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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 503: II WOCMAP Congress Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Part 4: Industrial Processing, Standards & Regulations, Quality, Marketing, Economics


Authors:   Dr. Helena van der Borg, Ir. Heiko van der Borg, P.D.V. Martino, Prof. Vernon Heywood, Prof. Peter Tétényi
As Organizing Editors it is a pleasure for us to present you herewith another volume of the four volumes containing the proceedings of the Second World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for Human Welfare, held in Mendoza, Argentina in November 1997. It is clear that since WOCMAP-1 important progress has been made in many fields of interest. There remain still subjects asking for further studies or other types of work to obtain progress after WOCMAP-2.

The unforeseen large participation of 1050 persons and of 40 exhibitors gave the opportunity for an intensive exchange of research results as well as discussions during the many Workshops and Round Tables foreseen in the program, bearing in mind several points of interest as also formulated in the preambule of the WOCMAP-2 Resolutions.

With 600 summaries of oral and poster presentations available in the Book of Abstracts an unexpected stream of information came available for each participant at the start of the Congress.

For several reasons the preparation of the publication of the proceedings has not been on an optimal level before and during the Congress. But after the congress the established editorial board could accomplish their task in an efficient way. We have used the same procedure as has been followed with the ISHS in 1993 for the four volumes of the WOCMAP-1 proceedings.

We would like to thank the authors for sending in their presentations in the requested format. The Editor-in-Chief professor Virginia Martino was able, with the assistance of editors selected worldwide, to collect the reviewed documents to be published in four volumes of Acta Horticulturae.

In each volume of the WOCMAP-2 proceedings are also published the Opening Address of the President of ICMAP and the Welcome Address presented by the President of WOCMAP-1.

In each volume the relevant WOCMAP-2 Resolutions for the subjects of the Sections involved are published.

Organizing Editors
Dr. Helena van der Borg
Ir. Heiko van der Borg
Leiden, March 1999


When the National Organizing Committee of the Argentine Republic assumed most of the responsibility of the organization of the Second World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants WOCMAP II, we lived this as a great challenge.

But once the Congress was over and having counted with the attendance of about a thousand people from fifty two different countries, the presentation of more than six hundred papers with an excellent scientific level as well as the participation of renowned international invited speakers, the success achieved proved the effort and commitment worthwhile.

WOCMAP II was the first Congress on medicinal and aromatic plants of such importance in Latin America. May be the major significance herewith involved has been to encompass within a single scientific meeting, all the areas related to medicinal and aromatic plants, represented through the different sections of the Congress, by regarding its cultivation, improvement, conservation, its phytochemical and pharmacological investigation, its quality control and its commercial and legal aspects.

Besides, this Congress enabled the gathering and interaction of scientists and technicians, growers and industry representatives engaged in different activities, considering the subject from a panoramic and global point of view. Consequently, each area was able to analyze and re-state its aims and research lines, according to the new scientific and commercial trends, mainly in Latin America.

The different aspects of medicinal and aromatic plants have been well reflected in the papers included in the four different volumes of the Proceedings of WOCMAP II.

I would like to thank the authors for their valuable contributions.

On the brim of a new century, people tend to look backwards and search for new horizons, which may lead to the progress of mankind.

As far as we are concerned and having concluded the Congress close to the end of the century, we consider this our turn to look back into what has been achieved up to the present with regard to medicinal and aromatic plants (not at all scarce), analyze the new trends and re-state our investigations.

Pure phytochemical research and isolation and dilucidation of new structures were the starting point. Our present time could be the search for biological activities and bioguided fractionation of active extracts, looking for new drugs of therapeutical application.

Biotechnology, combinatorial chemistry and molecular design, will no doubt, in a near future, stand as an important landmark in the development of the new drugs for the benefit of human health. However, medicinal plants will still remain as an important source, not only of raw materials but also of new biologically active substances.

Our real “Challenge for the 21st Century” is thus to profit as much as possible of the chemical and biological diversity offered by plants, always with a respectful and valorative attitude towards biodiversity, so that the coming generations may enjoy this wonderful legacy of Nature.

Prof. Dr. Virginia S. Martino
Buenos Aires, November 1998

By President of ICMAP

Sr. Rector, Sr. Vice-Rector, Sr. Director, Professor Mandrile, Ing.Agr. Amanda di Fabio, Professor Bandoni, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The first World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants was organized in 1992 and the present Congress commemorates the 500th anniversary of the meeting of the two cultures. It is therefore highly appropriated that this Second Congress should be held in the New World here Mendoza, in the region of Cuyo, in the foothills of the Andes. In this province, what was originally a desert has been converted through the tenacious work of the inhabitants into a series of oases (los oases mendocinos) where vines, fruit trees and medicinal and aromatic plants are grown under irrigation in the 2.1% of the surface that is currently under cultivation.

Amongst the aromatic plants that are cultivated are species from Europe and the Mediterranean basin - origanum, saffron, crocus, rosemary, salvia - testimony to the links with the Old World and part of the ever changing exchange of germplasm between the continents.

At this Second World Congress, over 1000 participants form 52 countries are gathered here to address the many and diverse issues that concern medicinal and aromatic plants. We come from many different disciplines - chemists, pharmacologists, biologists, conservation biologists, agronomists, industrialists, legislators, sociologists. This Congress was organized as part of the activities of ICMAP - the International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - and ICMAP itself was established by IUBS in 1993 - the International Union of Biological Sciences - following a proposal made at the first WOCMAP in Maastricht, as a forum for establishing effective cooperation between the various organizations and individuals working in this field.

As President of ICMAP and on behalf of IUBS I should like to welcome you all and hope that your deliberations will be successful and lead to a better understanding and more effective and sustainable use of the plants that have contributed so much to human welfare. I should also at this time like to express our gratitude to the National and Local Organizing Committees for the enormous and sustained effort that they have put into the organization of this Congress and making it possible for us to hold this event here.

Prof. Vernon Heywood
President of the Congress

By President of WOCMAP I

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all let me thank the Organizing Committee for their invitation to speak here.

I should like to say a few words in my capacity as president of the First World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Maastricht in 1992. I hope that a brief review of the historical background to this meeting will be of interest.

The ISHS Congress in Warsaw in 1974 decided to set up a MAP organization. This goal was achieved during a special symposium in Freising in 1977, organized at the Institute of Vegetable Cultivation of the University of Munich by Prof. Fritz with the help of Chlodwig Franz, now vice-rector of the Veterinary University in Vienna. On that occasion, - just 20 years ago- the various participants agreed to set up a MAP Working Group within the ISHS Section Vegetables.

Meanwhile, the International Union of Biological Sciences, - IUBS -, convened a group of experts on medicinal plants, attached to the IUBS secretariat. This was announced at the IUBS General Assembly in Vancouver in 1979. To avoid duplication of effort, it was agreed that this group of experts should join the already highly reputed ISHS Working Group. It was a pity that it took so long for this decision to be reached.

In recognition of its achievements, the MAP Working Group was registered and accepted as the Fourth Section of ISHS at the 21st IHC in Hamburg in 1982. The internal organization of the Section now began to take shape, and within a year, three new working groups have been formed: one for Natural Resources, one on Cultivation, and one on Quality of MAP's.

Both ISHS and FAO agreed to extend the influence of the Section by giving it worldwide publicity. In this connection, they asked the Medicinal Plant Research Institute in Budakalász, Hungary, to start publishing a MAP Newsletter in 1984. During the seven years that it existed, this publication channeled information and views throughout the Section and to more than a thousand research centres and other addresses in five continents.

Finally, the IUBS group of experts joined the ISHS Section by merging with the Genetic Resources Working Group at a special meeting of the International Botanical Congress in Berlin in 1987 - ten years ago. The next step in this process of cooperation was a consultation of held between UN and professional organizations at IUBS headquarters in Paris in March 1988. It was then decided to organize a world congress on the importance of medicinal and aromatic plants to human welfare. The task of preparation was entrusted to the Section, under the joint direction of IUBS, IUPHAR, FAO and ISHS. This arrangement was approved by the ISHS Executive Committee the same year, and was monitored annually.

WOCMAP-1 was held in Maastricht in 1992 and fulfilled earlier professional expectations. At the same time, it was a meeting to promote the use of medicinal and aromatic plants for the benefit of humanity. Intensive, fruitful discussions at eleven workshops led to more than fifty recommendations being drawn up.

The business meeting of the ISHS Section adopted the staffing and organizational proposals made by the Latin - American region.

In addition, the closing session agreed on future cooperation among international, regional and national organizations, associations and offices. This decision served as a basis for consultations held in Paris during 1993 - 94 in order to set up the International Council for Medicinal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, - ICMAP-. This became an umbrella for all interested bodies working with or within the frame of IUBS. ICMAP, ISHS and SAIPA then jointly decided to organize WOCMAP - 2 for the South American region in Argentina.

This is an appropriate moment to express our gratitude to our colleagues for helping to build up the Section and to re-emphasize the strenuous efforts of Engineer Emeritus Heiko van der Borg as Secretary-General of ISHS and in recent years also of ICMAP.

In the hope that the ISHS Section will provide a lasting framework for international professional activities relating to MAP's, I hereby express the wish that WOCMAP - 2 will bring success to the participants, the organizers and our common cause.

Prof. Peter Tétényi
Chairman ISHS Section on MAP 1982–1992

10 November 1997
Mendoza, Argentina

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