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Tuesday
May272014

Wild plants the stars of innovative online toolbox

Budapest, Hungary, 27th May 2014—Today sees the launch of an online interactive “Traditional and wild” toolbox, created to showcase the use of a variety of wild plant species used for traditional medicine and for food in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland and beyond.

The state-of-the-art website was created as part of an EU-funded project aimed at preserving knowledge about sustainable harvesting of wild plant resources in Central Europe and is available in Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian and Czech, with some sections in Roma.

Already the toolbox has won “Site of the Day” for its innovative creative design and ease of use from the prestigious theFWA.com and cssdesignawards.com websites.

The website guides visitors on a journey through the wonderful world of wild plants, challenging them to test their knowledge about the plants themselves and traditional harvesting practices. The information contained can be used in a variety of contexts, for training purposes and in workshops to enrich knowledge about wild plants.

The toolbox comprises eight sections including comprehensive information about 30 commonly used wild-collected plants in the region, such as Leopard’s Bane Arnica montana and Common Nettle Urtica dioica.

Such information is traditionally passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation, but today it is being lost through a combination of fewer wild plant harvesters operating and an increasingly urbanized population.

Also included is an overview of worldwide projects incorporating use of the FairWild Standard including those on FairWild-certified Frankincense (Commiphora and Boswellia species) from Kenya and Liquorice root Glycyrrhiza uralensis from Kazakhstan.

The FairWild Standard was originally developed by organizations including TRAFFIC to support efforts to ensure plants are managed, harvested and traded in a way that maintains populations in the wild and benefits rural producers.

An associated online cartoon has also been launched to explain and promote the use of the FairWild Standard.

Also included within the online toolbox is a Resource section, intended for use by users of wild harvested plants, companies seeking information about sustainable harvesting and trade, government bodies charged with regulating such trade and those looking for a better understanding of the sector.

The three-year “Traditional and wild” project, whose project partners include TRAFFIC and WWF Hungary, has helped revitalize aspects of the wild plant industry in Central Europe and resulted in the launch of a “dream catcher” scented pillow and other products and the opening of a “folklore house” dedicated to preserving traditional knowledge about the use of wild plants.

Medicinal Plant Officer Kristina Rodina, who oversaw the project for TRAFFIC said: “Wild plant collection may be centuries old, but knowledge about sustainable practices is dying out: this cutting edge online toolbox is designed to capture that information before it is lost and open the eyes of the next generation to the exciting world of wild plants.”

A summary of the Traditional and wild is available in Czech, English, Hungarian, Polish and Slovenian (PDF, 2 MB).

This project is implemented through the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme co-financed by the ERDF



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