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This Network has been relocated to Portugal and is managed by Mike Pease. Mike is an agriculturist and worked for many years for the World Bank. He is keen to interact with people in Europe, North Africa and West Asia who are interested in vetiver grass and its uses.

Apart from coordinating the Network, Mike has kindly agreed to keep up todate a Vetiver Data Base that references various topics relating to vetiver.

We would like to thank Marco Troglia for originially initiating the Network more than a year ago. Marco found that that he could not give enough time to the Network, hence the switch to Portugal and Mike Pease.

Mike Pease's communication addresses are:

Michael Pease,
Quinta das Espargoas
8600-250 Lagos
Algarve, Portugal
Off fax/tel: (351) . 282 - 79.84.66

E-mail: [email protected]

What's New in EuroMed-VetNet

An Introduction from Mike Pease

 Dick Grimshaw has introduced me to Network members the Vetiver Homepage. I think I need say no more for you to know who I am, what my background is and how I may be contacted. Now, I want to take this opportunity of explaining how I see my role as Co-ordinator for the European and Mediterranean Region of the Vetiver Network.

I have set myself three principal tasks, and in each case I seek the support and assistance of existing members of the Network located within our regional network.

Firstly, the central network has provided some start up funds to get us going but I am keen to achieve a position of self financing as soon as possible. Already I have taken some initiatives towards this goal but whether these prove productive remains to be seen. Consequently, I would appreciate any suggestions and, above all, contacts that I might pursue that might lead to financial support for our regional network.

The costs involved in running 'EuroMed-VetNet' are, in the first instance, those of communications, i.e. mail, phone/fax and e-mail and linked costs such as stationery etc. There is no charge for my services; I get fun out of it. In due course, if we can obtain sufficient funds I envisage that there might be justification and demand for holding an occasional conference or similar 'meeting of minds' funded from within our regional resources. In addition, if adequate funding was available, it might even be possible to provide financial support for specific research undertakings within our geographic footprint. Naturally, if such a proposition was to be considered, it would have to be co-ordinated through the central Network to ensure that it conformed to global research strategies.

My second priority area will be to promote the dissemination of knowledge of vetiver amongst public or private bodies or individuals that show an interest and who may be able to contribute towards overall expansion of the use of vetiver or other 'living hedge' technologies within our Region.

In regard to research we would function in close liaison with the central network in the United States. However, EuroMed-VetNet covers geographic areas that are climatologically quite different to many of the areas covered by the other regional networks. Much of our region is in temperate zones and is located north of the latitudinal limits below which vetiver can be expected to prosper. Alternative 'living hedge' species may have a valuable part to play in some of these 'marginal' locations. As you will be aware from earlier Newsletters, work is being conducted in the United States along these lines. Also in our region are areas of semi-arid desert, typically in eastern Mediterranean and North African countries. Research work conducted in the semi-arid areas of Rajasthan in India and in semi-arid areas of China may well be relevant and applicable to our Region. Nevertheless, specific research is required to determine technologies appropriate to the above climatic areas.

Recently, I completed a seven-page paper, that summarises some possible areas for research for our Region. In preparing this paper I have drawn extensively on presentations that were made at the First International Vetiver Conference held in Thailand in February 1996. I have also incorporated some specific suggestions made by Dick Grimshaw. It is my intention to send copies of this paper to research bodies that show interest in vetiver as and when they can be identified. So, I would be most grateful if members within our Region would let me know names and addresses of contacts in research or allied fields that are likely to be productive and who I should contact. Of course, if any member wishes to receive a copy of the paper I would be happy to respond, preferably by e-mail.

Departments or organisations that might be interested in vetiver research could include, for instance: agriculture, forestry, botany, biology, soil conservation and soil sciences, water sciences, civil engineering and environmental affairs.

Finally, I wish to provide some regional flavour, where appropriate, to the information dissemination that comes from the central Network. I intend to do this primarily by using the 'What's New in EuroMed VetNet' through the mirror-plus section of the Vetiver Homepage. Once again, I invite your comments and suggestions.

I have prepared a four-page paper that summarises 'The Vetiver Story'. I have written this as an introduction to vetiver and its uses and intend to send copies to those showing interest in vetiver as and when they can be identified. If any existing member wishes to receive a copy I would be happy to respond, preferably by e-mail.

On this occasion, since it is introductory, I have done the writing for our regional 'What's New' section. However, I would like that, for future editions, we use this space primarily to publicise information provided by you, the regional membership specific to our regional circumstances. So, contributions and communications will be most welcome.

The current membership of EuroMed-VetNet is about 200. With your help I think we should be able to expand it quite rapidly, especially in countries where we currently have no representation. Let's go!