Associate Program 4 (AP-4) proposes (1) to identify species of plants in the Cuc Phuong National Park that are of high economic value, in particular species of medicinal importance, which are also of current use to the Muong communities who live around the Park (2) to develop methods for the sustainable production of these species, (3) to upgrade the standard of living of the Muong communities through an alternative commercial production of selected plant species of high economic demand, and (4) to further strengths the cause for the conservation of the Park. Activities to be implemented in order to achieve these goals are (1) to carry out documented field interviews among Muong communities who live around the Park, with special emphasis on plants used for the treatment of malarial and viral diseases and CNS-related symptoms, (2) to collect a small, as yet unspecified number of labeled and documented plant samples in adequate quantities each year for bioassay, from plants which have been determined to have a history of use for malarial and viral diseases and CNS-related symptoms, (3) to ship a portion of each sample or its extracts to AP-3 at the PCRPS/UIC for anti-malarial and antiviral assays, for chemoprevention assays [the latter to be performed only if supplemental funds can be procured], or to ship a second portion to Glaxo Research and Development for bioassays against other types of diseases, particularly CNS-related symptoms (4) to evaluate field and literature data with the cooperation of the Core Project, AP-2, AP-3 and AP-5 in order to determine the degree of importance of the plant(s) to the communities and to develop methods of propagation (traditional seed or cutting methods and tissue culture methods), (5) to train the staff of the Cuc Phuong National Park in tissue culture methods of plant propagation and to deliver propagules to Muong communities for planting in their home gardens or for commercial production, (6) to train selected members of the Muong communities on optimal traditional methods of propagation and production of plants of economic importance, and (7) to educate the members of the Muong communicates on the importance of the Park to their lives through community meetings and seminar presentations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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University of Illinois at Chicago
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