Integrated TRADITIONAL Medicines
Peace Education for Better Health
Towards an integrated world health system, on the physical, mental and spiritual levels




Claudia Sobrevila - USA

Senior Biodiversity Specialist
Environment Department (ENV)
Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD)
The World Bank
Washington DC

Ms. Sobrevila is Senior Biodiversity Specialist at the World Bank. A Venezuelan national, she holds a degree in biology from the Central University of Venezuela and an M.A. and a doctorate degree (PhD) in Ecology from Harvard University. During her 10 years at the World Bank, she has provided technical and project management expertise to projects in more than 15 countries mainly in Latin America on the establishment and management of Parks, building ecological corridors, ensuring that biodiversity conservation is in the agenda of governments, on the establishment of environment trust funds, and more recently on the participation of indigenous peoples in biodiversity conservation. She is a strong practitioner of participatory development. The wide input she seeks ensures stronger ownership of the decisions by an array of interest groups and may ensure more long-lasting effects in conservation. Ms. Sobrevila has led workshops to develop best practices on the issue of the role of indigenous peoples in biodiversity conservation, on traditional knowledge of indigenous groups and on long-term innovative financing mechanisms for protected areas.

Prior to her position at the Bank, Ms. Sobrevila was Chief Ecologist at The Nature Conservancy, where she did inventories of vegetation types and park planning in more than 8 countries and developed a Manual for Rapid Ecological Assessment that is being used commonly in Latin America. She was also Senior Director for the Andean Countries at Conservation International, where she promoted the concept and development of ecological corridors, particularly in the Peru-Bolivia Amazon Lowlands, which has become a major conservation strategy in these two countries.

Ms. Sobrevila has authored several papers and reports on rapid ecological assessment, ecological guide to a park, conservation planning tools, biodiversity conservation and more recently on the role of Nature and Peace. Recently, Claudia founded a non-profit organization “EcoVillages Foundation-Peaceful people in a Healthy Environment” to support poor indigenous communities in remote villages in Tibet and in the rain forests of South and Central America.

The Policy dilemmas in biodiversity and alternative medicine -
a New approach to conservation and management of
medicinal plants.

Our natural ecosystems have thousands of different plant species that have evolved over million of years. These plants have been used by the first inhabitants of Earth before pharmaceuticals were invented. Nowadays, many indigenous and poor people in the world are still basing their health and medicine from these plants. What is also fascinating is that the number of people that dependent on pharmaceuticals for their health are now changing to alternative medicines. People are choosing more holistic approaches and the use of medicinal plants. This is all very good, but this is also causing a threat because many plants are becoming endangered. These plants are endangered not just because their use has increased, but also because deforestation of natural ecosystems is on the rise. Deforestation of forest that contains so many useful species is happening due to cattle ranching, agriculture, mining, oil exploration and other development activities. The conservation of natural ecosystems is becoming a high priority to protect these endangered species and also the cultivation of wild plant used for medicinal purposes should be suggested to the policy makers. These trends are creating conflicting policies that are not always best for human health (overall) and for the environment and survival of rare and extremely useful plants. In this talk, the policy dilemmas in biodiversity and alternative medicine will be discussed.