Madhu Duniya is a quadrennial gathering of Asian forest honey producers, scientists, private sector players, government partners, supporters and enthusiasts. The term “Madhu Duniya” means “honey world” and was formed by combining the Sanskrit word “madhu” (honey) and the Urdu/Persian word “duniya” (world). Madhu, in Bahasa Indonesia, is a derivative of the word madhu.
During Madhu Duniya gatherings, forest honey, particularly the bees of Asia, take the spotlight as the subject of learning exchange sessions. Apart from being a conference, Madhu Duniya is also a festival celebrating the diversity and wisdom of a community of practice rooted on experience, research and traditional knowledge. The format of the gathering is a combination of presentations, workshops and discussions complemented by a field exposure to the host community.
Since its establishment in 2007, Madhu Duniya has served as a platform for various stakeholders to discuss growing trends, challenges and opportunities around the subject of forest honey and native Asian bees. Madhu Duniya highlights the knowledge and wisdom of community harvesters and supports the participation of community experts from a broad base of indigenous and local honey groups.
The 1st Madhu Duniya was held in 2007 at Andhra Pradesh, India. Since then, events have been held in Ujung Kulon National Park, Banten, West Java, Indonesia (2011), Phnom Penh and Mondulkiri, Cambodia (2015) and just recently, in Rizal, Quezon and Manila, Philippines (2019). The gathering is held every four years and the venue rotates among participating South and Southeast Asian countries.
Throughout the years, Madhu Duniya has been instrumental in facilitating the formation of forest honey networks in at least 5 Asian countries, as well as providing assistance in securing government permits for forest honey hunters. It has inspired research on honey’s health and medical benefits and has helped raise awareness on the latest studies and concerns about Asian forest honey and bees. Moreover, the network has been active in forwarding the formulation of proper harvesting and processing protocols and has successfully linked private sector partners and producers towards the vision of sustainable and enabling community livelihoods.
As a network, Madhu Duniya continues to strengthen itself as a platform to continue promotion of forest honey as crucial for rural incomes, key for forest conservation and important for human health not just in Asia but also around the world.
The network’s activities have been made possible through support received from various partners and donors, which include: Keystone Foundation, Mountainous Bee Development Center, NatureWild, Jaringan Madu Hutan Indonesia (JMHI), Cambodia Federation for Bee Conservation and Community based Wild Honey Enterprise (CBHE), the Philippine Forest Honey Network (PFHN), LAYA, Vishakapatnam. (2007), NTFP-EP Indonesia, Ford Foundation, BothENDS, Oxfam Hong Kong, Cordaid (2011), NTFP-EP Cambodia, WWF Cambodia, ICCO Cooperation (2015), NTFP Philippines, The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Swedish Society for Nature Conservation/ Svenska Naturskyddsföreningen (SSNC) and Forest Foundation Philippines.
NTFP-EP currently serves as secretariat of the Madhu Duniya network.
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