Send your comments to: [email protected]


USDA, within the framework of the project CARPE (Central African Regional Project for the Environment, see also Non-Wood News 3) and in collaboration with other organizations (including FAO) is planning to hold a workshop on NTFPs in Central Africa. The workshop intends to bring together a multi-disciplinary group of people and institutions involved in research, information dissemination and development of the NTFP sector from the Congo basin and other tropical regions. The workshop, which is tentatively scheduled for autumn 1997, will address five main themes related to NTFP use and development: ecological sustainability of NTFP utilization; policy; socio-cultural aspects; education; and markets.

The broad objectives of the workshop will be as follows:

o provide a forum for exchange of experience and discussions on NTFPs;

o review examples and case studies on NTFPs from throughout the Congo Basin with relevant examples from other tropical regions

o compile a state-of-the-knowledge report including papers on the current activities and issues on NTFPs in Central Africa;

o identify gaps and recommend actions for the sustainable utilization and promotion of NTFPs in the Congo basin for CARPE and others;

o enable participants to discuss and develop a NTFP conceptual model for the ecoregion that includes indicators, methods, and plans for data collection, analysis and use; and

o discuss the possibility/desirability of developing a computerized NTFP networking database system for the Congo Basin.

For more information , please contact:
M. Nicodeme Tchamou, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
P.O. Box 2008, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Fax: +237-237437
E-mail: [email protected] or
Mark Buccovich, Africa Branch Chief
International Forestry Operation, USDA
Washington, D.C.
Fax: +1-202-2734749

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Les produits forestiers non ligneux cueillis en zone rurale d'Afrique centrale sont écoulés pricipalement sur les marchés de grandes villes comme Brazzaville et Pointe Noire (Congo), Kinshasa et Matadi (Zaïre), Yaoundé et Douala (Cameroun), Libreville et Port Gentil (Gabon) et Bangui(Centrafrique). Il existe dans ces grandes villes une forte demande des produits de la flora spontanée et des jardins de case comme le Lippia multiflor (boisson théiforme), le safou (fruit du Dacryodes edulis consommé comme légume), le Gnetum africanum (légume-feuille très consommé). Ces échanges, longtemps cantonnés au seul cadre national, sont devenus sous-régionaux et surtout internationaux.

En effet, depuis plus d'une dizaine d'années, un marché du Gnetum africanum et du safou s'est developpé dans certaines villes d'Europe, et plus particulièrement à Paris et à Bruxelles. A Paris, les safous sont vendus 40 FF le kg, tandis qu'en Afrique centrale le prix des fruits et de 5 FF le kg. Le Gnetum africanum est vendu 12 FF les 100 g à Paris, contre 1 FF à Brazzaville.

Face à l'importance du marché et à ses conséquences sur l'explotation rationnelle des ressources, une étude est proposée qui a pour objectif d'analyser l'organisation et le fonctionnement du marché des produits forestiers et agroforestiers non ligneux de l'Afrique centrale en Europe, notamment celui du Gnetum africanum et du safou. L'étude devrait aborder les points suivants:

o les circuits de distribution depuis la production jusqu'à l'utilisateur ultime;

o la connaissance de tous les acteurs impliqués dans ces circuits;

o l'analyse qualitative et quantitative des produits, les prix, les funchestions suivant les saisons les provenances et le profil des consommateurs;

o les conséquences de ce marché sur les écosystèmes;

o la participation des paysans aux bénéfices;

o l'identification des freins à la dynamique du marché;

o la mise en place d'une stratégie faisant participer dasantage les paysans aux bénéfices, et leur permettant d'adapter leurs produits aux exigences du marché européen.

Cette contribution et la description de l'étude proposée sont de:
M. Honoré Tabuna, DEA Botanique tropicale,
Laboratoire de Biologie Végétale Tropicale, Université Paris 6,
12, rue Cuvier 75005 Paris
Fax: +33-1-44 27 65 26

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XI World Forestry Congress "Forestry for sustainable development towards the 21st century", will be held in Antalya, Turkey, from 13-22 October 1997.

The World Forestry Congress is usually held every six years. The first was held in Rome in 1926 and the last in Paris in 1991.

FAO assists the host country in the organization of the Congress. The host organization this year is the Ministry of Forestry of Turkey.

The technical programme of the Congress, after consultation with forestry administrations in all countries, as well as with international governmental and non-governmental organizations interested in forestry and related matters, has been structured in seven main programme areas which follow the seven basic criteria of sustainable forest management (SFM) which are being considered in the various processes (Montreal, Helsinki, Tarapoto, etc.) within the current international debate on SFM. A number of sessions will be devoted to SFM in six different major types of forest (ecoregions). The programme is therefore composed of 38 topics covering issues which have dominated the international debate since the last Congress, and to which a response and new directions are required from technical people, both in the forestry profession and in other disciplines, that can contribute to sustainable development in forestry.
The seven programme areas are:

Forest and tree resources; Forest biological diversity and the maintenance of natural heritage; Productive functions of forests; The economic contribution of forestry to sustainable development; Social dimensions of forestry's contribution to sustainable development; Policies, institutions and means for sustainable forestry development; and an Ecoregional review of SFM.

Congress papers are of three types:

Position papers, prepared by well-known specialists, at the invitation of the Organizing Committee, present a comprehensive review of the situation as regards each of the main programme areas and some major issues.

Special papers to be prepared by renowned specialists at the invitation of the Organizing Committee, which correspond also to each of the topics of the Congress.

Voluntary papers, which are submitted by anyone wishing to contribute to any topic of the Congress. These papers are reviewed by the Technical Secretaries of the Congress and some will be selected for a brief presentation during the Congress.

One of the 38 topics of the Congress, under the programme area of "Productive functions of forests", deals specifically with non-wood forest products, and a special paper on this topic is being prepared by Mr A.K. Mukerjii from India.

Many voluntary papers covering various aspects of NWFPs have been received by the Secretariat.

The Web site of the Congress giving details and latest information on the preparation of the Congress is accessible through the FAO home page. From March 1997 onwards, selected Congress papers will be put on the same home page at the following address:
Contact addressees of the Organizing Committee of the XI. World Forestry Congress are:

In Turkey:

XI WFC Organizing Committee
Orman Bakanlixi, Atatürk Bulvari, No:153 Bakanliklar, 06100 Ankara, TURKEY
Telephone : +90-312-4177724
Fax : +90-312-4179160
E-mail : [email protected]

In Italy:

XI WFC Organizing Committee
FAO Forestry Department,
Via Delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, ITALY
Telephone : +39-6-522 550 88
Fax : +39-6-52255137
E-mail : [email protected]

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Since 1994 the Ecuadorian-German project PROFORS (Programa Forestal Sucumbíos/GTZ-INEFAN) has been engaged in developing harvesting and marketing structures for NWFPs in Ecuador.

In cooperation with the Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products in Hamburg, the University of Freiburg, Germany, and the Promercados/Protrade (GTZ, Eschborn), the project is investigating the occurrence, fruit production, transformation and commercialization of Maní de Arbol (Caryodendron orinocense Karsten), growing wild in Sucumbíos, Ecuador. Since 1995, the project has also been investigating the domestication and transformation of Maní de Bejuco (Plukenetia volubilis). Both species are used for their edible seeds and the oil extracted from the seed.

For more information, please contact:

Ekkehard Boese, AP-PROFORS, or Mathias Kircher, KZE-NTFP, Programa Forestal Sucumbíos, Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería
7 piso, Ofic. 715, Eloy Alfaro y Amazonas, Quito, Ecuador
Fax: +593-2-504 487
E-mail: [email protected]

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The Forest Products Markets Section at the University of Freiburg, Germany, is carrying out a research programme on NTFPs in Paraguay and Bolivia. Research focuses on the contribution of NTFPs to national, regional and local development. Cooperating with the Carrera de Ingeniería Forestal, University of Asunción, the University's investigations in Paraguay will focus on the use and marketing of NTFPs. Their economic importance will be traced from use at the household level up to the national level. The study shall also elucidate the conceptual background for promoting the NTFP sector. In this connection, the prevailing understanding of "development" amongst the various development institutions will be investigated. Furthermore, in which way and to what extent NTFPs are supposed to contribute to socio-economic development will be elaborated. Findings will be analysed to produce a typology of NTFP production systems. This typology should enable all those involved in the promotion of NTFPs to choose between different options depending on their respective understanding of "development".

In Bolivia, variations and dynamics of NTFP production systems are studied from a more regional perspective. Research will take place in the Bolivian Amazon as a joint effort between the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Programa Manejo de Bosques de la Amazonia Boliviana (PROMAB). Based on socio-economic investigations at regional and household levels, the project aims to contribute to a better understanding of past and current trends in NTFP-based economies.

Emphasis will be put on the evolution of, and changes in, the rubber and brazil nut industries. An analysis of that process, and its underlying causes, shall yield improved predictions of future trends. In addition, development organizations will be provided with options for intervention.

Overall research findings aim at being applicable on a broader scale through the coverage of a vast range of natural and socio-economic settings in South America. Combining practical case studies with theoretical and conceptual considerations shall also work towards this end.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Michel Becker or Jochen Statz
Department of Forest Policy, Market and Marketing
Section, Bertoldstr. 17, 79085, Freiburg, Germany
Fax: +49-761-2033729
E-mail: [email protected]
Dietmar Stoian, c/o PROMAB, Casilla 107, Riberalta, Beni, Bolivia
Fax: +591-852-8243
E-mail:[email protected]

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As an essential step towards household food security and regional economic self-reliance, the Australian-based Seed Savers' Network facilitates collection, multiplication and public access to a wide range of local seeds and their planting material for food and agriculture.

The Network of 4 000 farmers has been actively conserving useful plants in Australia for the last ten years. A year ago, the Seed Savers' Network became involved in development work in Tonga and the Solomon Islands, with indigenous non-governmental organizations, to set up:

o the collection and dissemination of local vegetable varieties suitable to sustainable farming systems;

o databases on the availability and location of important fruit and nut trees and other plants of economic importance, such as for fibre, perfume, cosmetics, soil regeneration, fodder;

o living collections of important food trees in schools, church grounds, markets and other public spaces; and

o training in home garden design, sustainable farming techniques and the promotion of under-utilized plants.

Local varieties of vegetables and fruit and nut trees which were once widely grown, are disappearing due to cyclones, diseases, human development and genetic pollution from imported hybrids. During the training course, villagers, women's groups, agricultural teachers and students are trained in seed production techniques to obtain good quality seed.

For more information, please contact:

Michel Fanton, Director, The Seed Savers' Network, Box 975 Byron Bay, NSW 2481, Australia
Tel/Fax: +61-66-856624
E-mail: [email protected]

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The European Federation of Local Forest Authorities (EFFC) is establishing the European Observatory of Mountain Forests (OFM), in the framework of its contribution to a forest policy in Europe. The EFFC, which associates forest-rich communities in mountain regions or other local mountain authorities in Europe, has produced the European Charter of Mountain Forest (1994), which provides the basis for the formulation of the initial project on the Observatory.

Through the EFFC, the European dimension of the project, the coordination of activities, the exchange network with international, national and European institutions, the representativity of communal owners, and partnerships with all actors concerned and in particular with the private sector, is ensured.

Mission and objectives of the European Observatory of Mountain Forests: Unite all existing competencies in the field of mountain forests in order to encourage all potential support for mountain resource conservation, and sustainable economic and employment development; this includes technical and socio-economic monitoring of changes in mountain forests, studies on the impact of technical and political measures taken at different levels, and elaboration of future scenarios. The activities of the Observatory will aim to:

o promote regular exchanges between, and meetings among, forest owners, managers, scientists, decision-makers, professionals and any category concerned at the national or European level;

o maintain a systematic monitoring of policies and measures in support of mountain forests, both at national and European levels, and evaluate the results of such policies, with a view to the more efficient use of existing tools and to identify more appropriate ones;

o carry out systematic surveys on mountain forests in Europe;

o carry out studies and make predictions on changes in European mountain forests and other natural areas, and to evaluate their impact on sustainable development, thus leading to a more informed decision-making process;

o strengthen communication with the public, and develop an educational strategy on forest values in the mountain regions in Europe.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Jean Claude Monin
Mairie, F- 73230 St. Jean d'Arvey, France
Fax: +33-4-79284740

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At the General Assembly of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Oaxaca, Mexico, in June 1996, the formation of a working group on NTFP was approved. Alan Pierce was proposed as interim Chair of the working group.

The working group is charged with advising the FSC secretariat on a number of NTFP issues, including: (a) the compatibility or incompatibility of FSC accreditation with organic certification initiatives and the accreditation programme of the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements); (b) the effect of international agreements on NTFP production and trade; (c) development of criteria and indicators for NTFPs and the identification of the idiosyncrasies in implementing such standards in the field; (d) and markets for NTFPs, including organic or eco-certified NTFP products.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Pierce, Forest Stewardship Council - U.S.
R.D. 1, Box 182,
Watebury, VT 05676, USA
Fax: +1-802 2446258

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The programme of Collaborative Research in the Economics of Environment and Development (CREED) was established in 1993 as a joint initiative of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, and the Institute for Environmental Studies (IES), Amsterdam. The Secretariat for CREED is based at IIED, in London. A Steering Committee is responsible for the overall management and coordination of the CREED Programme.

A CREED project was initiated in 1995 to examine the economic value of wild resources in the floodplain region of Nigeria, using a combination of economic analysis and Participatory Rural Appraisal methods. The project was carried out by the IIED and the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands Conservation Project (HNWCP).

Wild resources, such as fish, game, fuelwood and other forest products are important for the livelihood of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa. In northern Nigeria, a large floodplain exists at the confluence of the Hadejia and Jama'are rivers. Recent attempts have been made to value the production of most of the major sub-systems of the Hadejia-Jama'are floodplain, including irrigated farming, flood and rainfed agriculture, fisheries, livestock and wood products. There is little information, however, on the economic value of other wild resources harvested from the floodplain. The project aims primarily to increase the understanding of local economic activities. However, it will also (a) identify the economic value of the major wild resources harvested from within the Hadejia-Jama'are floodplain in aggregate, and to different groups of people; and (b) strengthen the capacity of local organizations working in the Hadejia-Jama'are floodplain in conducting resources' assessment at a community level.

The data and conclusions of the project are being synthesized into a CREED Working Paper.

For more information, please contact:

International Institute for Environment and Development -- IIED,
3, Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DD, UK
Fax: +44-171-3882826
E-mail: [email protected]

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The first issue of the newsletter was published in May 1996. The primary objective of the newsletter is to provide information regarding ANSAB's (Asian Network for Small-Scale Agricultural Bioresources) activities on research, training, technical assistance, networking and communication in the field on NTFPs in Nepal, and on the ANSAB Biodiversity Programme. Target groups of this newsletter are the Network members (scholars, managers, processors and traders of NTFPs), policy makers, and individuals and organizations active in these areas. ANSAB is an independent, non-political and non-profit international organization with headquarters in Kathmandu (see also Non-Wood News 3 for more information on ANSAB).

For more information, please contact:
P.O. Box 16, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-411964
E-mail: [email protected]

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TRAMIL (Scientific Research and Popular Use of Medicinal Plants in the Caribbean) is a project of "Enda Caribe", an NGO based in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). TRAMIL started in 1982 in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and extended its activities later to the Caribbean Basin and, in 1993, to Central America.

The aim of the project is to valorize the useful aspects of popular medicinal traditions, through scientific studies carried out by collaborating researchers in Europe and Latin America. Other groups, such as housewives, local health NGOs, and a multidisciplinary team of technicians, have joined this process. At present the project has 99 active collaborators.

The first phase of TRAMIL-Central America terminated in November 1996. However, it is hoped that the results of the project will be incorporated in the curricula of health schools. For example, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma of Honduras (UNAH) has already introduced the Caribbean Pharmacopoeia into the preventive medicine course of the Faculty of Medical Sciences and into the Nursing School. (Source: Revista Forestal Centroamericana N.15, Año 5, 1996)

For more information, please contact:

Dra. Sonia Lagos-Witte, Regional Coordinator
Apdo. 64, Managua, Nicaragua
Fax: +505-2-657283
E-mail: [email protected]

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Since its establishment in 1984 in Daixing, the Gingko Technical Association has been working in the northern plains of Jiangsu Province to provide support to millions of farmers in the production of Gingko trees for ornamental and medicinal uses. The Association provides training and extension on production techniques, and information on markets.

The Gingko Technical Association has at present more than 300 members (mostly farmers) and groups have been set up in 20 of the most important townships.

Since the Association was established, the production of Gingko has become the main social forestry activity. (Source: Forestry and Society Newsletter, May 1996.)

For more information, please contact:

Mr Meng Yongqing, Institute of Scientific and Technological Information,
Chinese Academy of Forestry, Wan Shou Shan
Beijing 100091, China

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The MPSG (see also Non-Wood News 3) aims to guide and support a process which uses a common methodology to identify the "Top 50" medicinal plant species for conservation action. Five steps are suggested for the process:

Step 1: Identify major sale sites (through custom data and phytosanitary certificates for international trade, regional, standard and minor markets in the case of informal trade networks.

Step 2: Identify medicinal plants in trade. This would focus on the three major levels of trade: national trade in traditional medicines, which can involve hundreds of plant species, informal sector trade in popular traditional medicines across national borders within the same continent, which generally involve fewer species and the formal export trade, which involves the fewest species per country or bioregion.

Identification of plant species is best carried out in source countries, through collection and expert identification of good voucher specimens.

Step 3: Prepare a short list of species in trade which: are destructively harvested; slow growing; those at local markets which are (i) most popular and/or most expensive, and (ii) sold in great numbers (small plants) and/or volume; considered to becoming scarce by market traders or commercial collectors.

Step 4: Short-list these further on the basis of how common or rare they are, and on their geographic distribution, habitat requirements and population size (with highest priority given to a species with a narrow geographical distribution, a restricted habitat and small population size).

Step 5: Within the resulting short-list, set priorities on the basis of phytogenetic distinctness. (Source: Medicinal Plant Conservation Newsletter, April 1996.)

For more information, please contact:

Medicinal Plant Specialist Group, Bundesamt für Naturschutz
Konstantinstrasse 110, D-53179 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49-228-9543470
E-mail: [email protected]

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Some of the topics covered in the last issue of the Working Group bulletin are:

Report of the 2nd Conference on Cooperation of European Support Groups in the UN Decade of Indigenous Peoples; Farmers' rights: what should NGOs do? UNESCO subregional Meeting on Access to Biological Resources; First Central American Indigenous Conference on Land, the Environment and Culture; Identifying Commonalities and Divergencies between Indigenous Peoples and Farmers; Results of the Latin American Biodiversity Forum; Medicinal Plant Conservation in Fiji.

For more information on the Working Group and to subscribe to the bulletin, please contact:

Graham Dutfield
Working Group on Traditional Resources Rights, OCES, Mansfield College
Oxford OX1 3TF, UK
Tel/Fax: +44-1865-284665

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The Batak people have successfully applied for concessions of manila copal (Agathis philippinensis) and have been approached by a manufacturer interested in buying copal as a raw material for paint and varnish. A large Manila department store has agreed to market Batak honey, doubling the profits of the collectors. In addition, the local manufacture of baskets for handling and transport of honey bottles further contributes to the income of the tribal producers. Progress has helped convince the Philippines Commission for Sustainable Development to veto a proposed hydro scheme for the Manggapin watershed, thus increasing options for community-based forest management approaches.(Source: Arborvitae, January 1996)

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In a small village in the Si Maha Phot District in the eastern part of Thailand, a cottage industry has been developed to produce bael (Aegle marmelos) tea on a commercial scale. The "Housewives Group of Tha Tum Village", with 36 members is now quite busy in the production and marketing of bael tea. Each family earns Baht 6 000 (about US$240) per month from such a business, in addition to its normal income from rice growing.

Processing of the bael tea is very simple: the fruits are harvested before they are fully ripe, the pulp is sliced and each slice is dried in the sun until the pulp dries up. The slices are then baked in an oven for 20 minutes until they become crispy. The completely dried slices are then ground into fine particles and packed into a normal tea bag. (Source: Amruth, February 1996)

For more information, please contact:

Si Maha Phot Agricultural District Office, Prachin Buri, Thailand
Tel: +-66-37-279237

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The World Conservation Monitoring Centre is compiling key sources of information associated with indigenous peoples and biodiversity. WCMC will integrate these sources of information with existing biodiversity data to improve information services on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The first phase of the project covers Latin America and South East Asia and aims to: identify sources of information on the distribution of indigenous peoples; identify sources of information on the distribution of indigenous reserves and important areas of cultural and conservation value; incorporate information on indigenous peoples in WCMC's Biodiversity Map Library, and develop arrangements for data exchange between WCMC and relevant organizations.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Sam Kanyamibwa, Research Officer, Protected Areas Unit, World Conservation Monitoring Centre
219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DL, UK
Fax: +44-1223-277136
E-mail: [email protected]

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SEANN is an international, non-governmental network with headquarters at the Centre for Minor Forest Products in Dehra Dun, India. The Network, which was established in 1995, aims to conduct activities related to various aspects on NTFPs, including raising awareness of the importance of NTFPs for sustainable forest management, promotion of small-scale NTFP based rural enterprises, exchange of information and networking among South and East Asian countries, and training programmes. SEANN is open to interested individuals and organizations in South and East Asia. Membership is free of charge. (Source: Minor Forest Products News, April-June 1996)

For more information, please contact:

Dr M.P. Shiva, President and Managing Director, Centre of Minor Forest Products
HIG - 2 N.8, Indirapuram, Gen. Mahadev Singh Road, P.O. Majra, Dehra Dun -248 171, India.

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The Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC), India, is a development support group devoted to the management of natural resources. Its primary mandate is to restore community rights over local natural resources. Activities include, among others: training, research, policy analysis and impact assessment of development initiatives.

Presently, the Centre is involved in a study on the flow of non-timber forest products in ten villages of the Bolangir district, India. The objective of the study is to enumerate and estimate the collection and sale of NTFPs , timber and fuelwood at micro-level, in order to study the existing market network and determine the market potential in the district.

For more information, please contact:

Sanjoy Patnaik, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation
424, Sahidnagar, Bhubaneswar 751 007, Orissa, India
Fax: +91-674-409237

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In the Thar desert in India, trees are grown mainly for NWFPs. Tree species, like Prosopis cineraria or Zizyphus nummularia (both used for fodder with P. cineraria pods also being eaten as vegetables) are left to grow on crop fields in long-established agroforestry systems. When annual crops fail, due to droughts, the yields of these and other tree species (producing a wider range of NWFPs) do not fall drastically, thus providing security.

Increased human and animal populations, however, are causing a reduction in the natural vegetation of the area, through deforestation, overgrazing, mining, irrigation, etc.

The Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), in Jodhpur, is involved in work for in situ and ex situ conservation of medicinal plants of economic value in the hot arid zone of the Thar desert. Natural populations of commercially exploited medicinal plants (e.g. Commiphora wrightii, Asparagus racemosus, Withania somnifera) are becoming endangered due to overexploitation.

In situ conservation activities are carried out under a watershed management approach: For example in the Jhanwar watershed area near Jodhpur, where natural regeneration of Commiphora wrightii is encouraged through soil and water conservation activities.

Work has also been initiated for ex situ conservation of medicinal plants by including them as a component of agroforestry systems. Emphasis is given to growing overexploited medicinal plant species, and research efforts are focused on developing scientific methods for their cultivation and processing. (Contributed by: A.K. Sharma, Division of Resource Management, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, 342003 India.)

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The Centre was established in 1992 as a non-governmental organization and carries out activities on environmental aspects, education and research. The Centre has taken the lead in the documentation of important medicinal plants of Madhya Pradesh. In 1996, the Centre has started the publication of a quarterly newsletter "Sustainable Forestry".

For more information, please contact:

Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development,
34 Tagore Nagar, Polipather, Jabalpur - 482008, India

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The Expert Meeting on Criteria and Indicators (C&I)for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in the Near East, jointly organized by FAO and UNEP, was held in Cairo, Egypt, from 15 to 17 October 1996.

The objectives of the Expert Meeting were to review, discuss and report to the Near East FAO Forestry Commission and any other fora, as appropriate, on the following issues:

o relevance, for the Near East countries of the aims and objectives of the on-going international initiatives for the formulation of C&I for SFM at the national level, and their applicability to the ecological, economic, social and environmental needs and aspirations of the countries in the region;

o specific aspects and conditions for SFM in the countries of the Near East region, a region which is presently not covered by such initiatives;

o validity, for the Near East region, of the existing, defined C&I identified by on-going initiatives;

o identify the need to amend existing C&I and identify additional indicators for SFM applicable at the national level;

o strategies for the start-up of initiatives for the formulation and implementation of C&I for SFM in the region.

The criteria proposed at regional scale are:

1. Extent of forest resources; 2. Conservation of biological diversity in forest areas; 3. Health, vitality and integrity; 4. Productive capacity and functions; 5. Protective and environmental functions; 6. Maintenance and development of socio-economic functions and conditions; 7. The legal and institutional frameworks.

NWFPs are specifically considered under criterion 4 "Productive capacity and functions", where the indicator "Non-wood forest products outputs including, among others, aromatic and medicinal plants" was included, and under criterion 6: "Maintenance and development of socio-economic functions and conditions", where among the indicators of economic conditions, the indicator "Value of non-wood forest products" was included. However, the importance of NWFPs as potential indicators of SFM in the Near East region is reflected in various other points of the proposed C&I, and particularly under criterion 6: for example among the indicators of economic conditions: value of recreation, value of hunting; indicators of the distribution of benefits: employment generation in the forest sector, rate of improved livelihood of forest-dependent communities, share of benefits from forest areas in the family income of forest communities, contribution to food security.

For more information, please contact:

Mrs Christel Palmberg-Lerche, Chief, Forest Resources Development Service, Forest Resources Division,
Forestry Department, FAO
Fax: +39-6-52255137
E-mail: [email protected]

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The International Centre for Underutilized Crops (ICUC) organized the above mentioned Conference from 8 to 10 July 1996 in Southampton, UK.

ICUC is a non-profit registered charity in the UK established to encourage and support the development of underutilized crops. The purpose of the Centre is to establish, strengthen and coordinate a network of researchers involved in the development of underutilized crops. It is funded by the Overseas Development Administration (ODA), UK, and other donors.

The conference was sponsored by the ODA; the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food UK; the Commonwealth Science Council; the International Foundation of Sciences, Sweden; FAO; Scotia Pharmaceuticals Ltd; the Commonwealth Development Corporation; BASF Plc; Hampshire County Council; J. Sainsbury Plc; Rural Investment Overseas Ltd; EDEN travel Ltd; and International Agriculture Development.

The Conference was attended by 120 participants from 29 countries including individuals and representatives of international organizations.

The topics covered during the Conference included: justification for new crops; sources of new crop opportunities; case studies; mechanisms for crop development; utilization and marketing. Under this last topic, developmental issues in making efficient the marketing of NWFPs were discussed, and marketing aspects of essential oils and medicinal plants were presented as examples. (Source: Travel report by L. Lintu, Senior Forestry Officer, Forest Products Division, FAO, Rome)

For more information on ICUC activities, please contact:

International Centre for Underutilized Crops Institute of Irrigation and Development Studies, Lanchester Building, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK,
Fax: +44-1703-677519
E-mail: [email protected]

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Early in 1996, Appropriate Technology International (ATI) signed a memorandum of agreement in the Philippines, with the parastatal Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) and the Presidential Council for Countryside Development (PCCD), a Government commission, to promote the value chain approach to small-scale economic development and business generation to improve the lives of thousands of Filipinos.

The organizations together will sponsor a series of fora to educate NGO producer groups, private business, universities, research institutes, local governments, and national government agencies in ATI's development methodology. ATI will focus initially on the coconut and rattan subsectors which respectively provide employment for 12 million people, of which more than 100 000 are Filipinos, the vast majority of whom live in poverty. ATI will encourage the adoption of the value chain methodology with coconut and rattan, and other NTFP subsectors of importance to small-scale producers.

For more information, please contact:

Ann Koontz, Asia Program Director, Appropriate Technology International
1828 L st., N.W. Suite 1000,
Washington, DC 20036, USA
Fax: +1-202-2934598
E-mail: [email protected]

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with FAO has organized an Expert Group Meeting on measures to increase the production and utilization of non-conventional food resources as sources of food in Africa. The meeting took place in Addis Ababa at the ECA Headquarters from 2 to 4 December 1996.

The main objective of the Meeting was to discuss the establishment of a Regional Research and Information Network for Non-Conventional Food Resources in Africa (NCFR), as a follow-up to a Workshop on the promotion of NCFR organized by ECA in collaboration with FAO in November 1992. The Workshop, which took place in Douala, Cameroon, was attended by 15 national and international experts from selected French-speaking African countries. The Network, whose creation was one of the major recommendations of the Workshop, would contribute to the consolidation of inter-country cooperation, with a view to promoting NCFR in order to improve the ecological balance and household food security.

The Meeting also examined the potential for, and limits to improving food security, especially for nutritionally vulnerable populations in African countries. It enabled participants to share experience, knowledge, information and ideas on production, use, management and promotion of NCFR, placing special emphasis on animal and plant resources from the wild flora and fauna, and including foods gathered from trees and shrubs.

In addition, the Meeting discussed the following themes: product identification for development based on nutritional, economic and ecological factors, market potential, indigenous knowledge and ethnobotany, plant domestication and small game farming.

Participants were invited in their individual capacity. The group comprised nutritionists, rural sociologists, agronomists, agroforesters, ethnobotanists, agricultural economists, etc., serving as NCFR development policy-makers or NCFR research and development officials in national, subregional, regional and international institutions and organizations of the private or public sector.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Abdulaye Niang
Officer in Charge of the Agriculture Division
UNECA, P.O. Box 3005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-510350

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The Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Economics and Management (CEM) of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB), with funding from the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)/International Research Centre (IDRC) is currently conducting a research study entitled "Bamboo and rattan database in selected Asian countries". This study aims to consolidate statistical data on bamboo and rattan in China, India, Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines which will become part of INBAR's Information System (INBARIS) and which will be made available to prospective users through the Internet.

For more information, please contact:

Isabelita M. Pabuayo, PhD.
Project Leader, Bamboo and Rattan Database in Selected Asian Countries, UPLB/INBAR
College of Economics and Management
University of Philippines at Los Baños
4031, Laguna, Philippines
Fax: +63-94-27 15

Comparison of bamboo fibre length in plantations and natural stands

Bamboo is a potential raw material for pulp and paper making due to its long fibres. In India, natural bamboo resources are dwindling, due to overexploitation, shifting cultivation and extensive forest fires. The Raw Material Committee for Pulp and Paper, appointed by the Ministry of Industry, reported on the current and projected requirements for bamboo fibres, and recommended measures to bridge the increasing gap between demand and supply of raw material. The establishment of bamboo plantations was one of the recommendations. The Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding of the University of Bharathiar in Coimbatore is involved in research on bamboo fibre length (which influences the physical properties of the pulp), including the comparison between bamboo from natural stands and plantation-grown bamboo.

For more information, please contact:

Dr P. Shanmugavel, PhD., Division of Forest Productivity and Agroforestry
Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Bharathiar University
Coimbatore, 641002, India

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"People and Plants" is a joint Unesco, WWF and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, (UK) global initiative on the sustainable use of plant resources (See also Non-Wood News 3 for more details on the programme.)

The Unesco Office in Apia (Western Samoa) has sent details on "People and Plants" to interested people in the region, and has collected ideas for a Pacific People and Plants Network. The Network will have three main components:

(1) a network based on the University of South Pacific (USP) and its extension centres which will conduct rapid ethnobotanical surveys in USP countries (with the aim of identifying culturally important plants that are becoming rare and endangered, as a first step towards rescuing them for future generations); (2) a major WWF project, funded principally by AusAID, in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, to preserve local knowledge of useful plants; and (3) a number of national projects to collect, publish and supply botanical and ethnobotanical information.

Unesco is contracting USP to carry out pilot activities for the Network in Fiji and Tonga. In 1996 and 1997 activities will be extended to other countries. (Source: Pacific Islands Forests and Trees, March 1996).

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The Mountain Enterprises and Infrastructure Division of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) will publish a document on unique, mountain-specific products that are based on natural fibre resources available in the Hindu Kush Himalayas. For this reason, ICIMOD has made a call to those researchers, scholars and entrepreneurs who are willing to contribute to the publication, for proposals on a particular product in which they have expertise, indicating its environmental and natural resources implications, and its potential to provide income and employment to mountain communities. (Source: ICIMOD Newsletter, Summer 1996)

For more information, please contact:

Head, Mountain Enterprises and Infrastructure Division,
ICIMOD, G.P.O. Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-524509/524317
E-mail:[email protected]

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The APMN Newsletter, launched in April 1996 is part of the networking chain of the Asia Pacific Mountain Network. Its intent is to highlight major mountain issues and events throughout Asia and the Pacific. It is published by the APMN Secretariat at ICIMOD. (Source: ICIMOD Newsletter, Summer 1996)

For more information, please contact:

Dr Mahesh Banskota, Coordinator APMN, ICIMOD
G.P.O. Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-524509/524317
E-mail: [email protected]

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At a workshop on the Role of Bamboo, Rattan and Medicinal Plants in Mountain Development, organized by ICIMOD in Pokhara, Nepal, from 15 to 17 May 1996, Dr Pitamber Sharma of ICIMOD presented a paper on the opportunities in, and constraints to, the sustainable use of non-timber forest resources in the Himalayas.

The main opportunity for non-timber forest resources in the mountains is that their use brings together all the implications of integrated mountain development, namely: a non-competitive and often complementary land use to agriculture, and maintenance of biodiversity and environmental regeneration. The indigenous knowledge systems of the variety and uses of NTFPs, complemented by modern scientific knowledge, can (a) be used to enhance the utility as well as the conservation of NTFP resources and (b) contribute to employment and income-generation; provide mountain areas with some measure of autonomy in bargaining for the value of their resources, through value addition (especially processing of NTFPs). In addition, NTFPs in most of the mountain areas are harvested from common property resources and therefore provide scope for promoting participatory approaches to natural resources management and have the potential to become a vehicle for addressing the economic concerns of poor and disadvantaged groups.

The main issues for the sustainable use of non-timber forest resources, as identified by Dr Sharma, are: lack of information on the status of the resource base, trends in consumption, and the impact of existing practices on the sustainability of the resource base; management of common property resources in situations where access is not regulated; government policy and support; marketing and marketing institutions; the importance of increasing value-added in collection/harvesting areas; human resources development (in terms of literacy, skill and entrepreneurial capability development, environmentally-sound NTFP harvesting practices and technologies); better access to resources and distribution of benefits; gender issues (and particularly the potential of specific NTFPs to contribute to women's income); and the promotion of cultivation on private lands (a number of NTFPs, and especially medicinal plants, have potential for cultivation on private lands: their market potential should be assessed and promoted at farmer level.) (Source: extracted from an article by P. Sharma published in ICIMOD Newsletter, Summer 1996.)

Address of the author:

Pitamber Sharma, Regional Planner Mountain Enterprises & Infrastructure, ICIMOD
G.P.O. Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-524509/524317
E-mail:[email protected]

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This is a new organization, devoted to research on indigenous people. Research focuses on the practical use of indigenous knowledge, particularly in indigenous edible and medicinal plant use.

For more information, please contact:

José Dualok Rojas, Presidente, Centro Científico Indígena
Apdo 906-2150, Moravia San José, Costa Rica
Tel /Fax: +506-2-408373

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The Medicinal Plant Specialist Group of IUCN is compiling a list of publications related to conservation of medicinal plants. The publications included in the bibliography are those containing information on distribution, life history, biology, population status, levels of extraction and trade, or resource management of the taxa in question.

The first volume includes references from 1990 to 1996, published in monographs, journals and serial publications, and where appropriate it also includes "grey" literature. The bibliography is expected to be published in early 1997.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Uwe Schipmmann
Co-Chair, MPSG
Bundesamt für Naturschutz
Konstantinstrasse 110
D-53179 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49-228-9543470

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The Anadolu University Medicinal and Aromatic Plant and Drug Research Centre (TBAM) is engaged in research and development as well as training in the field of medicinal and aromatic plants. The focus of the Centre's work is pilot and semi-commercial scale processing and analytical quality control of extracts, essential oils and aroma chemicals, as well as pharmacology and tissue culture studies to formulate them, with proper testing, into pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

In 1997, the Centre will host the 28th International Symposium on Essential Oils. (See also Non-Wood News 2.)

The Centre also maintains a home page on Internet, at the following address:

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Dr K.H.C. Baser, Anadolu University, Medicinal and Aromatic Plant and Drug Research Centre (TBAM)
26470 Eskisehir, Turkey
Fax: +90-222-3350127;
E-mail: [email protected]

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The Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme (BCDP) and the Center for Tropical Forest Sciences (CTFS) are embarking on a project on medicinal plant development, monitoring and conservation in West and Central Africa, sponsored by the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) Programme. (Source: CTFS Newsletter, Summer 1996)

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The Department of Economics of Keele University, UK, is carrying out an assessment of the use of non-timber forest products by the Amerindians in Guyana. The study is funded by Tropenbos-Guyana.

Within tropical forest ecosystems, forest dwellers and commercial interests are increasingly in conflict due to the divergences in attitude towards forests and their uses. The study is an attempt to examine quantitatively what forests mean, both economically and socially, to people who live in them, with a view to enabling policy-makers to design development strategies more likely to promote long-term sustainability.

For more information, please contact:

Caroline Sullivan
Environmental Policy Unit
Department of Economics, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK
Fax: +44-1782-717577
E-mail: [email protected]

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Vegetative propagation is still the most used method of bamboo production, mainly because of the irregular supply of seeds for many common bamboo species. Due to this high dependency on vegetative propagation, many new techniques have been developed, tested and perfected. The manual "Vegetative propagation of bamboos" is the result of a joint effort by International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), the UNDP/FAO Regional Forest Tree Improvement Project (FORTIP) and the Bangladesh Forest Research Institute. The author, Dr Ratan Lal Banik, is a well-known authority on bamboo silviculture.

This manual presents all current prevalent vegetative propagation techniques (offset, rhizome, culm and branch cuttings, layering and macroproliferation). A question-answer type of presentation is used to facilitate an easier understanding of the various aspects of the different techniques. The 66-page manual has 37 plates and illustrations, some of which are step-by-step illustrations that would assist a bamboo planter to grasp easily the technicalities involved. (Source: INBAR Newsletter, 3(4), 1996.)

For more information please contact:

17 Jorbagh, New Delhi 110 003, India
Fax: +91-11-4622707
E-mail: [email protected]

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The Njiro Wildlife Research Centre, Tanzania, in association with Bees for Development, UK, organized short courses (of one week to one month) on tropical beekeeping. Some of the courses organized in 1996 were: "Simple and low-cost techniques for profitable beekeeping in Africa"; "Technical advice and business management for entrepreneurs dealing with beekeeping supplies or bee products"; and "How to teach beekeeping in Africa?".

The Centre will also organize a workshop "How can we solve the problem of low productivity in East African beekeeping?" from 19-21 May 1997, in Arusha Tanzania.

For more information, please contact:

Njiro Wildlife Research Centre, P.O. Box 661, Arusha, Tanzania
Fax: +255-57 8242

... or

Bees for Development
Troy, Monmouth, UK
Fax: +44-16007 16167

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The Tropical Rainforest Programme of the IUCN Netherlands Committee, sponsored by the Government of the Netherlands is funding a new project which aims to raise the profile of tropical montane cloud forests. WCMC will act as the focal point for the collection and exchange of information.

Tropical montane cloud forests are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. The planned activities of the project include: establishment of a network of contacts (local, national and international NGOs, government departments, intergovernmental agencies); collection of information on location and extent, protection status, biological importance, socio-economic conditions, and community-based activities; distribution of national and regional directories of montane cloud forests, containing detailed site descriptions and maps; extensive literature review and compilation of a global database on tropical montane cloud forests at WCMC. (Source: Arborvitae, January 1996)

For more information, please contact:

Mark Aldrich World Conservation Monitoring Centre
219, Huntington Road,
Cambridge, CB3 0DL, UK
Fax: +44-1223 277136
E-mail: [email protected]

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TSCP is part of the Plant Conservation Programme of the East African Herbarium, National Museums of Kenya. It was instituted early in 1996 to work towards the conservation and sustainable use of Kenyan tree species by providing the most up-to-date information on the population and ecological status of the tree species, mainly in their natural habitat. Kenya is estimated to have about 2 000 tree species and shrubs, a large number of which is facing increased exploitation and alteration of their habitat.

In order to institute effective conservation action, and even to review existing ones, the provision of information is crucial. TSCP therefore conducts field surveys to assess the status of these species in the wild, and germplasm is collected from the field for ex-situ propagation. In addition, it advises the Forest Department on the management of forest reserves and also works with local and international NGOs concerned with the conservation of tree species.

The resources of the East African Herbarium are limited, and therefore TSCP is looking for material and financial support to realize its objectives, including joint ventures.

For more information, please contact:

Salmon Okelo Achieng, Tree Species Conservation Project, National Museums of Kenya
P.O. Box 40658, Nairobi, Kenya
Fax: +254-2-741424
E-mail: [email protected]

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The above-mentioned book on sandalwood has been published by the Associated Publishing Company, New Delhi, India. The book, edited by R.A. Srimathi, H.D. Kulkami, and K.R. Venkatesan, contains the following chapters: Survey of sandalwood in India; Seeds; Soils; Regeneration, diseases and pests; Chemistry and utilization; Trade; Social forestry; Silviculture and management; Genetics and tree breeding; Biotechnology; Legal measures, acts and rules.

From the introduction by M.S.: Swaminathan "India accounts for nearly 99 percent of Sandal oil production in the world. Sandalwood occupies an important place in the ecological, cultural and spiritual heritage of India. The area under Sandal is nearly 9 000 km2. However, the rate of production of scented heartwood in natural populations is only 450-600 grams/hectare/year. There are also special disease problems like sandal spike. Further, anthropogenic pressures, including smuggling, are becoming serious. Therefore, concerted action is essential by professionals, the public and political leaders to protect this unique tree and improving its productivity".

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Access to health services by the populations of the countries in the Amazon region is very difficult, due to factors such as low population densities, lack of communications and huge cultural and ethnic differences, which make the application of conventional strategies to encourage, promote and administer health care even more difficult. Acute malnutrition, a low level of literacy, environmental deterioration and misuse of natural resources, are also influencing factors.

The search for a solution to the health problems of the populations of the Amazon region includes training in preventive health measures, a better understanding of biodiversity as a source of new medicines, as well as disseminating the traditional knowledge of the native populations concerning the properties of plants, animals and micro-organisms.

The Amazon Cooperation Treaty (ACT) through the Special Commission of the Amazon Region on Health (CESAM), is promoting workshops and specialized publications and the exchange of knowledge and experiences in order to carry out regional projects and support national health care programmes in the Amazon Region. (Source: Information bulletin of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, July 1996, Lima, Peru)

For more information, please contact:

Pro Tempore Secretariat
Av. Prolongación Primavera 654
Chacarilla del Estanque - Surco
Lima 33, Peru
Fax: +51-14-498718
E-Mail: [email protected]

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International marketing of the Amazonian fruit camu-camu has begun. ASAHI, the second most important beverage corporation in Japan, has launched the drink "camu-camu" on the domestic market in cardboard cartons of half-a-litre. It is estimated that 1 600 000 units were sold during the summer of 1996, especially among secondary school students looking for health drinks. Information on the carton advises that this Peruvian fruit is 40 times richer in vitamin C than lemon. (Source: Information bulletin of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, July 1996, Lima, Peru)

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