Traditional knowledge unveiled before UN University delegation

Thiruvananthapuram: A team of delegates comprising of various government and NGO representatives from Africa visited Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) here today. The team comprised of practitioners and researchers in traditional healing prevalent all over the world, visiting India under the aegis of United Nations’ University’s programme for indigenous knowledge. A dozen of delegates included representatives from South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Swaziland.  The team was led by Dr. P. Unnikrishnan, of the UN University.

Expert session included a talk on Vriksha Ayurveda  by Dr. C.K. Peethambaran, former director of Kerala Agricultural University and projects director of CISSA. An educative session on Ayurveda of India was given by G. Gopalakrishnan. While interacting with the native experts, Nomsa Mabila of Swaziland expressed concern that in her country people, aware of the medicinal use of plants simply grow certain types of plants in abundance. “The commercial motive often eclipses the social value behind growing such plants”, she said. Ms. Nomsa is Coordinator of Eco-tourism with a conservancy company.

Coordinator for the WIN programme of the UNDP, Alejandra Pero commented that to understand and preserve the indigenous knowledge and resources, there needed a concerted effort by government and civil society. She commended the initiatives taken by CISSA in popularizing Ayurveda and traditional agricultural systems. “Sharing of experiences and joint efforts among people are cardinal towards preserving the indigenous wisdom of a country”, Ms. Alejandra added.

Coordinator, ABS Capacity Development Initiative of GIZ, Germany, Dr. Andreas Drews said that his organization’s effort is to engage African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States in access and benefit sharing of indigenous knowledge.  “Guiding principles in this regard arise from the third objective of the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the 2010 Nagoya Protocol”, Dr. Andreas said.

Delegates were hopeful of establishing partnerships with Indian organizations to fetch lasting results in the conservation of traditional knowledge. The workshop concluded with a magical interaction titled, ‘Magic and science: Age-old bondage’ by Director of Magic Academy, Chandrasenan Mithirmala.

Earlier, Dr. C. Suresh Kumar, General Secretary of CISSA explained about multifarious initiatives of the organization to sensitize public in the areas of good food, organic farming, popularization of jackfruit and Ayurveda potentials. Dr. P.G. Rajendran, Director (Projects) of CISSA welcomed the delegates. Dr. Easwaran E.K. proposed vote of thanks

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