. +506.2409383, Fax +506.2402543, e-mail infotrop@sol.racsa.co.cr


Understanding and Influencing Behaviors in Conservation and Natural Resources Management, number 4 in the African Biodiversity Series produced by the Biodiversity Support Program (PPH 1:5), was issued in 1996. This report, essential reading for planners and managers of people-centered conservation programs, provides useful methods and tools for influencing behaviors critical to creating workable conservation plans. Contact: BSP, 1250 24th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA; Tel. +1.202.7789561

Ethnobotany and Sustainable Use of Wild Plant Resources, a report produced by ENDA-Caribe, TRAMIL and the People and Plants Initiative, describes an ethnobotanical curriculum building project for Cental America started in December 1994. Among other objectives, the project sought to increase the number of ethnobotanists working in conservation and sustainable development projects in Honduras and Nicaragua; assess the conservation status of useful plants of Nicaragua; and gather information relating to ethnobotanical training in Central America and Mexico. Two local universities, the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) and the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, Section Leon (UNAN-Leon) are implementing the recommended actions. Contact: Sonia Lagos-Witte, Tramil-Centroamérica, Apartado Postal 64, Managua, Nicaragua; Fax +505.2.657283, e-mail tramilca@nicarao.apc.


  • http://www.nceet.snre.umich.edu belongs to EE-Link, an on-line source of information about environmental education. It is designed for students, teachers and professionals in the US, but includes links and resources useful to a wider audience. Information is provided on teaching materials, newsletters, publication catalogs, organizations and projects. EE-Link is maintained by the National Consortium for Environmental Education and Training (NCEET). The Consortium works to support, enhance and extend effective environmental education for American school children. Contact: National Consortium for Environmental Education and Training, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1115, USA; Tel. +1.313.9986726, Fax +1.313.9986580, e-mail nceet-info@nceet.snre.umich.edu
  • http://www.wri.org/wri/enved/ is the site for the World Resources Institute’s Environmental Education Project. This project began in 1992, and has been developing educational materials on global environment and development issues. Teacher’s guides, videos and slide sets have all been produced as well as computer software for use in high school and university classes. Based on experiences with educational groups in Mexico, India, Europe, Australia, Vietnam and Japan, these materials are being adapted to suit local cultures, education systems and environments. These materials are disseminated through educational networks and teacher training workshops. Contact: Environmental Education Project, World Resources Institute, 1709 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA; Tel. +1.202.6386300, Fax +1.202.6380036
  • http://earth.simmons.edu/plants/plants.html brings you to the Plants Monitoring Project, part of EnviroNet, a network to improve environmental science education in the USA, which is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Simmons College, Boston. A web site where people can share their findings from ethnobotanical investigations, it includes a discussion area about ethnobotany, an on-line herbarium where participants can read about specific plants of interest or add entries, and a list of resources and related web sites. Participants are encouraged to take part in activities such as interviewing older relatives about useful plants, collecting recipes and stories, designing and implementing experiments to test the properties of a plant, trying to grow rare and unusual varieties and species, and exchanging seeds. Through sharing experiences and information, the project hopes to encourage the study of plants and their uses in different cultures, and to enhance teaching in this field. Contact: Gabriell De Bear Paye, Plants Project Coordinator, West Roxbury High School, 1205 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132, USA; e-mail paye@whale.simmons.edu or EnviroNet, Simmons College, Department of Biology, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Tel. +1.617.5212665, e-mail environet@whale.simmons.edu

People and Plants bookshelf

Berlin, E.A. and B. Berlin. 1996. Medical Ethnobotany of the Highland Maya of Chiapas, Mexico. The Gastrointestinal Diseases. Prinecton, Princeton University Press. The Berlins focus on the scientific foundations of traditional Maya medicine, drawing upon seven years of ethnomedical and ethnobotanical work. They give detailed accounts of Maya disease classification, symptomatology and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, the most important health condition affecting the Highland Maya. Illustrated with fine line drawings, this volume is the beginning of an encyclopedic effort to document Maya traditional knowledge, and return it to its sources. Contact: Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08450, USA.


The International Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) was set up in 1984 to catalyze the production of television programs dealing with environment, development, health and human rights issues. A non-profit organization, it works to ensure that its programs are broadcast in as many countries as possible, and encourages film-makers in the South to make their own films on environmental problems. Its Moving Pictures service distributes videos free to developing countries. The Moving Pictures Bulletin, containing listings and reviews of films, is produced quarterly, and is complemented by an extensive database of environmental productions. Another component of the Moving Pictures program is OUTREACH, a project that compiles and distributes information packs on environmental and health issues for use by NGOs and primary schools in developing countries. Packs are available in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. OUTREACH also assists in the production of children’s environmental magazines, and produces a quarterly newsletter summarizing its activities. Contact: Television Trust for the Environment, Prince Albert Road, London NW1 4RZ, UK; Tel. +44.171.5865526, Fax +44.171.5864866, e-mail tve-uk@geo2.geonet.de


Rumbo Ambiental, the Spanish language newsletter of the Centro de Educación Ambiental e Investigación Sierra de Huautla (CEAMISH, Environmental Education and Research Center of the Sierra de Huautla, Mexico), provides information and viewpoints from academics and conservationists on the local and global environmental crisis. Contact: Oscar Dorado, CEAMISH, Avenida Universidad No.1001, Colonia Chamilpa C.P. 62210, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico; Tel. +52.73.112288 ext. 175, Fax +52.73.133794

Sabonet News, the newsletter of the Southern African Botanical Diversity Network (SABONET), aims to inform southern African botanists of the activities and developments of this regional project, which seeks to develop a strong core of professional botanists, taxonomists, horticulturists and plant diversity specialists within the ten countries of southern Africa who can inventory, monitor, evaluate and conserve the botanical diversity of the region. Contact: Christopher Willis, The Editor, Sabonet News, National Botanical Institute, Private Bag X101, Pretoria 0001, South Africa; Tel. +27.12.8043200, Fax +27.12.8043211, e-mail ckw@nbipre.nbi.ac.za


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