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Richard Evans Schultes Award

To increase the visibility of the contributions of ethnobiology, and to foster and give due recognition to those who further the field, The Healing Forest Conservancy presents an annual award to a scientist practitioner, or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to ethnobotany or to indigenous people issues related to ethnobotany. The award honors the name of Richard Evans Schultes, widely recognized as one of the most distinguished figures in the field.

Schultes'deep respect for the Indians of the Northwest Amazon is legendary, but best related in his own words: The accomplishments of the aboriginal people in learning plant properties must be a result of a long and intimate association with, and utter dependence on their ambient vegetation. This native knowledge warrants careful and critical attention on the part of modern scientific methods. If phyto-chemists must randomly investigate the constituents of biological effects of 80,000 species of Amazon plants, the task may never be finished. Concentrating first on those species that people have lived and experimented with for millennia offers a short-cut to the discovery of new, medically or industrially useful compounds.

The international Nominating Committee for the Award is chaired by Micheal J. Balick, Ph.D., Philecology Curator of Economic Botany and Director of The New York Botanical Garden's Institute for Economic Botany. The awards have been presented during meetings of the Society of Economic Botany, of which Schultes is a founding member. The Society was founded in 1959 as an international scientific organization, to further ethnobotanical research and to disseminate results through meetings and publications.

During the 1990's there were seven recipients of the Schultes Award. The late Calvin R. Sperling, Ph.D., of the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory at the US Department of Agriculture, was recognized in 1993 for his comprehensive work as a field ethnobotanist in the preservation of genetic resources and the ethnobotany of economic plants.

In 1999 Professor Maurice M. Iwu named recipient of 1999 Richard Evans Schultes award: Professor Maurice M. Iwu, founder and director of the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP), an international NGO operating in several African countries, was named recipient of the 1999 Richard Evans Schultes Award. The Schultes Award is presented annually by the Healing Forest Conservancy to a scientist, practitioner or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to ethnobotany, or to indigenous people's issues related to ethnobotany. (Bionet Information Services, E-mail, 03/06/99)

In 1998, the award was given posthumously to the late Professor D. Michael Warren, founder and director of the Center for Indigenous Knowledge for Agriculture and Rural Development (CIKARD) at Iowa State University. (See the notice under IK resource centres)

In 1997, Professor Nancy J. Turner of the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, BC, was the recipient of the award. Specific recognition was given for her leadership in establishing partnerships with indigenous peoples of Canada so that their knowledge could be brought into discussions with the Canadian government about how best to manage the ancient, temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest.

For the 1996 Schultes Award, the Bribri and Cabécar people of the KéköLdi Indian Reserve in Costa Rica were recognized for their strategy to maintain their culture by enforcing territorial rights. They published a book about Bribri and Cabécar use of medicinal plants, and used the profits to purchase lands from non-Indian landholders within the boundaries of their reserve.

The Schultes Award for 1995 was presented to Janis B. Alcorn, Ph.D., Director for Asia and the Pacific for the Biodiversity Support Program at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, DC.

The 1994 Schultes Award was presented to Professor Hernando Garcia Barriga of the Universidad de Colombia in recognition of his contributions to the field, including the publication of his three-volume series Flora Medicinal de Colombia.

 

 

 

 



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Society for Economic Botany
2002
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[ Vol 55(2) ]


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