United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Traditional medicine of the Chinese Miao community selected for Harmony List

The traditional medicine of the Miao community (Guizhou Province, China) has been selected by the Harmony List Jury as the 2005 best cultural practice contributing to sustainable development.

Miao medicine is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine according to which the body is a system that functions as a closed circuit. In order to locate the origin of the disease, Miao medicine looks for an imbalance of Yin and Yang, and considers that the body is capable of healing itself by correcting this imbalance.

Inspired by this vision, the city of Guiyang, in Guizhou province, has launched a project for local economic development, which looks at the environment as a closed circuit and is guided by the motto “reduce, re-use and recycle”.

The Harmony List was created last year as a result of a partnership between the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC) and I.DE.A.M – Groupe Crédit Agricole*. The Jury, composed of members of the IFPC Administrative Council and the Médicis Committee (a think tank created by I.DE.A.M bringing together groups committed to sustainable development in the financial domain) selects best traditional or innovative cultural practices that significantly and sustainably contribute to improving quality of life, and which integrate the cultural dimension into social, environmental and economic development.

The criteria for selection include respect for the environment, the capacity to provide solutions to problems of the modern world, the maintenance of harmony between populations and their lifestyle, and the potential for transfer, adaptation and reproduction of the practice in question.

Ten cultural practices from all regions of the world are pre-selected each year, and at least one is inscribed on the Harmony List. In 2004, “Bedouin Hospitality” and the “Cree Bush Schools” of northern Canada were honoured.

Each year, those involved in the practice selected for the List are invited to make a request for funding to the IFPC for a cultural project contributing to the development of their community.

* Created in 1974, the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC) supports cultural development projects and aims to help creators and cultural entrepreneurs to find additional funds. Managed by an Administrative Council of 15 personalities appointed by UNESCO’s Director-General, it enjoys a large degree of autonomy.

I.DE.A.M , Integral Development Asset Management (Crédit Agricole Group), is a portfolio management company exclusively dedicated to Socially Responsible Investment. It currently manages assets amounting to one billion Euros. Its management philosophy centres on the selection of stocks based on sustainable development criteria, and takes a variety of forms within disciplined processes that are adapted to clients' needs, be they French and international institutional investors, companies or individuals.

Source Press Release N°2005-74
Website 1 (URL) Internet Site
Website 2 (URL) Internet Site IDEAM
Publication Date 28 Jun 2005
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