Centre for Research and Development of Ethno-medicinal Plants (CREDEP)

Based in Hanoi, CREDEP studies the biodiversity, conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants and indigenous knowledge resources in Vietnam.

TRUNG TAM NGHIEN CUU & PHAT TRIEN CAY THUOC DAN TOC CO TRUYEN
Centre for Research and Development of Ethnomedicinal Plants CREDEP
9, Vu Huu Loi St., Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel & Fax: (84-4) 9423043
Director: Prof. Dr. sc. nat. Tran Cong Khanh
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.credep.org

INTRODUCTION TO CREDEP

A. Legal Basis and Organization

The Centre for Research and Development of Ethnomedicinal Plants (CREDEP) has been established in 1993 by Decision No. 28/DK-KHCN for Registration for Scientific and Technological Activities dated 18 November 1993 issued by the Hanoi Department of Science, Technology and Environment.

CREDEP is a not-for-profit scientific Non-Government Organization (NGO). Its staff and collaborators consists of Professors, Scientists, Physicians, Pharmacists, Biologists, Lawyers and Traditional Healers. Most of them have worked or are working at different Universities, Institutes, Medical and Pharmaceutical Organizations in the country. CREDEP is managed and supervised by a Director who is assisted by two Vice-Directors, Advisors and Heads of Professional Teams.

B. Activities: CREDEP carries out the following activities:

1) Survey and basic research

a) Study the biodiversity, conservation, sustainable use and development of plant resources, especially medicinal plants.
b) Explore and inventory ethnomedicinal plants and remedies and indigenous knowledge of the ethnic minority groups in Vietnam in order to inherit, develop and apply this valuable resources for the prevention and cure of diseases.
c) Study the propagation and cultivation of valuable and/or threatened species for replanting in the forest and home gardens for community needs.
d) Screening analyze and determine the chemical components of plants, which having biological activities.
e) Contribute to the study of ethno-medicinal and ethno-pharmaceutical theories of different ethnic minority groups in Vietnam. Comparing and putting into practice in Vietnam the results of studies on medicinal plants in other countries, especially the countries in Asia. This will contribute to the enrichment of Vietnamese medicine and pharmacy.

2) Application of research results

a) Based on the scientific research and analysis of traditional experiences with the use of ethnomedicinal plants and remedies, carry out the necessary studies and procedures needed to obtain government approvals required for production of new medicines.
b) Establish a botanic garden of useful and medicinal plants -including a gene bank- for the purpose of conservation, scientific research and community education.
c) Cultivate medicinal plants (based on GAP) and extract their active components for use in production of medicines.

3) Training

a) Contribute to the enhancement of scientific capacity and management quality for protection of biodiversity and biological resources for staff members, collaborators and communities.
b) Organize or collaborate with scientists and other organizations in country or abroad to provide training on research methods for biodiversity, ethnobotany and conservation of medicinal plant resources and indigenous knowledge.

4) Advice and scientific services

a) Advise on the study and production of herbal medicines for traditional medical and pharmaceutical organizations.
b) Collaborate with scientists and organizations to organize existing scientific technological and technical services in respect of medicinal plants which explore the capacity of the scientists and the scientific organizations and factories in Vietnam to supply the needs of society.

C. Independent Research Experiences

In order to develop and promote the research and utilization of herbal drugs for the needs of public healthcare, since 1993, CREDEP has carried out the following studies of ethnomedicinal plants and remedies of the various ethnic minority groups of Vietnam:

1) Ethnomedicinal plants and remedies of the San Chay, Dao and Tay ethnic minorities in Phu Luong district, Thai Nguyen province (1994 and 1995).
2) Traditional plants and remedies of ethnic minority groups of 5 villages in Quang Ha district, Quang Ninh province (1996).
3) Ethnomedicinal plants and remedies of the Muong ethnic minority in Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh province (1997).
4) Contributed to investigation of the medicinal plants used by the Dao ethnic minority at the buffer zone of Ba Vi National Park (Ha Tay province) and propagating methods of the most useful plants in this area (1998).
5) The ecology of home garden cultivation of medicinal plants by the Dao ethnic minority in the buffer zone of Ba Vi National Park (1999).
6) Non-timber forest products and cultivation in the mountainous fields of the Ruc ethnic minority in Minh Hoa district, Quang Binh province (1999).
7) The use, marketing and economic value of medicinal plants, which have been used by the Dao ethnic minority in the buffer zone of Ba Vi National Park (1999 and 2000).

D. Collaborative Research Experiences

Some collaborative projects for conservation and sustainable utilization of useful plants of Vietnam, including medicinal plants, have been also completed by the CREDEP:

1) Project “Conservation of forest biodiversity in Phu Luong dist., Thai Nguyen prov.” (1997-1998). Collaborated with the Association for Research and Environmental Aid Ltd. (AREA), Australia and the Research and Training Centre for Community Development (RTCCD), Hanoi.
2) Project ”Protect the biodiversity of useful plants in Ba Be National Park” (1998-2000). Collaborated with the staff of Ba Be National Park and RTCCD, funded by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (USA), through the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Indochina Program Office in Hanoi.
3) Project “Conservation and sustainable use of useful plant resources in Tam Dao National Park“ (1997-2000). Collaborated with the staff of Tam Dao National Park, Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI) in London, and RTCCD, funded by the Darwin Initiative U.K.
4) Project “Conservation the biodiversity of medicinal plants of the Cao Lan minority in Yen Son dist., Tuyen Quang prov.” (2001-2005). Collaborated with the Association of Traditional Medicine of Tuyen Quang prov., funded by UNDP in Vietnam.
5) “Survey and evaluation on development capacity of local medicinal plants for poverty alleviation and community healthcare at the Hong Tien village, Pho Yen dist. (Thai Nguyen prov.)”, 2006: Collaborated with the Botanic Depart. (Hanoi University of Pharmacy) and STDs/HIV/AIDS prevention Centre (SHAPC).

E. The Future: CREDEP’s strategy and action plan for 2005-2010

CREDEP is preparing new research projects in the above mentioned areas for the coming years along the following lines:

1) Concentration on studying the native communities of ethnic minority groups, especially in Northern of Vietnam.
2) Continue the research that carried out in the past, focusing on the conservation and sustainable use of useful plants, especially ethnomedicinal plants, and indigenous knowledge of their use by the local people.
3) Establish a database and information network of medicinal plants, especially ethnomedicinal plants of Vietnam and the neighbouring countries.
4) Continue to strengthen CREDEP's capacity and seek support and assistance to facilitate its work.

The Centre for Research and Development of Ethnomedicinal Plants (CREDEP) is willing and eager to co-operate with scientists and organizations in Vietnam and abroad in various fields of technical and scientific research activities, training, conservation and development of medicinal plant and indigenous knowledge resources in Vietnam and their beneficial applications.