TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE ON MEDICINAL AND AROMATIC PLANTS FROM THE ORANG ASLI AS A SOURCE FOR FUTURE CROPS
Traditional knowledge (TK) has been, and will continue to be, a valuable source of information when one speaks of crops for the future. As the phrase crops for the future refers to food as well as nonfood crops, TK on medicinal and aromatic plants used by the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia is viewed as a new contributor in spurring the development of the herbal industry both locally and internationally. Recognizing the importance of documenting and later publishing TK, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), through funding made available by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, has embarked on a project entitled Documenting TK, with a special focus on medicinal and aromatic plants used by the Orang Asli. Registered under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the project not only has focused on documentation of TK itself but also has achieved, among other things: enhancement of awareness of the importance of documenting TK among three sub-ethnic groups of the Orang Asli; creation of a database specifically for TK; capacity building for the three sub-ethnic groups of the Orang Asli; collection of herbarium specimens on TK of the Orang Asli; and the possibility of benefit sharing with the Orang Asli once the species with multiple potentials are geared for commercial production. Previous discussion with the Tok Batins (headmen) and prior informed consent, as required under the international Convention on Biological Diversity before an Orang Asli can impart his or her knowledge or information to any interested party, have indeed contributed to the success of this project. On the basis of their performance under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the research team was given additional funding under the first rolling period of the Tenth Malaysia Plan, to extend the project to three new sub-ethnic groups of the Orang Asli. With that background, this paper not only sheds light on issues and challenges related to documentation of TK but also provides useful tips for ensuring the success of future research related to the Orang Asli.
Norini, H., Abd Latif, M., Lim, H.F. and Nagulendran, K. (2013). TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE ON MEDICINAL AND AROMATIC PLANTS FROM THE ORANG ASLI AS A SOURCE FOR FUTURE CROPS . Acta Hortic. 979, 269-276
traditional knowledge (TK), capacity building