VETIVER AND WATEROctober 6-9, 2003. Guangzhou, P.R. China
The conference, attended by about 300 persons from many countries, was honored by the attendance of TVN's Patron, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand . Apart from the excellent arrangements made by the Provincial Government of Guangdong this conference excelled in the quality of topics and papers that were presented. We draw attention to just a few that are likely to have significance to natural resources management in the future. Paul Truong's overview "Clean Water Shortage, An Imminent Global Crisis - How Vetiver Can Reduce Its Impact" (990KB) provides an excellent picture of Vetiver and Water. First there were some excellent presentations showing how Vetiver Systems could be used in improving water quality mainly through its use in constructed wetlands. Perhaps the most important was the calibration of vetiver grass to allow it to be used with a good degree of accuracy in the "engineering" design calculations of wetland planning. The paper (KB706) "Modelling Monto Vetiver Growth and Nutrient Uptake for Effluent Irrigation Schemes" can be found on this site. Other related papers include: "The Use of Vetiver Grass Wetlands for Sewerage Treatment in Australia" (MB 1.3), and "Response of Vetiver Grass to Extreme Nitrogen and Phosphorus Supply" (MB 1.9). Another water associated paper "Hydraulic Characteristics of Vetiver Hedges in Deep Flows" (152KB) will be useful for engineers who are using vetiver to stabilize banks where vetiver is subjected to water currents. Secondly there were some very good papers relating to land stabilization and rehabilitation. A trully inspiring paper, "Vetiver Victorious: The Systematic Use of Vetiver to Save Madagascars FCE Railway" (KB 276) described how a cyclone prone railroad in Madagascar was stabilized with vetiver and the related community issues and involvement that were interestingly solved. Other papers incliuded: "Progress of the Use of Vetiver Grass System for Erosion Control and Slope Stabilization along the Yadana Gas Pipeline Right of Way" (KB 9.7), "Application of the Vetiver System in the Reclamation of Degraded Land" (KB 39.8), "Revegetation of Quarry Using a Complex Vetiver Eco-engineering Technique" (KB38.9). Thirdly, there were two papers that deserve very special attention that relate to vetiver's role as a pest trap and it role in the acquisition of nutrients via Glomalian Fungi". The paper "Can Vetiver Grass be Used to Manage Insect Pests on Crops?" (KB 272.5) may be one of the most important pieces of research yet done on vetiver. It descibes how Chilo partellus, a lepidopterous stem borer of grasses, is a pest that is often mentioned in vetiver literature and is an insect is a serious pest of maize, rice and other grain, as well as sugar cane crops in Asia and throughout East and Southern Africa where it can cause total crop failure. Research in South Africa shows that crops whengrown in association with vetiver hedgerows have a very significant reduction in stem borer infestation because vetiver acts as a trap crop (without harm to itself). These results need confirmation in other countries, and then the message should go out to farmers - this surely should induce framers to plant vetiver hedgerows. The other paper "Vetiver grass as an Ideal Phytosymbiont for Glomalian Fungi for Ecological Restoration of Heavy Metal Contaminated Derelict Land" (KB 32.2) shows how vetiver in association with glomalian fungi can use nutrients that are generally unavailable to plants - thus explaining why vetiver appears to grow well even under extreme nutrient deficient soils, and points to the real value of vetiver in nutrient recycling. Fourthly there are a number of papers relating to using the private sector to commercialize Vetiver Systems. The Chinese have been particularly successful at this. So too, as described in "Vetiver System and Private Sector" (KB 26.1) has Criss Juliard in Senegal. Last but not least, the Ekoturin Foundation of Indonesia has demonstrated so well in the paper "Vetiver Grass: A Key to Sustainable Development on Bali" ( KB 106.8). I presented a world overview "Vetiver Grass A World Technology and its Impact on Water" (KB 36.1) which may interest some readers.
All the papers have now been published and can be found under "What's New" and "ICV3 Proceedings" The conference proceedings as well as the Power Point Presentations that were made at the conference will shortly be available on a CD ROM. To order the CD please email firstname.lastname@example.org In summary there was a lot of very good information generated at the conference. Much of it should be taken to the field to be tested and used. Dick Grimshaw. January 3 2004
List of ICV3 participants (Final list of addresses, telephone numbers and email)