· Action for Natural Medicines (Anamed)
· Agroforestree Database -call for photos
· Anti-cancer diterpene
· Arab Organization for Agricultural Development
· Bamboo shelter - a demonstration of best construction practice
· Bamboo Plantations Discussion Group
· Benefit-sharing arrangements in the field of non-wood forest products
· Boreal forest directory
· Bushmeat utilization depletes wildlife in eastern and southern Africa
· Certification of NWFPs
· Current trends in NTFP development - a survey
· Dietary supplements from trees in urban and peri-urban areas
· Échanges des PFNL entre l'Afrique subsaharienne et l'Europe
· E-conference on globalization, poverty and development
· E-conference on intervention of technology in mountain areas
· E-conference on poverty alleviation and sustainable development: exploring the links
· Encyclopedia of biodiversity
· European Tropical Forest Network (ETFRN)
· Exploring the value of urban forest products
· Forest Information Update (FIU)
· Forests and Livelihoods: a newsletter of ForestAction
· Forests, food security and sustainable livelihoods
· Fundación Espavé
· Global assessment of bamboo resources
· Global thinking and local action
· Innovative forest-related themes
· International Bee Research Association (IBRA)
· International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Research Program
· Kerala Forest Research Institute
· Key role for mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable forest management
· Kleinhans Fellowship in non-wood forest products
· Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Programme in Asia
· MekongInfo
· Minilivestock - alternative food sources
· Natural Resources and Ethical Trade Programme
· Neem tree - patent revoked
· Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA)
· NGOs condemn biopiracy by Swiss university
· NUCIS Newsletter
· Organizations declare support for the conservation of natural medicinal resources
·Pacific Peoples' Partnership
·Phytomedica - new e-mail list
·Plant Conservation Alliance Medicinal Plant Working Group (PCA-MPWG)
· Research partnerships on bamboo and rattan
· Sierra Madre Alliance
· Southeast Asian Network for Agroforestry Education (SEANAFE)
· Species 2000
· Taiga Rescue Network (TRN)
· Traditional medicine
· Zamia furfuracea

"Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP) consist of goods of biological origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests."

«Les produits forestiers non ligneux sont des biens d'origine biologique autres que le bois, dérivés des forêts, des autres terres boisées, et des arbres hors forêts.»

«Productos forestales no madereros son los bienes de origen biológico distintos de la madera derivados de los bosques, de otras tierras boscosas y de los árboles fuera de los bosques.»

(FAO's working definition )

Action for Natural Medicines (Anamed)

Action for Natural Medicines (Anamed) is committed to supporting people in the tropics in being as self-sufficient as possible in meeting their own health needs, and in developing the greatest possible degree of economic self-reliance. Priority is given to working in ways that are in complete harmony with the environment.

Anamed seminars:

Natural medicine in the tropics is one of Anamed's recent publications. This practical handbook describes the preparation and use of natural medicines and is available in English, French and German. A poster "Healing Plants in the Tropics" has also been prepared with photographs of the more than 60 medicinal plants that are described in the book, indicating the disorders and diseases for which they are useful.

For more information, please contact:
Anamed, Schafweide 77,
71364 Winnenden, Germany.
Fax: +49 7195 65367.

Agroforestree Database -call for photos

Following the launch in 1998 of the Agroforestree Database (a tree species reference and selection guide), the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), has been working to increase the species coverage and information content.

Version 1.0 of the AF Dbase is available on CD-ROM or directly off the Internet. In version 2.0, which will be released in April/May 2001, the number of tropical trees included has increased from 321 to 502 tree species. However, ICRAF still requires photographic images for a number of taxa and would like to receive submissions in slide, photo or digital formats.

Photographic credits will be included for all images which are incorporated in the database, and two free copies of the CD-ROM database Version 2.0 will be sent to all photographers whose images are included. (Source: Forest Information Update [FIU], 19 February 2001.)

For more information, please contact:
Ahmed Salim, ICRAF, Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya.

Anti-cancer diterpene

Taxol, a tubulin-binding diterpene originally isolated from Taxus brevifolia, has been discovered in the African fern pine, Podocarpus gracilior. This is the first report of the occurrence of this compound in plants outside the Taxaceae family. (Source: Forests Chemical Review, May-June 2000.)

Arab Organization for Agricultural Development

The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) is a regional intergovernmental technical organization working under the umbrella of the League of Arab States with a mandate to enhance agricultural development in the Arab region. Its workplan, policies and budget are determined and approved by its General Assembly which is composed of Ministers of Agriculture in the 21 Arab Member States.

Founded in 1972, AOAD's objectives are to strengthen relations and develop cooperation in different agricultural activities to achieve food self-sufficiency and surplus in a framework of regional agricultural and economic integration.

In recent years, AOAD adopted a new strategy to cope with regional, international and political changes and their economic and environmental impact on Arab agriculture. This necessitates further emphasis on areas of food production, environmental conservation, preservation of natural resources, human resource development and implementation of country and regional projects. (Source: AOAD Quarterly Newsletter.)

For more information, please contact:
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD), PO Box 474, Khartoum-Al Amarat, the Sudan.
Fax: +249 11 472176;

Bamboo shelter - a demonstration of best construction practice

TRADA Technology is currently carrying out a project, funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) as part of their Knowledge and Research Programme (KAR). The aim of the project is to demonstrate and promote the utilization of bamboo, a low-cost, sustainable resource, in the provision of adequate, affordable, safe and secure shelter for the poorest communities in developing countries.

The question of harvesting existing stands of bamboo sustainably will be addressed as an integral part of the project. In addition, the possibility of a parallel project on sustainable growing and harvesting, to include home-garden bamboo, will also be considered.

The regional focus is South Asia, with work currently under way in southern India. The project duration is three years, and it is hoped to extend the work to northern areas of India, and also to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The main project activities are:

The work is being carried out in partnership with the Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI) and Kerala Forestry Research Institute (KFRI).

For more information, please contact:
Mr Lionel Jayanetti, TRADA International, Stocking Lane, Hughenden Valley, High Wycombe HP14 4ND, UK.
+44 1494 565487.
[Please see Non-Wood News No. 5 for more information.]

Bamboo in construction - an introduction
by D.L. Jayanetti and P.R. Follett.

This new publication aims to offer a general introduction to bamboo as a construction material. It is a joint publication of TRADA Technology and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and has been prepared as part of a project funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). Copies are available free of charge from TRADA.

Bamboo Plantations Discussion Group

This e-mail group is a forum for exchanging information, ideas and opinions about the use of bamboo in plantations.

While bamboo has been exploited from natural stands from time immemorial, only recently have we seen the overexploitation of bamboo forests to provide raw material for bamboo industries. The growth of industries utilizing bamboo requires the sustainable cultivation and management of bamboo resources. Bamboo is increasingly being cultivated in the same way as other agricultural crops; i.e. in large-scale, professionally managed plantations.

The topics of interest to the group, which has over 250 members, include:

data linking bamboo to other wood and non-wood forestry crops.

The group is thus an open platform for disseminating information related to bamboo plantations and is open to all individuals: farmers, environmentalists, agronomists, entrepreneurs, industrialists, or anyone with a special interest in bamboo cultivation.

To join, send a blank message to: bamboo-plantations-subscribe@egroups.com or e-mail the group moderator Dr Victor Brias: brias@skynet.be ; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bamboo-plantations

Benefit-sharing arrangements in the field of non-wood forest products

FAO's Non-Wood Forest Products Programme recently prepared an overview of benefit-sharing arrangements (BSA) in the field of non-wood forest products.

In the first part of the study, the concept of BSA is defined by describing its background (the Convention on Biological Diversity) and the main international actors (companies, non-governmental and international organizations.

This is followed by an analysis of five case studies that illustrate a benefit-sharing arrangement:

The same methodology (or framework) of analysis was applied to these five studies.

The third part of the study is dedicated to a global assessment of the case studies, e.g. to understand the lessons to be learned. To do that, the study compared the social, political, ecological, economical and technological aspects within the framework applied above. (Source: Benefit-sharing arrangements (BSA) in the field of non-wood forests products - an overview, by Alexandre Stipanovich, FAO Volunteer, July 2000.)

For more information, please contact FAO's NWFP Programme at the address given on the first page.

Boreal forest directory

A concise directory is available covering 120 Taiga Rescue Network participant organizations and their activities. The directory provides up-to-date contact details and information on fields of work, areas of interest and specialities.

For more information and to purchase a copy, please contact:
Taiga Rescue Network, Box 116, 962 23 Jokkmokk, Sweden.

Bushmeat utilization depletes wildlife in eastern and southern Africa

Many wildlife populations in eastern and southern Africa are facing a lean future. The illegal killing of wild animals for meat, the so-called use and trade of "bushmeat", is believed to be one of the greatest direct causes of the decline of wildlife numbers outside protected areas.

In order to gather more substantial information on the situation, Trade Records and Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) conducted a review on trade and utilization of wild meat in seven eastern and southern African countries (Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The study, Food for thought: the utilisation and trade of wild meat in eastern and southern Africa, by Rob Barnett, TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa, was released in July 2000.

This study documents the utilization of wild meat in the region, its economic value to rural communities and the impact of its harvest on protected areas and individual species valued in the trade.

A total of 23 surveys were conducted from 1997 to 1998, of which 16 were focused on the illegal use of wildlife. A diversity of rural and urban areas was targeted and approximately 6 000 respondents contributed to the collection of baseline data.

Versatile source of food and protein
A wide variety of species - from insects, rodents and birds, to duikers, elephants and impalas - are utilized regularly throughout the areas studied. Bushmeat also affects a wide range of communities, from traditional hunter/gatherer societies, to agropastoral and pastoral communities, as well as urban centres in the region.

Among the majority of the people, bushmeat is recognized as a valued resource and consumed regularly on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. In many areas bushmeat also represents the only viable source of meat protein, with domestic meat being prohibitively expensive and largely unavailable.

Furthermore, in six of the seven countries surveyed, bushmeat was found to be much cheaper than domestic meat. The study found that the poorer the household, the greater its reliance on bushmeat. During times of economic hardship, droughts and famine, bushmeat is relied upon to an even greater extent.

Legal game meat production
All the countries surveyed legally produced game meat through ranching, farming, cropping/culling, licensed hunting or problem animal control initiatives. Such schemes collectively yield about 8 500 tonnes of meat annually, with an estimated local value of nearly US$7.7 million.

Game meat production in Zimbabwe (2 925 tonnes per year) represents a substantial and growing industry. It is economically more favourable compared with other land uses such as farming and livestock ranching in semi-arid areas. However, the study found that the other countries surveyed have a negligible game ranching, farming and cropping sector owing to unfavourable wildlife ownership and land tenure laws. In these countries, wildlife is government-owned with only limited and, in many cases, short-term user rights given to landholders. When a continuing uncertainty about the retention of wildlife user rights persists, landholders remain reluctant to invest in costly start-up infrastructure.

Game meat also results as a by-product from licensed hunting. All the countries surveyed have legislation allowing low-cost licensed hunting by citizens. However, due to the subsidised cost of licences, licensed citizen hunting can be open to misuse.

Rights for landholders
This study recommends that wildlife ownership be more widely transferred to landholders and that secure land tenure needs to be formalized in legislation. This would prompt an interest among landowners and holders to invest in the sustainable management of the wildlife resource for meat production.

Once benefits increase to landholders, wildlife can play an important sustainable role in community development and, by doing so, ensure its continued survival. Without it, wildlife will continue to be seen as a freely exploitable, uncared-for resource that benefits only those who use it first.

Without a dynamic and proactive response to the bushmeat issue in the region, it is likely that the countries of this study will lose not only a valued natural resource, but also a vital community development option.

The study emphasizes the necessity for a more equitable distribution of donor funding for this critical conservation and social issue, with greater collaboration among the conservation and community development government departments, non-governmental organizations and professionals. (Contributed by: Maija Sirola, Communications Officer, TRAFFIC International.)

For more information, please contact:
TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa - Kenya, c/o Ngong Racecourse, Ngong Road, PO Box 68200, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel./Fax: +254 2 577943;
[Please see Non-Wood News No. 5 for more information.]

Certification of NWFPs

A forthcoming manual on NTFP certification
This manual is a product of Rainforest Alliance's NTFP Marketing and Management Project, which was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The purpose of the project was to explore the feasibility of NTFP certification, with a principal geographic focus on Latin America.

The manual is organized into six sections. The first is an introduction to certification systems, which traces the evolution of timber certification and draws out relevant lessons for NTFP certification. Section two introduces the guideline development process, and includes the final draft generic guidelines, indicators and verifiers by plant class, as well as an example of species-specific guidelines developed for maple syrup. Section three relates experiences from field-testing the guidelines in Mexico (chicle), Bolivia (Brazil nut) and Brazil (palm heart), including some of the lessons learned.

Section four expands the focus of the manual to incorporate a range of temperate as well as tropical NTFP species profiles from around the world. The species profiles examine unique ecological, social, cultural, and marketing elements - and in so doing, portray the enormous diversity in NTFPs - as well as the potential, or incompatibility, of certification to act as a tool for promotion of environmental and social objectives in each case. The species represent not only geographical diversity, but different classes (resins, roots, bark, herbs, fibres), markets (subsistence, local, regional, international), uses (e.g. medicinal, edible, craft, fibre), and sources (primary forest, secondary forest, fallow).

Section five examines the "core elements" of NTFP certification, with subsections covering ecological, social, marketing, and technical issues. An additional section in the "Social Elements" chapter highlights the importance of NTFPs to subsistence livelihoods in both the North and the South.

The manual concludes with a review of central lessons learned, summarizing some of the greatest opportunities and challenges afforded by NTFP certification. (Source: from the Introduction to: P. Shanley, S. Laird, A. Pierce & A. Guillen, eds. The management and marketing of non-timber forest products: certification as a tool to promote sustainability. RBG Kew/WWF/UNESCO People and Plants Series No. 5. [in press])

For more information on this publication, please contact:
Trish Shanley, PO Box 6596 JKPWB, Jakarta 10065. Indonesia.
E-mail: Trishanley@aol.com

Certificación de PFNM
La Oficina regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe (RLAC) está realizando en América Latina un estudio prospectivo de experiencias de manejo sostenible y certificación de Productos Forestales No Madereros (PFNM).

A través de una revisión bibliográfica y de la información disponible en Internet, se hará una recopilación de la información sobre el estado de los actuales procesos en materia de manejo sostenible de PFNM y su certificación, en bosques naturales, bosques plantados o fuera de los bosques. De manera paralela, a través de la red internacional del Consejo de Manejo Forestal (FSC) y de otros organismos o instancias de certificación, se hará una recopilación de procesos avalados y certificados, o que se encuentran en proceso de evaluación.

Se espera obtener resultados generales en el ámbito de las experiencias actuales de manejo sostenible y certificación en América Latina, y de los proyectos específicos que se encuentren en proceso de evaluación por medio de la certificación.

Para más información, dirigirse a:
Torsten Frisk, Oficial Forestal Superior, Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe,
Casilla 10095, Santiago, Chile.
Fax: +56 2 3372101/2/3;
correo electrónico:

Current trends in NTFP development - a survey

During the implementation of various NTFP activities in recent years, both CIFOR and ProFound have come across a demand for up-to-date strategic information among international donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local groups concerning the development and conservation potential of NTFPs.

Consequently, these two organizations teamed up in 2000 to carry out a survey on the current status and trends concerning NTFPs in the development and research agendas of key donors and NGOs.

CIFOR's programme Forest Products and People (FPP) undertakes collaborative research to assess the role and potential of NTFPs as tools for development and for conservation

(see www.cifor.org/research/productsandpeople ).

ProFound's programme on NTFPs focuses on strategy development and capacity building in community-based NTFP development, e.g. through the establishment of local networks in Asia, Africa and Latin America (see, for instance, www.NTFP.org ).

During the first phase of the survey, a questionnaire was distributed to all organizations that, according to CIFOR's and ProFound's knowledge, support or carry out NTFP-related activities.

Based on the response to this questionnaire, in-depth interviews with a number of key players will be carried out in the first half of 2001. Organizations that have not yet received a questionnaire, and are of the opinion that they can offer valuable experiences to be incorporated in the survey, are kindly requested to submit a request for a questionnaire to ProFound (e-mail: profound@knoware.nl).

CIFOR's FPP programme considers international donors and NGOs as key clients for its research outputs, and expects that the results of the survey will contribute to an improved matching of the programme's outputs to the information requirements of those clients. At the same time, it is envisaged that the output of the survey will provide international donors and key players a worldwide overview of NTFP-related development activities, thus enabling more effective and efficient investment of time and money.

The principal output of the survey will be a CIFOR special publication (co-authored by ProFound), comprising:

(Contributed by: Eric van Poederooijen, ProFound.)

For more information, please contact:
Mr Eric van Poederooijen, ProFound, HoogHiemstraplein 128, Utrecht 3514 AZ, the Netherlands.
Fax: +31 30 272 0878;
[Please see under International Action for more information on CIFOR.]

Dietary supplements from trees in urban and peri-urban areas

This note is based on research funded by DFID UK - Researchable constraints to the use of forest and tree resources by poor urban and peri-urban households in developing countries (ZF 0136) April-July 2000.

In response to a request from the Forestry Research Programme (FRP) of the Renewable Natural Resources Knowledge Strategy, research was conducted with the purpose: "To understand the role that forest products play in their livelihoods, both as providers of goods and services, and as the focus of occupations in order to define future policy and research priorities to benefit the poor in urban and peri-urban areas."

Case studies of forest and tree product use and occupations in six cities within FRP target countries (Mexico City, Mexico; Feira de Santana, Brazil; Kumasi, Ghana; Harare, Zimbabwe; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Calcutta, India) were carried out.

The fieldwork consisted of:

A workshop lasting one and a half days was held to discuss the results of the case studies with a group of people interested in and knowledgeable about forest and tree products or urban poverty and development and also to identify researchable constraints.

Looking at the findings by the main categories of use of forest and tree products and employment in their supply, the following points were noted for foodstuffs:

After the workshop consultation, the following researchable issues were identified:

(Contributed by: Steve Wiggins and Georgina Holt, University of Reading.)

For more information, please contact:
Ms Georgina Holt, Research Fellow, Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading, PO Box 237, Reading RG6 6AR, UK.
Fax: +44(0)118 975 6467;
[Please see under Recent Events for more information on this workshop.]

Échanges des PFNL entre l'Afrique subsaharienne et l'Europe

Parmi les nombreux changements induits par la mondialisation et l'internationalisation des échanges, il y a la croissance de la demande des produits «porteurs d'identité» par les Européens. Cette demande ouvre des opportunités intéressantes pour les produits des paysans du Sud. C'est le cas des produits forestiers non ligneux (PFNL) de l'Afrique subsaharienne importés depuis plusieurs années par certains pays européens. Une étude ménée par la FAO avec le support du Programme régional pour l'environnement en Afrique centrale (CARPE) aborde l'évaluation de ces échanges et plusieurs aspects liés à ce commerce en Europe. Parmi les PFNL importés, on distingue les PFNL principaux et les PFNL secondaires. Les premiers sont les plus nombreux et les plus importés: 21 le sont par la France, 10 par la Belgique, 15 par le Royaume-Uni, 11 par le Portugal et six par l'Espagne. Les quantités importées ont été évaluées à 31 776 tonnes dont 22 920 tonnes sont importées par le Royaume-Uni, 8 565 tonnes par la France, 166 tonnes par la Belgique, 114 tonnes par le Portugal et 11 tonnes par l'Espagne. Ces quantités ont généré un chiffre d'affaires de 96 424 251 $EU dont 75 446 800 $EU par le marché du Royaume-Uni, 19 221 667 $EU par le marché français, 835 667 $EU par le marché portugais, 72 148 $EU par le marché belge et 147 969 $EU par le marché espagnol. Ces chiffres d'affaires pourraient progresser sous deux conditions: l'ouverture du marché actuel aux Européens et l'organisation sine qua non de la production en Afrique. Celle-ci doit permettre une adéquation entre l'offre et la demande, actuellement déficitaire. Cet objectif ne peut être atteint qu'au travers la conjonction entre la modernité (utilisation du «marketing») et la tradition (maintien du modèle actuel).

Aussi, cette étude propose un label CENDEXPPA, sur lequel sera bâtie la politique de communication des PFNL en Europe. De plus, elle doit garantir l'origine paysanne des PFNL exportés, la traçabilité, la protection de l'environnement et celle des intérêts des paysans. Il sera délivré aux entreprises assurant depuis plusieurs années le lien entre les marchés régionaux ou nationaux et les unités de production villageoises. Accompagnées et soutenues par les organismes internationaux, elles devront maîtriser d'abord les règles du commerce international. Après, elles devront centraliser les produits des paysans, comme à l'accoutumée, et les exporter vers l'Europe, soit sous forme d'ingrédients, soit sous forme de produits finis. Ainsi, elles créeront des emplois dans les villes, contribueront au développement de l'économie rurale et à la participation des paysans au processus de la mondialisation sans sacrifier leurs acquis culturels.

(Source: Tabuna, H. 2000. Évaluation des échanges des produits forestiers non-ligneux entre l'Afrique subsaharienne et l'Europe. FAO, Bureau régional pour l'Afrique. Accra. 91 pages.)

E-conference on globalization, poverty and development

The Panos Institute London and the World Bank cosponsored a month-long public electronic conference on "Globalization, development and poverty" in May 2000. This e-conference, the first in a proposed series on this topic, brought together activists, scholars, development specialists, staff of the World Bank and other international institutions, the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Its goal was to chart the dimensions of the broad public debate on the impact of globalization on the world's poor, so as to permit a longer, more focused and more productive public discussion of these issues.

The themes covered during the four weeks of the discussion were:

The Panos Institute is an independent NGO working to stimulate open debate on development issues, and particularly to facilitate access to such debates by people in developing countries. Panos London has set up three autonomous regional centres: Southern Africa (Lusaka), South Asia (Kathmandu) and Eastern Africa (Kampala). These in turn are setting up satellite offices.

For more information, please contact:
Panos London, 9 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD, UK.
Fax: +44(0)20 7278 0345;

E-conference on intervention of technology in mountain areas

The e-conference on "Intervention of technology in mountain areas: strategies for developing fresh approaches and mainstreaming of local innovations in the Asia Pacific Region (ITMA)" was organized by the Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN)/International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and took place from 5 February to 6 March 2001.

This e-conference: a) brought together knowledge and experiences from mountain areas, particularly in the Asia Pacific region; b) served as a forum for international discussion by diverse stakeholders on the key issues related to technology interventions in the diverse but fragile mountain ecosystems; and c) discussed strategies as to how modern technologies and local innovations could be used to improve livelihoods.

Each weekly discussion had a broad theme:

For more information, please contact:
Sangeeta Pandey, Documentation Officer/Web Person, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Jawalakhel, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: sangeeta@icimod.org.np;
; www.icimod.org.sg ; or

E-conference on poverty alleviation and sustainable development: exploring the links

An e-conference on "Poverty alleviation and sustainable development" was organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in January 2001. The outcome of the e-conference was presented to senior Canadian policy-makers at a workshop in Ottawa on 23 January 2001.

The following themes were covered during the conference:

For more information, please contact:
International Institute for Sustainable Development, 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 0Y4.
Fax: +1(204)958 7710;
info@iisd.ca ;

Encyclopedia of biodiversity

In October 2000, Academic Press published a monumental five-volume reference work, Encyclopedia of biodiversity, with 4 700 pages including more than 300 articles each with bibliography and a glossary of 3 000 entries.

Encyclopedia of biodiversity brings together, for the first time, a study of the dimensions of diversity with examination of the services biodiversity provides, and measures to protect it. Major themes of the work include the evolution of biodiversity, systems for classifying and defining biodiversity, ecological patterns and theories of biodiversity, and an assessment of contemporary patterns and trends in biodiversity.

The project was led by Professor Simon Levin, who is Moffett Professor of Biology at the University of Princeton and Director of the Princeton Environmental Institute.

(This encyclopedia complements the United Nations Environment Programme publication, Global biodiversity assessment, by V.H. Heywood et al., 1995, Cambridge University Press, but is more extensive.)

To order a copy or for more information, please contact:
Academic Press Inc., Order Fulfillment Department, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887, USA.
Fax: +1 800 874 6418;

European Tropical Forest Network (ETFRN)

In January 2001, the European Tropical Forest Network produced a special issue of ETFRN Newsletter devoted to non-timber forest products. The Institute for World Forestry was in charge of the guest editing.

For more information, please contact:
Ms Christiane Then; Institute for World Forestry, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Leuschnerstr. 91, D-21031 Hamburg, Germany.
Fax: +49 40 73962 480;

Exploring the value of urban forest products

A new study based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States has reported that many urban residents collect, use and even sell urban non-timber forest products (NTFP) such as fruits, nuts, mushrooms, medicinal plants, vines, seedlings and decorative greens and cones. These products provide important economic, nutritional, recreational, educational and cultural benefits to residents, and represent an often overlooked value of the urban forest.

Foresters and researchers have long documented a number of benefits provided by urban trees and forests, from pollution control to wildlife habitat to beauty. But, until recently, scant attention had been paid to the role and value of products from the urban forest. In an effort to overcome this gap in knowledge, Community Resources, a regional non-profit organization in the United States, undertook a detailed study during 1998 and 1999, with support from the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council. In this study, Community Resources staff conducted more than 100 interviews, field observations and market visits to uncover the uses, benefits and values - both monetary and personal - of urban NTFPs.

The project aims to help environmental professionals, urban land managers and policy-makers gain a better understanding of the potential importance of urban forest products. This will lead to better policies and management strategies that promote sustainable urban forest use.

The key findings were:

For more information, please contact:
Mr Paul Jahnige, Community Resources, 4900 Wetheredsville Road, Baltimore, MD 21207, USA.
Fax: +1 410 448 0874;

Forest Information Update (FIU)

Forest Information Update is a free weekly e-mail newsletter sent to people interested in the inventorying and monitoring of natural resources. FIU is produced by Forest Information Services and is supported by organizations, agencies and individuals working in the natural resources field.

FIU is currently sent to about 4 000 e-mail addresses worldwide. Many of these recipients forward FIU to their own mailing lists.

Back issues of FIU may be found at: www.foresters.org/fiu/index.htm

For more information, please contact:
H. Gyde Lund, Forest Information Services, 8221 Thornwood Court, Manassas, VA 20110-4627, USA.
Fax: +1 703 257 1419;

Forests and Livelihoods: a newsletter of ForestAction

Forests and Livelihoods is a journal for the forestry sector in Nepal to be published in English and distributed widely in Nepal as well as in other countries. Its goal is to promote pluralistic approaches in the management of forest resources and the conservation of biodiversity. The newsletter provides an interactive forum for policy-makers, foresters, social scientists, forestry projects, non-governmental organizations, university teachers, researchers, forestry entrepreneurs, and other actors in the forestry sector to synthesize, document and disseminate innovative ideas, perspectives and lessons gained through research and various forms of experience. The targeted readers are those who work in forestry, biodiversity and rural development.

The main aspects on which the newsletter aims to focus include the policies and practices of community forestry, biodiversity conservation, agroforestry, private forestry and watershed management. Issues related to technical, social, economic, political, ecological and biological dimensions of forest resource use, conservation and management are addressed depending on the importance and leverage of the topic in current affairs. Articles may be submitted in English or Nepali and should be around 1 500 words in length.

ForestAction aims to sustain the production of the newsletter through subscription by expanding the readership base.

Established in July 2000, Forest Resource Studies and Action Team, Nepal (ForestAction) is a core team of forestry professionals and activists associated with Bikalpa, a registered network/membership-based organization working in livelihood issues. ForestAction's dream is improved forests and rural livelihoods, which is possible through the democratization of forest-related decision-making processes at both the micro and macro levels. This newsletter is one of the key areas of ForestAction's interventions.

For more information, please contact:
Krishna Pd. Paudel, Course Coordinator, ForestAction, Bikalp, Nepal.
kppaudel@hotmail.com.np or hemant@infoclub.com.np;

Forests, food security and sustainable livelihoods

A recent Unasylva (Vol. 51 No. 202) theme was "Forests, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods".

Among the articles included were:

For more information, please contact:
Mr Stephen A. Dembner,
Publications and Information Coordinator, Forestry Department, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 0657053024/0657052151;
steve.dembner@fao.org ;

Fundación Espavé

La Fundación Espavé es una ONG, una organización sin animo de lucro que trabaja con actores locales y regionales del Pacífico colombiano y se ha especializado en la identificación de alternativas para el manejo, apropiación territorial y aprovechamiento sostenible de los recursos naturales, a través de la capacitación, asesoría, investigación y validación de experiencias.

Espavé es el nombre dado en lengua embera al Anacardium excelsum (Caracolí), un árbol de la familia Anacardiacea, originario de América, y que se caracteriza por su gran tamaño. Las comunidades indígenas y afrocolombianas del Pacífico lo emplean principalmente para la construcción de diferentes tipos de embarcaciones, canoas y botes, medios de transporte y de comunicación fundamentales para estos pueblos.

La Fundación, que colabora con diferentes organizaciones y grupos sociales de la región del Pacífico colombiano, dirige su acción hacia cuatro áreas estratégicas:

Recursos del bosque: orientada a la búsqueda de alternativas productivas, culturales y sociales a partir del manejo y uso sustentable de los recursos del bosque, comprendidos los recursos madereros, agroalimentarios y no madereros. Líneas de acción prioritarias dentro del área son la seguridad alimentaria y la transformación y comercialización alternativa de algunos recursos del bosque.

Manejo territorial: orientada a validar y construir metodologías propias para los procesos de ordenamiento y manejo territorial de las comunidades del Pacífico colombiano. Líneas de acción prioritarias al respecto son los sistemas productivos, los planes de manejo y el ecoturismo.

Debate regional: orientada al análisis y reflexión permanente de los procesos sociales, económicos, ambientales y culturales de la región.

Desarrollo institucional: orientada al apoyo de los procesos de fortalecimiento organizativo y de gestión de las diferentes organizaciones de las comunidades del Pacífico colombiano.

La Fundación Espavé, en colaboración con la Fundación Swissaid, ha publicado Principales plagas que afectan las plantas aromáticas, medicinales y de condimento en el Chocó. Nuevas publicaciones, que son uno de los resultados del Programa Bosque Húmedo, están orientadas a la búsqueda de alternativas en materia de seguridad alimentaria a partir de la recuperación de tradiciones productivas sostenibles en el Pacifico colombiano, así como al fortalecimiento del debate sobre los programas y proyectos que, para el desarrollo de esa región del Pacifico, se proponen desde distintas vertientes.

Para más información, dirigirse a:
Fundación Espavé, Calle 47 Nº 42-56, Torres de Bomboná, Oficina 213, Medellín, Colombia.
Fax: +57 094 239 7025;
correo electrónico:
fespave@epm.net.co ;

Global assessment of bamboo resources

More than 1 000 known bamboo species grow over wide areas of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and Latin America and contribute to the livelihoods of millions of people. Despite its economic significance, statistics on bamboo resources, especially in natural stands, are very poor. Classified as a "non-timber forest product", bamboo is not routinely included in resource inventory. A good and transparent estimate of bamboo and rattan resources has yet to be developed.

As a first step to improve the information available, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) are jointly initiating a project to estimate the magnitude and distribution of bamboo resources within natural stands. In the first instance, the project will combine information on the distribution of individual taxa with floristic data and global data on forest cover to generate a global distribution and estimated total area of forest containing bamboo.

For more information, please contact:
Nadia Bystriakova and Valerie Kapos, UNEP-WCMC, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK.
Fax: +44(0)1223 277136;
nadia.bystriakova@unep-wcmc.org or val.kapos@unep-wcmc.org

Global thinking and local action

Based on extensive local field research undertaken in and around the Cross River National Park in Nigeria, Global thinking and local action - Agriculture, tropical forest loss and conservation in southeast Nigeria, by Uwem Ite, Lancaster University, United Kingdom, is a socio-economic study of the tensions between agriculture and nature conservation.

Taking a "bottom-up" approach and focusing on the farm household and the dynamics of forest farming at the household level, this book breaks new ground and brings together a mass of up-to-date and highly relevant information on the subject of tropical forestry in general.

The author addresses two key development issues in particular. The first concerns causes and dynamics of tropical rain forest loss. The second concerns the problematic relations between conservation authorities in national parks and local people. Its conclusions raise important questions about sensible ways forward in the development of such areas.

For more information, please contact:
Nicky Comber, Ashgate Publishing Direct Sales, Bookpoint Ltd, 39 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon. OX14 4TD, UK.
Fax: +44 1235 400454;

Innovative forest-related themes

A new Theme Study Series on innovative forest-related themes that are high on the international agenda was launched by the National Reference Centre for Nature Management (EC LNV) in the Netherlands. The purpose of the series is to collect and synthesize information and knowledge on these themes, and to present concrete directions for policy development and implementation in the framework of international cooperation. The series is intended for anyone involved in international cooperation in the field of forests and nature management.

The following reports have already been published:

The reports can all be downloaded from the Web address below.

For more information and to order hard copies, please contact:
EC LNV Information Desk, PO Box 30, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Fax: +31 317 427561;

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs);
their role in sustainable forest management in the tropics
by Jeanette van Rijsoort.

An overview is presented of experiences, practicalities and impracticalities of the management and use of NTFPs as a means of ensuring sustainable management of forests and biodiversity. The document is intended to support policy-makers and those implementing policies in forest management, biodiversity conservation and NTFP activities. It concludes that the potential of NTFPs as a resource for sustainable forest management is extremely diverse and is frequently limited by various factors. The management and use of NTFPs is best developed in broader land use systems such as buffer zones, floodplains, mountain areas, forest edges and degraded forests.

International Bee Research Association (IBRA)

The International Bee Research Association is a non-profit organization with members in most countries of the world. It provides a very comprehensive library, information and advisory service on bees of all kinds, thereby helping to promote their use as wealth creators. It provides a network of expertise, facilitates research and encourages the study and conservation of bees.

An important part of IBRA's mission is to promote appropriate beekeeping development as a practical and sustainable economic activity in the developing world.

Through three quarterly journals (Bee World, Apicultural Abstracts and Journal of Apicultural Research), regular conferences and book publications, IBRA makes available all that is known on bees. There is also a specialist mail-order service that can supply not only IBRA publications but also all current, and many historical, facsimile publications on beekeeping and bee science.

IBRA is registered in the United Kingdom as a charity and maintains its services through the support of members' subscriptions, grants, donations and the sale of publications.

As part of its mission IBRA, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Secretariat, has published Beekeeping as a business. The text replaces an earlier publication entitled Beekeeping in rural development, which is now out of print.

Beekeeping is a good example of an activity that has a strong local tradition in many developing countries - an activity which provides rural people with a source of nutrition and income. It is a sustainable form of agriculture that is highly beneficial to the environment and provides reasons for the retention of native habitats and potentially increased yields from food and forage crops. It can also be used to economic advantage in conjunction with forest plantation for, if thought is given to species offering suitable forage, a crop can be harvested without felling a tree.

The joy of a beekeeping business is that it does not require expensive ongoing aid. The demand is for information and this new publication presents the basic knowledge required in a readable and clearly illustrated form.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Richard Jones, Director, International Bee Research Association, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF10 3DT, UK.
Fax: +44(0)29 20 665522;

International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Research Program

The International Forestry Resources and Institutions Research Program is a network of collaborating research centres in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, supported by the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, FAO and the United States National Science Foundation. IFRI scholars acknowledge the importance of both biophysical and social factors by taking an inherently interdisciplinary approach to the study of forests. Members of the IFRI network use standardized methods to collect data on a common set of biophysical, socio-economic and institutional variables. Researchers return to forest sites every three to five years to conduct repeat studies. By building an international database of comparable repeat studies, IFRI scholars gain the ability to draw comparisons across a large number of cases and over time.

As of December 2000, there are 14 IFRI collaborating research centres in 12 countries. The first were established in 1993. Revisits have begun in Nepal, Uganda and the United States.

IFRI studies suggest that the perceived value of a resource is the most important factor affecting the emergence and success of institutions for self-governance. Perceptions of the condition and value of a forest greatly influence decisions about its management. Interactions with the forest, particularly the use of forest resources, shape perceptions of forest value and condition.

Non-timber forest products (NTFP) loom large in assessments of forests by local users of forest resources. The IFRI research protocols are sensitive to the multiple ways in which people interact with forests. Data are collected on the use of a wide range of forest products, including trees, bushes, grasses, leaves on the ground, climbing leaves (e.g. vines), soils, stones, minerals and wildlife. Of the pairings of user groups and forests in their database, nearly all (87.4 percent) use at least one NTFP. The most commonly used forest products for the study sites are grasses. The availability of NTFPs clearly influences assessments of forests by the people who use them, and thus affects their willingness to take action to protect their forest resources. (Extracted from: The International Forestry Resources and Institutions [IFRI] Research Program and the Search for Communal Management of Forest Resources, by Amy R. Poteete.)

For more information, please contact:
Amy Poteete, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Research Program, Indiana University, 513 North Park, Bloomington, IN 47408-3895, USA.
Fax: 812 855 3150;
IFRI@indiana.edu or apoteete@indiana.edu;


The XXI IFRO World Congress took place in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia, from 7 to 12 August 2000.
The papers presented at the congress, together with the contact points of their authors, are listed below.

Role of local people in sustainable management and conservation of bamboo and rattan diversities in Bangladesh.
Ratan Lal Banik, Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, PO Box 273, 4000 Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Fax: +880 31 681 1584;
e-mail: bfri@spnetctg.com

Indigenous Forest Management Systems and forest products commercialization: the upland people's strategy on forest conservation in the Cordillera Region, Philippines.
Fatima T. Tangan, Ecosystem Research and Development Service, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Loakan Road, 2600 Baguio City, the Philippines.

Fax: +63 442 4531;
e-mail: erds-car@mozcom.com

Estimating the density of rare tree species: a case study from Ethiopia.
Alfred de Gier & G. Dessie, International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (ITC), Hengelosestraat 99, Post Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, the Netherlands.

Fax: +31 53 4874399;
e-mail: degier@itc.nl

Extending forest resource assessment to landscape inventories.
Peter Brassel, Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

e-mail: Brassel@wsl.ch

Sustaining wildlife populations in productively managed forests.
Michael Bevers, Curtis H. Flather,
John Hof & Fred Kaiser, USDA Forest
Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 80526 Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Fax: +970 295 5959;
e-mail: mbevers@fs.fed.us

Wild sago palm and the role it plays in the culture of Papua New Guinea.
Sudesh Aggarwal, University of Technology, Department of Forestry, Private Mail Bag Lae, Papua New Guinea.

e-mail: saggarwa@fo.unitech.ac.pg

Marketing of non-timber forest products: a key to conserve natural tropical forests?
Michel Becker & Antonia Engel, University of Freiburg, Institute of Forest Policy, Markets and Marketing Section, Freiburg, Germany.

Management and production of NTFP and the commercialization/conservation proposition.
Bruce Campbell & Wil de Jong, University of Zimbabwe, Institute of Environmental Studies, Harare, Zimbabwe; and Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia.

Fax: +62 251 622100;
e-mail: w.de-jong@cgiar.org

NTFPs and rural poverty alleviation: the economics of scepticism.
William Cavendish, Imperial College, Royal School of Mines, T.H. Huxley School, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

e-mail: info@ic.ac.uk

Non-wood tree biomass: a raw material of the coming century?
Mauris Daugavietis, Latvia Forest Research Institute "Silava", Rigas Str. 111, LV-2169 Salaspils, Latvia.

Fax: +371 7901359;
e-mail: maris@silava.lv

A comparison of theories on institutions relevant to non-timber forest products development.
Wil de Jong, Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia.

Fax: +62 251 622100;
e-mail: w.de-jong@cgiar.org

Conservation, protection and sustainable use of medicinal plants.
P.L. Gautam, S.P. Raychaudhuri & Neelam Sharma, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Pusa Campus, 110012 New Delhi, India.

e-mail: director@nbpgr.delhi.ni.in

The significance of NWFP for tropical societies: an analysis of statistical data on NWFP utilization in East and southern African countries.
W. Killmann, H. Kästel, L. Russo, P, Vantomme & S. Walter, FAO Forestry Department, Rome, Italy.

Fax: +39 0657055816;
e-mail: wulf.killmann@fao.org

People's dependence on forest and the changing legal profile.
Neil B. Majundar, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Post Box 357, Bhopal 462003, India.

Fax: +91 755 772878;
e-mail: neil@iifm.org

Strategy for sustainable NTFP management in India.
Ram Prasad, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Post Box 357, Bhopal 462003, India.

Fax: +91 755 772878;
e-mail: ramprasad@iimb.ren.nic.in

NTFPs pivotal for sustainable forest management to solve global forestry problems and society needs.
Mahabir Prasad Shiva & Alka Shiva, Centre for Minor Forest Products, Dehra Dun, India.

Fax: +91 135 629936;
e-mail: shivamfp@nde.vsnl.net.in

Contribution of NTFP-based
economies to development: a conceptual framework between growth and distribution.
Jochen Statz, University of Freiburg, Institute of Policy, Markets and Marketing Section, Freiburg, Germany.
Plant Resources of South East Asia (PROSEA).
Elisabeth Philip, M.K.M. Rizal, M.S. Khadijaah & M.A.A. Razak, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

e-mail: philip@frim.gov.my

Knowing forests, knowing people, knowing change.
Lye Tuck-Po, Kyoto University, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, 46 Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida, Kyoto 606-8501 Sakyo-ku, Japan.

Fax: +81 75 7537350;
e-mail: tuckpo@cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Forest resources and human welfare in Himalaya: the contribution of commercial medicinal plants.
Carsten Smith Olsen & Nirmal Bhattarai, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Department of Economics and Natural Resources, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark.

Fax: +45 35282671;
e-mail: cso@kvl.dk

The contribution of Cassia vera in improving the environmental quality and society welfare in Indonesia.
Eulis Retnowati, Forest and Nature Conservation Research and Development Center, FORDA, PO Box 165, Bogor, Indonesia.

Fax: +62 251 325111;
e-mail: slitbang@bogor.indo.net.id

The socio-economic value of sustainable mangrove forest management: the Matang mangroves in Malaysia.
Lim Hin Fui & Mohd. Parid Mamat, FRIM, Kepong, 52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Fax: +603 6365687;
e-mail: limhf@frim.gov.my

Community based bioprospecting of Mondia whytei indigenous plant as income-generating activity in Western region of Kenya.
Kefri Muguga & Mukonyi Watai, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Post Box 20412, Nairobi, Kenya.

Fax: +254 514 32844;
e-mail: kefri@arce.or.ke

Wild edible herbs and maple sap as an income source in mountain areas of Korea.
Don Koo Lee & Gab T. Kim, Seoul National University, Department of Forest Resources, 103 Seodun-Dong, Kwosun-Gu, 441-744 Suwon, Republic of Korea.

Fax: +82 331 293 1797;
e-mail: leedk@plaza.snu.ac.kr

Elementos técnicos para la producción sostenible de recursos vegetales no madereros del bosque tropical.
Daniel Marmillod, Roger Villalobos y Gabriel Robles, CATIE, 7170 Turrialba, Costa Rica.

Fax: +506 556 8417;
correo electrónico: rvillalo@catie.ac.cr

Production and utilisation of bamboo, rattan and related species: management of research consideration.
Abd. Latif Mohmod, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Kepong, 52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Fax: +603 686 3082;
e-mail: drlatif@pc.jaring.my

Managing national forests of the eastern United States for non-timber forest products.
James Chamberlain, Robert Bush, A.L. Hammet & Philip Araman, Department of Wood Science and Forest Products, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA.

Fax: +1 540 231 8868;
e-mail: jachambe@vt.edu

Hiccups/problems with inequitable distribution of profits from non-wood forest products and their remedies.
D.D. Tewari, Division of Economics, School of Economics and Management, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.

e-mail: tewari@nu.ac.za

Non-timber forest product-based enterprise in forest conservation and community development. India's evolving institutional context.
Doris Capistrano, Ford Foundation, 55 Lodi Estate, New Delhi, India.

Fax: +91 11 426 7147.

The potential of non-wood forest product resources in sub-Saharan Africa: towards a better assessment of forest resources providing NWFP.
W. Killmann, G. Preto, L. Russo, P. Vantomme, M.L. Wilkie & J. Wong, FAO Forestry Department, Rome, Italy.

Fax: +39 0657055618;
e-mail: wulf.killmann@fao.org

Kerala Forest Research Institute

The Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) was established by the Government of Kerala (India) in 1975 as an autonomous institute. It functions under the umbrella of the Kerala Science, Technology and Environment Department. KFRI's mandate is to carry out research and development activities in areas relevant to forestry.

The goals of the institute are fulfilled by conducting well-planned research either on carefully selected thrust areas of tropical forestry or on problems identified by the user agencies, which include the Kerala Forest Department, forestry organizations in the corporate sector, private industries, as well as several other forest-based organizations in India and in other countries.

Areas of research activities include:

Among KFRI's many achievements is a participatory management action plan suggested for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of NWFPs in Kerala. The institute has a vast store of expertise and conducts various activities on bamboo and rattan.

KFRI has published 187 research reports, 850 scientific papers, 23 books, 18 information bulletins and five handbooks, as well as a Manual on non-wood forest products of Kerala.

For more information, please contact:
Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi 680 653, Kerala, India.
Fax: +91 487 282249;

Key role for mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable forest management

Almost all tropical rain forest trees have mycorrhizal relationships. Without them, it would be impossible for the trees to survive. Knowledge of these tree-fungi associations, as well as their diversity and dynamics, is therefore a prerequisite for sustainable forest management.

This starting point guided a study carried out in southern Cameroon by soil microbiologist Neree Awana Onguene. With funding from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Onguene conducted research on mycorrhizal associations in the framework of the Tropenbos Cameroon Programme. The results of his study are now being published as Tropenbos Cameroon Series No. 3.

Onguene found an impressive diversity of mycorrhizal associations and fungi. He identified more than 125 species of ectomycorrhizal fungi ("mushrooms"). Some of these are edible and a potential source of protein for forest-dwelling people. As disturbance caused by logging and shifting cultivation may easily jeopardize these species, the forest communities where they occur need to be carefully managed. "They even deserve a special conservation status", he comments.

The study makes it clear that shifting cultivation severely affects one of the two main mycorrhiza types, that is the ectomycorrhizal fungi. This implies that land-use change strongly jeopardizes ectomycorrhizal host trees. This leads the researcher to suggest that the local population should save these trees when opening up agricultural fields, as they do with fruit-trees or other socially important tree species.

Present-day forestry practices considerably reduce the quantity of active and effective mycorrhizal associations, the so-called inoculum potential. This negative impact could persist for more than a decade, and seriously hampers the establishment and growth of tree seedlings. This indicates that sustainable management and maintenance of the ectomycorrhizal component of Cameroon's rain forests need special attention.

The staggering rate of deforestation in the tropics ultimately argues for plantation forestry and artificial regeneration. Ideally, it should pay off to replant native tree species and to maintain the original level of biodiversity. The results of this study suggest that addition of inoculum from a grass field or derived under mother trees may positively affect the regeneration of timber trees and thus compensate for the negative impact of selective logging. But it was also made clear that different sources of mycorrhizal inocula elicit different host responses. Thus, the selection of the most appropriate inocula will become a must for successful attempts to reforestation of degraded lands. (Source: N.A. Onguene. 2000. Diversity and dynamics of mycorrhizal associations in tropical rain forests with different disturbance regimes in South Cameroon. Tropenbos Cameroon Series No. 3. The Tropenbos Foundation, Wageningen, the Netherlands.)

For more information, please contact:
Mr Jelle Maas, Programme Officer, The Tropenbos Foundation, Post Box 232, Wageningen 6700 AE, the Netherlands.
Fax: +31 317 423024;
e-mail: j.b.maas@tropenbos.agro.nl;

Kleinhans Fellowship in non-wood forest products

The Kleinhans Fellowship provides an opportunity to carry out research into the development of new markets for non-timber forest products or the expansion of existing markets. A successful application will outline the need for research, its potential applications and the likely impact on local communities and wildlife. At the end of the project, a thoroughly documented paper suitable for publication is required. Fellows are expected to summarize and disseminate the results in the local language to communities in and around the study area.

The Kleinhans Fellowship research area is restricted to Latin America. Projects that can eventually be replicated in other parts of the world are strongly encouraged.

For more information, please contact:
Ms Sabrena Rodriguez, Rainforest Alliance, 65 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012, USA.
canopy@ra.org  or SRodriguez@ra.org;

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Programme in Asia

The Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Programme in Asia (MAPPA) was launched in 1998, initially to focus its activities in South Asia, with existing projects funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) with cofunding support from the Ford Foundation, New Delhi.

The general objective of MAPPA is to enhance the sustainable and equitable use of medicinal and aromatic plant resources in South Asia through the promotion of strategic research, networking and collaboration among key relevant organizations in the region.

MAPPA's specific objectives include the following:

Through strategic research, collaboration and networking, MAPPA plans to develop strategies, methods and options for sustainable conservation and use of medicinal and aromatic plant resources. The research work expects to build on previous research and networking activities in the region, funded both by IDRC and other organizations.

Research will be supported through small-to-medium grants, commissioned reviews and internships. MAPPA will fund a series of applied and short-term projects (two to three years), aimed at addressing key research questions related to three themes: sustainable use and conservation; sustainable and equitable commercialization to protect local peoples' rights; and improving local peoples' informed options to safe and effective health care. Research conducted by consultants and internships may complement project studies. (Source: MAPPA News, 2(1), June 2000.)

For more information, please contact:
Madhav Karki, Regional
Programme Coordinator,
The Medicinal and Aromatic
Plants Programme in Asia,
IDRC/SARO, 208 Jor Bah,
New Delhi 110003, India.
Fax: +91 11 462 2707;
: mappa@idrc.org.in;


MekongInfo is an interactive Web-based system for sharing information about natural resource management, with a focus on forestry, in Cambodia, Thailand, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Viet Nam.

MekongInfo contains an on-line library of documents, project literature and case studies related to forestry, a database of organizations, projects, individuals, news and announcements about forthcoming events, and a forum for on-line discussions, etc. In addition, MekongInfo offers sector actors a range of free services, including a Web hosting service, e-mail updates and CD-ROMs.

Information on recent publications is also available; for example, the Non-timber forest products subsector analysis Vietnam, by J. de Beer, Ha Chu Chu and Tran Quoc Tuy for IUCN Viet Nam and the NTFP-RC.

For more information, please contact:
Ms Marlynne Hopper, Sustainable Management of Resources in the Lower Mekong Basin Project, Tung Shing Square, 2 Ngo Quyen Street, Hanoi,
Viet Nam.
Tel./Fax: +84 4 934 6002;
e-mail: hopperm@mekonginfo.org;

Minilivestock - alternative food sources

Minilivestock are small vertebrates and invertebrates that are exploited by local human communities as a source of food. They involve a wide range of species that are locally grown on a small scale (rats, frogs) or collected from the wild (caterpillars, termites, Atta ants, spiders, earthworms, etc.). Most of the minilivestock are consumed by inhabitants of tropical forests and savannahs, and provide an important supplement of vitamins, fat, protein and minerals. The limited data available on the nutrient composition of minilivestock suggest that these species might be valuable sources of high-quality protein, as well as fat, vitamins and minerals. Minilivestock might thus constitute an important source of nutrients in the diet.

In some villages during the rainy season up to 60 percent of animal protein is derived from terrestrial invertebrates, and between 12 and 26 percent from insects in some villages in the Amazon, such as Tukanuans.

More research is needed on local current knowledge, strategies, ways of procurement, and nutritional values of such organisms. The majority of species on the planet, especially in the tropics, are invertebrates. Handling and properly developing this resource could promote good management of the existing biodiversity.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Maurizio G. Paoletti; Dipartimento di Biologia Università di Padova, via U. Bassi, 58/b, 35121-Padova, Italy.
Fax +39 049 8276300/8072213;
e-mail: paoletti@civ.bio.unipd.it;

Natural Resources and Ethical Trade Programme

Under the framework of the project "Ethical trade and forest dependent people" [see also Non-Wood News No. 7, p. 19] funded by the Forest Research Programme of the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), a number of studies have been carried out on the comparison between conventional and ethical trade in forest products.

The project objectives are to identify the potential of ethical trade to improve forest-dependent people's livelihoods and to assess the impact of global trading regulations and markets on the viability and potential of ethical trade.

Ethical trade, as used by the Natural Resources and Ethical Trade (NRET) Programme, is an umbrella term referring to different approaches to trade that have social and/or environmental objectives as well as commercial ones. Fair trade initiatives are referred to in the above-mentioned studies as an example of ethical trade. Other examples include ethical sourcing, commercial organic agriculture and trade in certified forest products.

For more information, please contact:
Natural Resources and Ethical Trade Programme,

Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich,
Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK.

Neem tree - patent revoked

The European Patent Office revoked a controversial patent that had been granted to the United States of America and the multinational corporation W.R. Grace for a fungicide derived from seeds of the neem tree. The Legal Opposition to the patent had been lodged five years ago by the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy directed by the Indian scientist Vandana Shiva, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Magda Alvoet, former Green Member of the European Parliament and current Environment Minister of Belgium. (Source: IFOAM press release, Munich, 10 May 2000.)

For more information, please contact:
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Head Office,
c/o Ökozentrum Imsbach, D-66636 Tholey-Theley, Germany.
Fax: +49 6853 919899;

Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA)

Natural gums and resins are among dryland resources in sub-Saharan Africa that contribute to improved livelihoods of local communities in terms of food security, income generation and foreign exchange earnings. These resources also contribute to the amelioration of the environment. The increasing health consciousness among consumers internationally also favours their increased use.

The development of these resources and commodities is key to sustainable management and development of the drylands which, owing to the harsh environmental conditions, have fewer options. However, irregularity of supply of these commodities accompanied by widely fluctuating prices and variable product quality has resulted in unfavourable long-term effects on the demand of these commodities. A coordinated strategy is therefore needed among producing countries and partners to take advantage of available opportunities and to address the constraints.

Various initiatives have been undertaken since the mid-1990s on how the plant gums and resins sector could be developed to enhance food security, rural development and poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. One such initiative was the organization of a workshop for producing countries and partners held in October 1997 in Nairobi, Kenya during which issues on the conservation, management and utilization of plant gums, resins and essential oils were discussed. A key recommendation of that workshop was the creation of a regional network to enable countries to develop their own system of sustainable production, marketing and improvement of their products to international standards. A follow-up workshop was held in May 2000 in Nairobi, Kenya, where the Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA) was established.

NGARA's mission is to assist in formulating a coordinated strategy for African producing countries and partners in the sustainable development of their natural gum and resin resources for improving rural livelihoods and environmental conservation. Its goal is to position African producer countries and partners as major global players in the production, processing and marketing of gums and resins.

The network's major objectives are:

Activities include: creation of relevant databases, information dissemination and promotional activities; training and capacity building; and research and technology development.

NGARA was initially established with a membership of ten countries from sub-Saharan Africa which produce plant gums and resins (those who participated in the Nairobi workshop of May 2000). However, membership is by application from countries in sub-Saharan Africa which produce the commodities and organizations involved in the development of the resources and/or commodities.

The network has a steering committee comprising: representatives from three focal points (West and Central Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa), experts on marketing and quality control and international observers (represented by FAO and the Association for the International Development of Natural Gums [AIDGUM]).

Each member country is represented by a national coordinator. The day-to-day activities are handled by a regional secretariat based at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Nairobi, Kenya. (Contributed by: Sheila Mbiru, Kenya Forestry Research Institute.)

For more information, please contact:
The Secretariat, NGARA, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, PO Box 20412, Nairobi, Kenya.
Fax: +254 154 32844;
: kefri@africaonline.co.ke or Kefri@arcc.or.ke
[Please see under Recent Events for more information on the May 2000 workshop.]

Regional focal points

West and Central Africa
Ministère de l'Environnement et de l'Eau, DFPE, BP 447, N'djamena, Chad.

Fax: +235 52 522656;

e-mail: cnaruser@sdntcd.undp.org

Eastern Africa
The Gum Arabic Company, PO Box 857, Khartoum, the Sudan.

Fax: +249 11 471336;

e-mail: osmanme@hotmail.com

Southern Africa
SADC-FSTCU, PO Box 30048, Lilongwe 3, Malawi.

Fax: +265 784 268 or +265 771 812;

e-mail: sadcfstcu@malawi.net or sadcfstcu@sdnp.org.mw

NGOs condemn biopiracy by Swiss university

Non-governmental organizations in Zimbabwe and Switzerland condemn the way by which the University of Lausanne gained access to genetic resources in Zimbabwe and the way the benefit sharing has been negotiated. They also reject the patent on antimicrobial diterpenes which Professor Hostettmann of Lausanne University took out on these resources and which is based on traditional knowledge. This case is another example of how current bioprospecting in southern countries contradicts the rules defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In July 1999, a United States patent on antimicrobial diterpenes was granted to Kurt Hostettmann, professor at the University of Lausanne. The patented invention relies on traditional knowledge from Zimbabwe and on the root of the tree Swartzia madagascariensis which can be found throughout tropical Africa. Two years previously, in April 1997, an addendum to a material transfer and confidentiality agreement was signed between the American pharmaceutical company Phytera and the University of Lausanne, under which Phytera received an option for an exclusive worldwide licence and in return agreed to pay royalties of 1.5 percent on the net sales of any product marketed under this licence. Professor Hostettmann, on the other hand, is obliged to give 50 percent of any royalties received to the National Herbarium and the Botanical Garden of Zimbabwe and to the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Zimbabwe.

Swiss and Zimbabwean NGOs demand that in the case at hand an access and benefit-sharing agreement be negotiated that fulfils the objectives of the Convention on Biodiversity and involves all the main stakeholders in Zimbabwe. The NGOs also demand that the contract between the University of Lausanne and Phytera be cancelled and the patent withdrawn.

(Source: Announcement by the Community Technology and Development Association (CTDA), Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) Berne Declaration, Switzerland, 22 September 2000, reported in the listserve "bioplan@undp.org".)

NUCIS Newsletter

This information bulletin of the Research Network on Nuts (FAO-CIHEAM) is a vehicle of communication among network member on various aspects. A short version of the newsletter (editorial, contents and back page) is available on the Web site of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) (www.iamz.ciheam.org/ingles/nucis6.htm).

The contents of the newsletter can be browsed, copied and printed.

General information on the Research Network on Nuts activities can be found at: www.iamz.ciheam.org/ingles/nuts.htm;
and also on the FAO Web site at: www.fao.org/regional/europe/escorena/nut_crops.html

Organizations declare support for the conservation of natural medicinal resources

More than 80 members of the commercial, conservation, government, health care and insurance sectors gathered at EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany on 13 October 2000 to participate in the symposium on Medicinal Utilisation of Wild Species. Convened by Trade Records and Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) Europe-Germany and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany, the symposium combined presentations and discussion on the use, trade and conservation issues affecting medicinal plant populations, and the people dependent on them for health care and livelihoods.

A key theme throughout the day was the need to address conservation concerns in a multidisciplinary and collaborative manner. More than 20 participants demonstrated their support for such collaboration by signing a Joint Declaration for the Health of People and Nature. Initial signatories included representatives of the phytopharmaceutical industry in Germany, practitioners' associations, the International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, WWF, World Conservation Union (IUCN) and TRAFFIC. WWF Germany will serve as the depository for the Joint Declaration and, with TRAFFIC, will work to encourage and monitor its transformation from words into actions.

Topics covered during the seminar included a review of global, European and German medicinal plant use and trade and the related threats to medicinal plant species, and the need for more effective trade monitoring and conservation action. The importance of securing critical habitats for medicinal plants and other wild species was also stressed. Such an approach is being pursued under WWF's Global 2000 campaign.

The importance of fully respecting benefit sharing and intellectual property rights associated with the use of medicinal plants was also stressed. Dr Uschi Eid, Parliamentary Secretary of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), drew the attention to this issue and the work supported by BMZ with regard to medicinal plants (see TRAFFIC Dispatches, No. 12).

Although a wealth of information was provided, in his summary of the day's presentations, Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC International, commented that the symposium raised nearly as many questions as it answered. "There are no simple means to address the interwoven issues of biodiversity conservation, benefit sharing, property rights and demands from local users, the health and commercial sectors. It is essential that different sectors follow up the results of this symposium and work together to address what will continue to be an urgent and complex set of conservation and development priorities." (Contributed by: Teresa Mulliken, Research and Network Development Manager, TRAFFIC International and Susanne Honnef, Medicine and Plants Officer, TRAFFIC Europe-Germany.)

For more information, please contact:
TRAFFIC Europe-Germany, c/o Umweltstiftung WWF Germany, Rebstöcker Str. 55, D-60326 Frankfurt, Germany.
Fax: +49 69 617221;

Pacific Peoples' Partnership

Pacific Peoples' Partnership (PPP) (formerly the South Pacific Peoples' Foundation) was founded in 1975 and has developed into Canada's principal organization working with Pacific Island peoples. PPP is devoted to international education and advocacy on issues of concern for the South Pacific region such as:

This small non-governmental organization, based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, was originally set up to facilitate connections between Pacific Islanders and Canadians. Over time, their work has developed an international audience. Now PPP has members in several countries.

While education and advocacy remain the top priority for PPP, it also supports grassroots projects in the Islands. Projects have included:

Pacific Islanders and indigenous people everywhere have always relied upon traditional medicine for their health and medical needs. Many of the island communities do not have doctors or modern medicine available. Indigenous people have specific knowledge about the use of plants for healing purposes. Their knowledge is a combination of scientific principles as well as faith interjection, which has been passed down through the generations.

Much of the knowledge of indigenous people is retained in the minds of the practitioners who pass this knowledge on through oral traditions. Some indigenous communities are looking at ways of preserving the knowledge and promoting its use while maintaining control over it.

For more information, please contact:
Pacific Peoples' Partnership, 1921 Fernwood Road, Victoria, BC, Canada V8T 2Y6.
Fax: +1 250 388 5258;

Phytomedica - new e-mail list

Phytomedica is a worldwide discussion e-mailing list on medicinal plants, traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia, ethnomedicine and phytomedicines. This interactive electronic discussion forum is supported by the Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) and the Global Initiative For Traditional Systems of Health (GIFTS of Health).

The purpose of this list is to provide a forum for discussion, collaboration and information exchange on people, issues, policies and practices relating to medicinal and aromatic plants, ethnomedicine, phytomedicines, phytotherapy and complementary medicine, natural medicines, traditional medicine and healing.

Subscribers may post announcements of new publications and Web sites, as well as forthcoming events, publications, jobs opportunities, student internships, etc., which pertain to the forum.

This forum was launched in Nairobi, Kenya on the occasion of the Conference of Parties (COP-5) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in May 2000 and of the International Conference on Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine and Local Communities: Challenges and Opportunities for the New Millennium, which was held in parallel with COP-5/CBD in Nairobi.

To subscribe, send a message to: Phytomedica-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

For more information, please contact:
Mr Ernest Rukangira, Environment Liaison Centre International, PO Box 72461, Nairobi, Kenya.
Fax: +2542 562175;
erukangira@iconnect.co.ke ; or
GIFTS of Health, Green College, University of Oxford,
Oxford OX2 6HG, UK.
Fax: +44 01865 274796.

Plant Conservation Alliance Medicinal Plant Working Group (PCA-MPWG)

The primary focus of the Medicinal Plant Working Group is to facilitate action on behalf of medicinal plants native to the United States that are of particular conservation concern, in order to balance biological and commercial needs and, in the long term, minimize regulatory intervention.

To this end, the objectives of the group include:

The PCA Medicinal Plant Working Group is facilitated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and is open to all who are interested in medicinal plant conservation.

For more information, please contact:
Ms Julie Lyke, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Scientific Authority, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203, 703/358-1708 USA.

Research partnerships on bamboo and rattan

The mission of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) is to improve the well-being of producers and users of bamboo and rattan within the context of a sustainable bamboo and rattan base by consolidating, coordinating and supporting strategic and adaptive research and development.

INBAR is open to a wide range of partnership possibilities to strengthen its links with field-based non-governmental organizations to assist with technology transfer and will consider all proposals seriously. It is very interested, for example, in being an active partner in INCO proposals with European institutions and in making its network of collaborators available for such an exercise. INBAR is particularly willing to receive staff on sabbaticals. (Source: ETFRN News, No. 30, Spring/Summer 2000.)

For more information, please contact:
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Branch Box 155, PO Box 9799, Beijing 100101, China.
Fax: +86 10 64956983;
[See also under Special Features for more information on INBAR and rattan.]

Sierra Madre Alliance

The Sierra Madre Alliance mailing list provides information, updates and action alerts on conservation, human rights, indigenous rights and community development in Mexico's Sierra Madre.

The Sierra Madre Alliance was founded in 1992 to strengthen and support regional organizations and communities in the Sierra Madre in their efforts towards the protection of old-growth forests, environmental restoration and sustainable community development.

For more information, please contact:
Randall Gingrich, Sierra Madre Alliance, 1650 Sioux Drive, CH44-119 El Paso, TX 79925, USA.
: Sierrama@infosel.net.mx

Southeast Asian Network for Agroforestry Education (SEANAFE)

The Southeast Asian Network for Agroforestry Education is a network of universities and technical colleges that aims at strengthening agroforestry training and education.

SEANAFE was established in 1999 by 32 founding members in Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. Its mission is to help improve agroforestry education, training, research and extension, and to contribute to socio-economic development, empowerment of farming communities and sustainable natural resource and environmental management in the region.

SEANAFE's main activities are:

SEANAFE works closely with the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), which provides technical assistance and financial resources through a grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

For more information, please contact:
Dr Romulo A. del Castillo, Coordinator SEANAFE Secretariat, Institute of Agroforestry, CFNR, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB),
PO Box 35023, College, Laguna 4031,
the Philippines.
Fax: +63 49 536 6118;

Species 2000

Species 2000 has the objective of enumerating all known species of plants, animals, fungi and microbes on earth as the baseline dataset for studies of global biodiversity. It will also provide a simple access point enabling users to link to other data systems for all groups of organisms, using direct species-links. Users worldwide will be able to verify the scientific name, status and classification of any known species via the Species Locator, which provides access to species checklist data drawn from an array of participating databases. (Source: www.species2000.org)

Taiga Rescue Network (TRN)

The Taiga Rescue Network is trying to reach out to all actors involved with NTFPs across the boreal world (Alaska, Canada, Russian Federation, Scandinavia).

At the Fifth International Conference of the Taiga Rescue Network (Moscow, September 2000), many participants expressed the need for a forum linking various stakeholders in the NTFP sector in the boreal region. NTFPs were also identified as an emerging topic of relevance to TRN in all regions.

As a result, the trn-ntfp e-mail list was formed and is being run by TRN.

The list aims to:

This list is moderated by Luc Duchesne (Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service). Representatives of all sectors (NTFP businesses, non-governmental organizations, academia, governments, intergovernmental agencies) are welcome to subscribe to the list.

To subscribe send an e-mail to: trn-ntfp-request@sll.fi, and in the body of the message write: subscribe trn-ntfp, your e-mail address@domain.org (your name and organization).

For more information, please contact:
Elisa Peter, Taiga Rescue Network International Coordinator, Taiga Rescue Network, Box 116, Ajtte,
S-962 23 Jokkmokk, Sweden.
Fax: +46 971 120 57;

[Please see under Recent Events for more information on the conference.]

Traditional medicine

Medicinal plants have traditionally been gathered from forest areas and fallow fields, or cultivated by women near their settlements. Most family heads, especially the grandparents, are renowned for their knowledge of traditional medicines and are consulted daily for the treatment of common ailments in the community. Traditional healers exercise a powerful influence in many rural communities and are the repository of traditional medical knowledge. They normally undergo long periods of apprenticeship. They are supposed to possess medico-magic powers and therefore use plants in conjunction with ritual and mystical practices in their healing systems.

The diversity of medicinal plants exceeds any current inventory or catalogue. They do, however, fall into two main groups - those prescribed in response to a specific injury or illness, or those taken simply as a prophylactic.

The global pharmaceutical industry, worth US$43 billion annually, relies heavily on forest-derived medicinal plants. On average, the active ingredients in 25 percent of all prescription drugs come directly from medicinal plants, although not all of these grow in forest habitats.

In several African countries, traditional healers have registered a Psychic and Traditional Healers' Association to promote traditional health practices and to gain recognition from governments. By 1978, both Ghana and Cameroon had each more than 3 400 registered traditional healers. In countries such as Guinea and Burkina Faso, street pharmacies have mushroomed considerably over the past five years. In Senegal, Kenya, Ghana and Zimbabwe, some "non-traditional" clinicians are referring patients - especially those with psychotic problems - to traditional healers. (Source: Improving the contribution of forests to human health, by Professor Kwabena Tufuor, FAO Consultant; prepared for the Sixth OAU Conference of African Ministers of Health, held in Cairo, Egypt, October 1999.)
[Please see under Products and Markets for more information on Catharanthus roseus.]

Examples of global use of plant medicine

Among the best-known medicinal substances are anti-malarial drug quinine or the oral contraceptive etheny/oestradiol, both derived from rain-forest plants. In Mozambique, the five-petalled rosy periwinkle (Madagascar periwinkle), Catharanthus roseus, has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of coughs, as tranquillizers, heart tonics and treatment for fever and high blood pressure. The African prunus (Prunus africana) is an effective medicine for prostrate treatment, and Ancistrocladus korupensis contains elements that have shown promising indications against the human immunodeficiency viruses. Two alkaloids derived from periwinkle - vincristine and vincalenkoblastine - are currently being used in treating Hodgkin's disease, cancer and leukaemia. Approximately 530 tonnes of rosy periwinkle are needed to extract 1 kg of vincristine, which sells for about US$200 000. The income from the manufacture of these two substances exceeds US$180 million annually.

Zamia furfuracea

Zamia furfuracea, also known as wild corn and ball palm, is a wild Mexican plant endemic to central Veracruz. It lives on the coastal dunes, generally close to beaches, growing in sandy, nutrient-poor soil, unsuitable for agriculture. The ball palm, which may grow to one metre tall, stabilizes the dunes. The zamia belongs to the order of Cycadales and, like the great majority of cycads, is highly valued as exotic ornamental plants in the United States, Japan, Australia and most of Europe.

Zamia furfuracea is in danger of extinction because:

The illegal exploitation became particularly intense in the 1980s with volumes of up to 40 tonnes of plants per week, and about four tonnes of seeds per year. This illegal exploitation continues to be a serious threat for the survival of this species in its natural environment. If the illegal extraction of adult plants and seeds continues, in less than ten years zamias may disappear as a natural resource and as an important component of the vegetation that lives on the dunes. (Source: Species, No. 33, Spring 2000.)



For more information, please contact:
Mr Mario Vazquez Torres, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas de la Universidad Veracruzana, Apartado Postal 294,
CP 91000 Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
Fax: +52 28 125757

Be flexible so you don't break when a harsh wind blows.