The year 2009 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Natural Fibres. This is a proposed one-day symposium to be held in mid-2008 to provide a forum for an exchange of views and experiences in the field of promoting natural fibres. In particular, issues like perspectives and bottlenecks for large-scale uptake will be addressed. In addition, the importance of natural fibres for economic and environmental development will be elaborated. Targeted participants will come from the producing and consuming countries, and include producers, processors, traders, buyers and end-users.