· CABI Bioscience
· Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
· German Agency for Technical Cooperation - GTZ
· International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)
· International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)
· Secretariat of the Pacific Community



In April 2000, the first issue of the NWFP-Digest-L was produced. The digest is compiled on a regular basis (bimonthly on average) by Tina Etherington and Laura Russo of the Non-Wood Forest Products programme. The digest was originally created and maintained by Mr Eric Jones of the Institute for Culture and Ecology (IFCAE). FAO intends to continue IFCAE's goal to link NWFP interests around the world, share information, foster discussion pertaining to NWFPs, promote regionally oriented e-mail lists and Web sites, and to complement existing NWFP awareness networks. Diverse views and materials relevant to NWFPs are encouraged.

1. To join the list, please send an e-mail to: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org , with the message: subscribe NWFP-Digest-L

2. To make a contribution once on the list, please send an e-mail to the following address: NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org

3. To unsubscribe, please send an e-mail to: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org , with the message: unsubscribe NWFP-Digest-L

4. For technical help or questions, contact: NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org

Web site
The home page of the NWFP Programme of FAO's Forestry Department has been improved and, in addition to English, French and Spanish, is now also available in Arabic - the first Arabic Web site in the Forestry Department. It is available only through Internet Explorer or Sindbad at the following address: www.fao.org/forestry/fop/fopw/nwfp/nwfp-a.stm

In addition, there is now a special search feature as well as links to:

· Country Profiles - FAO's Forestry Department Web site contains detailed information in its Country Profile pages on various aspects of NWFPs in specific countries: www.fao.org/forestry/ and then click on Country; and

· past issues of the NWFP -Digest-L (it is now also possible to subscribe on-line): www.fao.org/forestry/fop/fopw/nwfp/digest/digest-e.stm

Any suggestions for improving the home page will be appreciated.

Seminar on Harvesting of Non-Wood Forest Products
A joint FAO/ECE/ILO seminar on Harvesting of Non-Wood Forest Products took place in Izmir, Turkey, from 2 to 8 October 2000.
The seminar was organized under the auspices of the Joint FAO/ECE/ILO Committee on Forest Technology, Management and Training with the participation of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations and in cooperation with the Turkish Government. Eighty-five participants from the following countries attended: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan. Several international organizations including the World Bank were represented and Mr Paul Vantomme, Forestry Officer (NWFP) also attended.

The seminar offered the opportunity to exchange experience and share state-of-the-art knowledge on recent developments in forest harvesting, trade and marketing practices for NWFPs, as well as their potential importance for socio-economic development.

The seminar papers and plenary discussions addressed the following topics:

The seminar was very successful. Thirty-five papers and five posters were presented in plenary and generated lively discussions among the participants. The proceedings of the seminar are being prepared by the Forest Products Division. The major conclusions were the need to provide more information, training and networking on the inventory, harvesting, management and valorization of NWFPs. In this respect, participants recommended follow-up seminars focused on training in specific NWFP-related topics.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Joachim Lorbach,
Forest Harvesting, Trade and Marketing Branch, Forestry Department, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 0657055618;
joachim.lorbach@fao.org ; or 
Dr Erkan Ispirli, Department Chief of Foreign Relations and EC Department, Orman Bakantigi, Atatürk Bulvari 153, 06199 Bakanliklar/Ankara, Turkey.
Fax: +90 312 4179160;


Community-based enterprise development and the Community Forestry Unit
The Community Forestry Unit (CFU) is shifting from the development and dissemination of materials to a strategy that focuses on achieving impact on people's livelihoods. The new strategy focuses on training, partnership building, the development of networks to discuss feedback on materials and follow-up to assess impact.

In the case of community-based enterprise eevelopment, this strategy was already reflected by the extensive field-testing of the market analysis and development (MA&D) methodology in Asia before publication of the MA&D manual in July 2000.

Workshop on community-based enterprise development
In October 2000, the CFU organized a Workshop on Community-based Tree and Forest Enterprise Development. This workshop was the first activity, following the publication of the MA&D manual, of a process to implement and validate the methodology in several countries in English-speaking Africa. It is anticipated that local, and perhaps new global, adaptations of the materials will result from this process.

Representatives from eight projects, mainly from Africa, were selected and invited to participate in the workshop, based on the following criteria:

The main aim of the workshop was to familiarize the selected partners with the MA&D approach for community-based enterprise development. During the workshop the partners prepared a plan for the implementation of MA&D in their project sites. These implementation plans form the basis for CFU to monitor the progress of the projects with the development of community-based enterprises for forest products.

Participants also gave their feedback on the MA&D materials. The main aim of this was to test whether the materials were relevant for CFU's target audience not only in terms of content, but also in terms of readability, presentation and packaging.

On the basis of this workshop, CFU has decided to collaborate with the partners, depending on their interest, on the development of case studies. The case studies will focus on the validation of the following aspects:

The validation process will take approximately one year. A second workshop is foreseen, in January 2002, to share lessons learned and experiences.

For more information, please contact:
Petra van de Kop,
Community Forestry Unit, FONP, Forestry Department, FAO,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 0657055514;

Community-based tree and forest product-based enterprises: market analysis and development.
A field manual by I. Le Cup and K. Nicholson. FAO and RECOFTC. 2000.

The MA&D approach assists people to achieve a sustainable livelihood system in which their household and community assets are increased and local forest management is improved. It enables local people to identify potential products and develop markets that will provide income and benefits without degrading the resource base.

This field manual has been designed to guide facilitators who will assist local people in conducting the MA&D process. It comprises six booklets:

A. User's guide to the field manual
B. Introduction: defining where you want to end up
C. Phase 1: assess the existing situation
D. Phase 2: identify products, markets, and means of marketing
E. Phase 3: plan enterprises for sustainable development
F. Case study: designing tree, forest and home garden product enterprises for sustainable development


The Food and Nutrition Division of the Economic and Social Department publishes a periodical, Food, Nutrition and Agriculture which covers a wide range of topics related to nutrition and food quality and safety. Articles include descriptions of FAO's activities in the field, adaptations of technical papers, reviews of publications, etc. The journal is sent to 6 000 subscribers in 175 countries and reaches professionals in government agencies, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and food companies.

Food, Nutrition and Agriculture is posted on the Internet at the time the printed version is distributed. It is available in pdf and html formats and is available at: www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/economic/esn/fna.htm

For more information, please contact:
Janice Albert, Technical Editor, Food and Nutrition Division, Economic and Social Department, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.


Data Collection and Analysis for Sustainable Forest Management in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries - Linking National and International Efforts (GCP/INT/679/EC)
The overall aim of this four-year programme, funded by the European Commission (Directorate-General Development), is to strengthen national capacity to collect and compile reliable and current information on forestry and analyse the forest sector (for further information on the programme, visit: www.fao.org/forestry/fon/fons/outlook/africa/acppro-e.stm).

With regard to NWFPs, the main expected outputs of the programme are twofold:

NWFP country profiles
Country profiles on the socio-economic importance and the ecological impact of NWFP use has been compiled for all 55 African countries (including overseas territories such as Réunion). These country profiles will be made available on the FAO home page, where they will be updated regularly (www.fao.org/forestry/fo/country/nav_africa.jsp?lang_id=1 ).

In addition, a printed version of the country profiles has been published as a working paper in English and French (NWFP in Africa: a regional and national overview - PFNL de l'Afrique: un aperçu régional et national), which also includes a regional and subregional synthesis as well as some methodological background information.

The information presented is based mainly on data available at FAO headquarters in Rome and on national studies carried out in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Guinea, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, the Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland and Zambia. The national studies are partly available on the Internet (www.fao.org/forestry/fon/fons/outlook/africa/acp/acp-wp.stm).

Additional information and comments from readers to improve data on NWFPs in African countries would be very much appreciated and can be sent to FAO's NWFP Programme. This information will be added to the Internet version and the authors will be duly acknowledged.

Data collection and validation methodologies

Pilot studies have been initiated in Cameroon, Madagascar and Suriname, in order to elaborate, improve and test appropriate methodologies for the collection, analysis and maintenance of statistical data on NWFPs. These methodologies should:

It is hoped that these methodologies will support national efforts to improve the data availability related to NWFP. First results of the pilot studies are expected in May 2001.

In order to improve data on NWFPs, additional information and comments would be very much appreciated and duly acknowledged and included in the Internet version of the respective country brief.

Information and comments can be sent to: 
Non-Wood Forest Products Programme, Forest Products Division, Forestry Department, FAO,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 0657055618;
non-wood-news@fao.org ;
EC-FAO Partnership Programme,
Forest Policy and Planning Division,
Forestry Department, FAO,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 0657055137;
johan.lejeune@fao.org ;

Sustainable Forest Management Programme in African ACP Countries (GCP/RAF/354/EC) - NWFP component
During the first year of its activities, this project component has focused on methodologies and advice to obtain reliable resource information data (resource inventory data) which are needed for any sustainable management regime of NWFPs.

A regional workshop on the establishment of an African network of gums and resins (these groups comprise some of the most important NWFPs in Africa: gum arabic, olibanum, myrrh and opopanax resins) was organized by the project together with the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) at the end of May 2000. National reports on the needs, constraints and opportunities for assessment of gums and resins in Africa were presented and a network of national and international institutions was created.

A conceptual framework for sound NWFP assessment in Africa was developed to cover different products, life forms and different need for assessment at various levels (national level, community level). This framework also includes the identification of the steps involved in the manual's development. A first step is the collation of designs for inclusion in the manual.

In addition to the review by J. Wong mentioned above, a review of francophone literature on NWFP inventory is being carried out.

For more information, please contact:
Dr Jenny Wong, Ynys Uchaf,
Mynydd Llandegai, Bangor,
Gwynedd LL57 4BZ, Wales, UK.
Tel./Fax: +44(0)1248 602124;
JLGWong@cs.com ; or
Ms Laura Russo of FAO's NWFP Programme.

In May 2000, a Workshop on Developing Needs-based Inventory Methods for NWFPs: Application and Development of Current Research to Identify Practical Solutions for Developing Countries was held at FAO headquarters in Rome. The workshop was organized by the European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN) and sponsored by the Forest Research Programme of the Department for International Development (DFID), with support from the European Commission.

The background paper, The biometrics of non-timber forest product resource assessment: a review of current methodology, by J. Wong and the draft workshop report can be downloaded from the ETFRN Web site (www.etfrn.org/etfrn/workshop/ntfp/ ).

This meeting and the review on which it was based demonstrated that there is a large unmet demand for advice on inventory design for NWFPs.


The Field Programme of FAO in Forestry
The mandated roles of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), since its foundation in 1945, are:

In forestry there are three normative programmes to fulfil the mandated roles, based on core funding from member countries' contributions (the Regular Programme): Forest Resources, Forest Products and Forestry Policy and Planning. The Field Programme provides technical assistance from extrabudgetary funding in the areas of the three normative programmes. FAO's aid to forestry is thus not only through its Field Programme, described in this article, but also through its normative work including the technical support that staff employed on the Regular Programme give to the Field Programme.

Many of the projects of the Field Programme are located in developing countries in support to their forestry sectors, but some projects are based in headquarters, such as the projects in support of the normative activities for the Global Forest Resources Assessments or the Forests, Trees and People Programme. The recently approved Strategic Framework for FAO, 2000-2015 stresses the need to increase the synergy between normative and operational activities, and to enhance the dual function of the Field Programme; on the one hand, translating into operation and action the concepts and findings developed through normative activities and, on the other hand, enriching normative work through feedback from field experience.

The extrabudgetary sources include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), trust funds from donor countries under the FAO/Government Cooperative Programme, unilateral trust funds from the host country, and the World Food Programme (WFP). These are all broadly described as Trust Funds in FAO's Programme of Work and Budget. In addition, FAO's own Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) provides funding for urgently needed, small-scale, short-term catalytic projects designed to stimulate further activities and larger projects, while the Investment Centre Division prepares projects and programmes for funding by international and regional development banks.

The Programme of Work and Budget allocated US$15 million per year for Regular Programme activities in the 2000-2001 biennium, but estimated that Trust Funds would contribute a further US$31 million per year. An analysis of the Field Programme projects in 1998 showed that just over one third of the projects were interregional, followed by projects in Asia (22 percent), Africa (20 percent) and Latin America (15 percent). In terms of topic, most projects were concerned with forest resources and the environment (58 percent), institutions (35 percent) and forest products (7 percent).

The value of TCP projects active in mid-2000, which are in addition to the Trust Funds, were estimated at nearly US$3 million. These projects are active for short periods of a few months to over one year or occasionally more, but this total may be taken as the approximate annual value. TCP projects include support to national forest programme development in Africa, Latin America and countries with economies in transition and emergency activities in insect control in Eastern Europe.

FAO is giving increasing importance to developing partnerships in its execution of the Field Programme. Such partnerships have traditionally been with donor countries who fund projects or programmes which FAO executes and which are now increasingly also with national institutions. A new approach in support of both the Regular and the Field Programmes has been the Partnership Programme, described in the Box. Through partnership arrangements based on the concept of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC), "visiting experts" from national, regional and international centres of high repute work together with FAO staff in programme activities of the Organization for mutual benefit.

FAO and forestry:
a partnership approach

FAO has launched a number of approaches to broaden partnership with its Member Nations, to enhance the cost-effectiveness and relevance of FAO's interventions and to achieve the national and collective self-reliance of developing countries, through the pooling of their institutional and human capacities. These include a programme concerning the use of experts for technical cooperation among developing countries and countries in transition (TCDC/TCCT); a programme of FAO cooperation with academic and research institutions; and a programme for the use of retired experts.

Forestry is tapping the potential of each of these approaches. For example, the project on data collection and analysis for Africa, with funding support from the European Union, is drawing heavily on national experts through TCDC. Experts from Eritrea, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Sudan have been involved to date and more are planned as the project expands through the rest of Africa. Partnerships with academic institutions are also being widely used.

For more information, please contact:
J.B. Ball, Coordinator,
Forest Programmes Coordination
& Information Unit,
Forestry Department, FAO,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
Rome 00100, Italy.
james.ball@fao.org ;

Support for Community Forestry and Wildlife Management (GCP/MOZ/056/NET)

The largest FAO-implemented project in Mozambique is the Netherlands-funded GCP/MOZ/056/NET: Support for Community Forestry and Wildlife Management, which is scheduled to end in May 2002. The project has been promoting various activities to enhance the sustainable use of NWFPs in its pilot areas in the Maputo and Nampula provinces as a way to improve the standard of living of local communities through the multipurpose management of their forest resources. Studies on medicinal plants, wild edible mushrooms, beekeeping, native fruit preserves and marketing have already been developed, demonstrating the technical feasibility of NWFPs in enhancing community-based natural resources management in the country.

Since the start of the project in July 1997, the following NWFP-related activities have been undertaken:

The information gathered in this way on NWFP issues and products in the project pilot areas, and for Mozambique in general, has been published and disseminated by the project through a wide range of documentation material, from field guidelines to technical notes, videos and project working papers (and even including theatre as a way of reaching communities). A complete list of project publications and documentation material is available from the project. Those directly related to NWFPs are: Report on market alternatives for community-based products, by O.S. Mubita, 1998; Non-timber forest products: a source of alternative income generation for forest-based communities, by A. Baldascini, 1999; and Edible mushroom production and commercialization, by A.J. Masuka, Working Paper No. 7, 2000.

Mr Paul Vantomme undertook a backstopping mission to the project in June 2000, during which he also participated in a Seminar on Community Forestry Development in Nampula and coconducted an intensive NWFP training course in Maputo (at the Forestry Research Centre in Marracuene).

For more information, please contact:
Mr Mansur, CTA, GCP/MOZ/056/NET, c/o FAOR, PO Box 1928, Maputo, Mozambique.
Fax: +258 1 460060;

Projet de coopération technique «Appui à la relance de la production et de la commercialisation de la gomme arabique» (TCP/NER/0066)

En septembre 2000, le gouvernement du Niger a démarrer l'exécution d'un projet de coopération technique (PCT) financé par la FAO concernant la relance de la production et de la commercialisation de la gomme arabique au Niger.

Le projet contribuera à:

Le Niger dispose de peuplements d'espèces à gomme couvrant une superficie estimée à plus de 200 000 ha concentrés pour l'essentiel dans l'extrême-est du pays. Pendant les années soixante et soixante-dix, la gomme arabique a considérablement contribué à l'économie nigérienne en tant que deuxième produit d'exportation après l'arachide. Pendant cette période, le Niger a été (avec le Soudan, le Sénégal, la Mauritanie et le Tchad) un des grands exportateurs de la gomme arabique. En 1979, le Niger a exporté 2 610 tonnes.

Dans les années quatre-vingt et quatre-vingt-dix, l'exportation et, par conséquent, l'importance de la gomme arabique pour l'économie nigérienne, a chuté. En 1995, seulement 200 tonnes de gomme arabique ont été exportées. Les raisons de la chute de la production et de l'exportation de la gomme arabique sont multiples: le mauvais état des gommiers; une application inappropriée de techniques d'exploitation des arbres; la désorganisation de la filière commerciale; et un soutien politique et institutionnel insuffisant.

Le gouvernement a, au cours de ces dernières années, entrepris plusieurs actions visant la promotion et le développement du secteur gommier. Il se propose de revoir la gestion et l'utilisation de la gomme arabique et d'élaborer une stratégie nationale pour la mise en valeur des ressources en gommiers. Cette stratégie devrait mener à: une gestion durable des ressources de gomme arabique; une application des technologies rationnelles de la collecte et du traitement des gommes; la création d'une filière commerciale de la gomme appropriée aux besoins des différentes parties concernées; une meilleure sensibilisation des parties concernées, notamment de la population rurale et la mise en place d'un programme de formation et de vulgarisation adéquat; une législation nationale adaptée en soutien à la gestion et à l'utilisation de la gomme arabique; et une meilleure collaboration entre les différentes organisations et institutions nationales impliquées dans la production de la gomme arabique.

Pour plus de détails, veuillez contacter:
M. G.J. Bernard, Représentant de la FAO au Niger, BP 11246, Niamey, Niger.
Télécopie: +227 724709;
fao-ner@field.fao.org ou non-wood-news@fao.org

Proyecto GCP/RLA/133/EC

- Información y análisis para el manejo forestal sostenible
Este proyecto, integrando esfuerzos nacionales e internacionales en 13 países tropicales de América Latina, persigue mejorar la calidad, cobertura y acceso a la información forestal, ya sea en materia de manejo como de administración forestal, incluyendo instituciones nacionales gubernamentales responsables del sector forestal, instituciones de investigación, el sector privado, organizaciones conservacionistas, inversionistas nacionales y extranjeros, países donantes y el público en general.

El Proyecto desarrollará un análisis estratégico del sector forestal, que identifique las condiciones emergentes del mercado, los desarrollos tecnológicos y las tendencias y perspectivas que podrían motivar revisiones de la política forestal de los países.

En apoyo a estas necesidades detectadas en América Latina, la Comunidad Europea, impulsor del desarrollo forestal en muchos países de la región, ha cofinanciado con la FAO este proyecto para el período 2000-2003, que será ejecutado por la FAO. El proyecto se desarrollará en 17 países de la región:

El proyecto pretende analizar el estado actual de la información forestal en aspectos tales como: recursos forestales, manejo forestal, arboles fuera del bosque, cambio de uso de la tierra, productos forestales, productos forestales no madereros, madera para energía, aspectos socioeconómicos e institucionales.

El personal del proyecto trabajará en estrecho contacto con los coordinadores nacionales de los países, nombrados por sus respectivos gobiernos, y con el grupo de trabajo de la FAO. Se busca así el logro de los objetivos del proyecto a través de un gran esfuerzo conjunto. Entre otras, están previstas las siguientes actividades:

Para más información, dirigirse a:
Jorge Morales, Coordinador Proyecto, Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe,
Casilla 10095, Santiago, Chile.
Fax: +56 2 3372101/2/3;
correo electrónico:
o a:
Olman Serrano, Subdirección de Utilización de Productos Madereros
y No Madereros,
Departamento de Montes, FAO,
Víale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Roma, Italia.
Fax: +39 0657055618;
correo electrónico
: olman.serrano@fao.org

Interregional Project for Participatory Upland Conservation and Development (GCP/INT/542/ITA)
A new Web page on the FAO/Italy Interregional Project for Participatory Upland Conservation and Development (GCP/INT/542/ITA) is now on line in five languages - Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Italian (www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/tcd/tco_water/Einter.htm ).

This project Web page, apart from a brief description of the approach and methods followed, provides general information about the activities promoted at the grassroots and institutional levels, key results achieved and main lessons learned.

It contains a section on each of the five national project components (Bolivia, Burundi, Nepal, Pakistan and Tunisia) and, possibly more important, has a Reference Material section with more than 100 technical documents and training materials in different languages, most of which are directly downloadable.

It has been designed for FAO and non-FAO professional staff, but can also be of interest to academic institutions and technicians of different countries for information/training purposes. Suggestions for additional links both within and outside FAO are welcome and should be sent to Luca Fe' d'Ostiani (Luca.FedOstiani@fao.org ).

Disabled in Thailand learn self-sufficiency growing and selling mushrooms
Twenty-eight disabled people - some deaf and mute, others who are blind or have lost limbs - have recently graduated from a successful FAO project in Thailand which helps them to become self-sufficient by growing mushrooms. They were the second group of graduates who had enrolled after the project was extended.

The 28 students, selected from more than 7 000 applicants, lived and worked at a school located in Ubon Ratchathani, about 400 km northeast of Bangkok. The trainees got up at 4 a.m. to gather and weigh the mushrooms in time for the daily market. A significant part of the course is devoted to showing the trainees how to start a mushroom farm once they return home.

Reports on the progress of last year's trainees show that mushroom growing is indeed a viable enterprise. Five farms are already active and provide their owners with about 5 000 baht per month, which is about 20 percent above the average salary in the area.

Plans are under way to expand the programme, funded jointly by FAO and the Thailand Department of Public Welfare, to other areas of Thailand and neighbouring countries, such as Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic. The need is great. There are an estimated 1.1 million disabled people in Thailand alone, many of them living in extreme poverty. (Source: FAO Contact, May 2000.)

FAO Subregional Office for Southern and East Africa (SAFR)

FAO's Subregional office for Southern and East Africa, based in Harare, is carrying out a study on the status, management, community involvement and trade potentials of forest-based mushrooms in East and Southern African countries.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Michel Laverdiere Forest Conservation Officer, FAO SAFR, PO Box 3730, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Fax: +263 4 700724;

CABI Bioscience

CABI Bioscience is a multidisciplinary scientific research and training capability, dedicated to tackling some of the world's most challenging problems:

raising agricultural productivity in sustainable systems;
conserving and making better use of the world's biological resources; and
protecting the environment from the damaging effects of human activity.

CABI Bioscience is internationally based and staffed by teams of biosystematists, biotechnologists, ecologists, parasitologists and crop protection and biological control specialists, working at and from its centres in Malaysia, Pakistan, Kenya, Trinidad, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Its activities are focused under three sectors:

CABI Bioscience, incorporating the former International Mycological Institute, is also a global centre of excellence on fungi. An ongoing three-year project, Miombo Edible Fungi, funded by the UK Department for International Development, is being managed by CABI Bioscience in association with the Forest Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM).

The project, which started in March 1999, is examining the biophysical, social and economic aspects of wild edible fungi collected from miombo woodlands. This type of native vegetation, found extensively in central and southern Africa, is under threat from increased demand for forest products and new land for agriculture and settlement. Edible fungi are probably the most valuable non-timber forest product harvested from the miombo, yet little is known about the quantities taken each year. There is concern that production of edible fungi is declining while opportunities for improving the financial returns to local people have still to be explored.

Fungal Names Database

The database of names of fungi maintained by CABI Bioscience (but contributed to by many mycologists throughout the world) is now available for searching on the Internet ( Information on family names will follow shortly.

Although this database started life as just a list of names it now contains, for a small but gradually increasing subset, real taxonomic information. For a smaller subset there are complete taxonomies for genera, families, orders or classes of fungi.

These are part of the CABI Bioscience contribution to Species 2000.

[Please see under News and Notes for more information on Species 2000.]

For more information, please contact:
Dr Eric Boa, CABI Bioscience, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey TW20 9TY, UK.
Fax: +44 1491 829100;

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Innovative methodology for improved assessment of development prospects for forest products
As part of CIFOR's effort to understand better the role and potential of non-timber forest products in development and conservation, the Forest Products and People Programme of CIFOR has initiated a collaborative project to make a comparative analysis of a large number of NTFP cases from the three main tropical regions.

About 50 cases of commercially valuable products that have already been studied (the idea is to take advantage of the large amount of work already done on NTFPs) have been selected and will be documented using a standardized set of characteristics which describe aspects of forest product development: factors related to production, processing and marketing conditions. These will then be analysed using multivariate techniques (exploratory analyses) to: create typologies of cases; identify conditions associated with particular kinds of development and conservation outcomes; and identify and test hypotheses about forest product development.

The goal of this exercise is to identify "conditions" and "types" of cases that are amenable to development interventions, as well as to flag "types" of cases that may not be good investments. The aim is to develop a tool that could be used to assess the development potential of many different forest products, regardless of type or location. This new analytical tool will assist in predicting the development prospects for forest products and could eventually help guide governments, assistance agencies, non-governmental organizations and others in identifying appropriate projects and policies that promote sustainable development based on forest products. (Extracted and edited from: CIFOR News, No. 26, November 2000.)

For more information, please contact:
Brian Belcher, Ousseynou Ndoye or Patricia Shanley, CIFOR,
PO Box 6596, JKPWB,
Jakarta 10065, Indonesia.
Fax: +62 251 622 100;
cifor@cgiar.org ; b.belcher@cgiar.org ; o.ndoye@cgiar.org ; or p.shanley@cgiar.org

Under the CIFOR programme, Local People, Devolution and Adaptive Co-management, a number of case studies were conducted in China, India and the Philippines to assess whether and how the well-known examples of devolution policies in these three countries expanded the scope for local decision-making about forest, supported forest-related livelihoods and improved forest quality.

Preliminary findings indicate that the devolution policies most often cited as successes in the literature on policy reform - joint forest management in India and community-based forest management in the Philippines - were often disappointing in their impacts on decision-making authority and livelihoods. Household-based management in China, in contrast, had somewhat more positive impacts, although here too significant problems were found. (Source: presentation by David Edmunds, CIFOR at FAO headquarters, Rome, October 2000.)

For more information, please contact:
David Edmunds or Carol Colfer, CIFOR, PO Box 6596, JKPWB, Jakarta 10065, Indonesia.
Fax: +62 251 622 100;
[Please see under News and Notes for more information on CIFOR.]

German Agency for Technical Cooperation - GTZ

GTZ has a number of activities dealing with NWFPs: two relevant programmes are the Tropical Ecology Support Programme (TÖB) and the German Appropriate Technology Exchange Programme (GATE).

TÖB is a supraregional service and research programme which contributes to the ecological sustainability of development cooperation. In the framework of this programme, various studies related to NWFPs have been carried out, such as wildlife management, NWFP assessment in Paraguay, bushmeat in West Africa and economic valuation of biological diversity.

GATE aims at improving "the technological competence of NGOs and other groups involved in self-help-oriented poverty alleviation and to develop information and knowledge management systems for NGOs and self-help groups". In the field of NWFPs, activities are related to selected products such as neem, brazil nuts (small-scale projects in Peru and Brazil) and snake serum (Peru).

The most relevant activities of GTZ related to NWFPs are carried out by sectoral projects, Implementing the Convention on Biodiversity (Biodiv Project) and the Livelihood Systems and Tropical Forest Areas Project (LISTRA/ABS).

The Biodiv Project is one of six sectoral projects (other projects are concerned with agrobiodiversity, desertification, climate change and the Montreal Protocol), which are carried out in support of the implementation of the international conventions. The Biodiv Project is intended "to help speed implementation of the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in the development cooperation areas in which Germany is involved, and to promote the further development of the Convention itself, its instruments and bodies. Moreover, the Biodiv Project supports developing countries in their efforts to implement the Convention at the national level. The project promotes both large individual projects and smaller-scale activities."

The project currently focuses on issues such as bioprospecting (on-going project in the Philippines), medicinal plants (Guinea), tree-ferns and palms (Mexico), Mongolian gazelles (Mongolia), alternative income generation through NWFPs (Malawi), ecotourism (Ecuador, Albania) and gender.

In addition to the projects mentioned above, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is cofunding:

The LISTRA/ABS Project collects and evaluates experience and expertise gained from projects and research work in order to develop appropriate methodological approaches, concepts and strategies related to the management of protected areas and buffer zones.

The most relevant issues dealt with by LISTRA/ABS in the field of NWFPs are the topics "negotiation of user rights" and "economic valuation of natural resources".

Future activities for the next two years will include: funding mechanisms for nature conservation; relationship between national crisis and nature conservation; and benefit-sharing arrangements. (Edited from: travel report by S. Walter, FAO, November 2000.)

More information on GTZ work is found in: GTZ. 1998. The potentials of the neem tree in Ghana. Eschborn; GTZ. 2000. Status report on global neem usage. By P. Förster and G. Moser. Eschborn, Germany.

Further information on the various Biodiv projects is available on the Internet: (www.gtz.de/biodiv/english/a03_e.htm ).

For more information, please contact:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Implementing the Biodiversity Convention, OE 4404, PO Box 51 80,
D-65726 Eschborn, Germany.
Fax: +49 6196 79 6190.

International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)

IPGRI has recently started a project on the conservation, management and sustainable use of forest genetic resources in Brazil and Argentina, which includes an important socio-economic component, complementing the more traditional genetic and ecological studies. Four study sites have been selected in the project, some of which are interesting from the socio-economic viewpoint (e.g. Mapuche communities in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina; campesinos in Pontal do Paranapanema, Brazil; rubber tappers and colonos in Acre, Brazil).

For more information, please contact:
Weber Amaral, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute,
Via delle Sette Chiese 142,
00145 Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 065750309;
L.Petri@cgiar.org ;

International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)

Recent and ongoing ITTO projects in the field of NTFPs are:

Promotion of non timber forest products in the Terai region of Nepal
Implementing agency:
Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation
Non-timber forest products (NTFP) have an important role in the economy of the Terai region of Nepal. Many medicinal plants have export markets in India, Germany, Japan, France and Malaysia; however, certain NTFP species are facing extinction or degradation. At present, there is a lack of information on propagation, sustained yield, appropriate harvesting techniques, best harvesting season, storage and processing. This pre-project will assess the present status in the management of NTFPs in three of Nepal's Terai districts (Banke, Parsa and Morang) by determining the current use, identifying the potential and means for increasing production. These districts contain a large quantity of medicinal and aromatic plants that are harvested annually. The pre-project will include a quantitative resource assessment, determination of the annual quantity of NTFPs collected, methods of collection, drying and storage practices, and the examination of the socio-economic condition of local people involved in NTFP production. (Source: www.itto.or.jp/inside/report1999/annex1b.html )

Non-Timber Production and Sustainable Development in the Amazon (Brazil - PD 31/99 Rev. 3 (I))
Implementing agency : University of Brasilia
Funding countries: Japan, Switzerland
This 24-month project will continue research and extension work on the promotion of non-timber production in the Amazon initiated under ITTO project PD 143/91 Rev. 2(I) Non-Wood Tropical Forest Products: Processing, Collection and Trade. It will collect and make available comprehensive socio-economic and technological information on non-timber production in the Amazon. It will also add to a databank on Amazonian non-wood forest products in Portuguese.

Processing and Utilization of Almaciga
(Agathis philippinensis Warb. )

Resin as Source of Industrial Chemicals
(Philippines - PD 36/99 Rev. 4(I))

Implementing agency: Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI)
Funding countries: Japan, Switzerland
The specific objectives of the project are to study the technical and economic aspects of refining crude almaciga resin on a pilot scale and to develop industrial chemicals from refined resin. The project will involve the promotion and transfer of improved tapping techniques for almaciga resin and development work for increased and further processing of almaciga resin into higher value-added products in order to promote development opportunities and income in almaciga-producing forest communities

Sustainable Management and Utilization of Sympodial Bamboos in South China
(China - PD 10/00 Rev. 2(F,I))

Implementing agency: Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry
Funding countries:
Japan, Australia, Republic of Korea
This 36-month project will develop and disseminate knowledge and technologies to promote the sustainable management and efficient utilization of sympodial bamboo. This type of bamboo is distributed widely in southern China. The project will establish a conservation garden of sympodial bamboo genetic diversity based on an analysis of the genetic resource, and identify two 1 000-ha experimental and demonstration areas for the implementation of high-yielding and sustainable management models.

Improvement of Sustainable Management and Utilization of Tropical Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) in Cambodia
(Cambodia - PPD 1/00 Rev. 1(I))

Implementing agency: Department of Forestry and Wildlife
Funding countries:
Japan, United States, France
This six-month pre-project will assess the current situation of production, utilization and trade of tropical NTFPs in Cambodia, with a view to formulating a project proposal for improving the sustainable management and utilization of NTFPs for consideration by the International Tropical Timber Council.(Source: www.itto.or.jp/inside/download/itto%20approved%20and%20funded%20projects.doc )

For more information, please contact:
International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), International Organizations Center, 5th Floor, Pacifico-Yokohama 1-1-1, Minato-Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, 220-0012 Japan.
Fax: +81 45 223 1111;

Tropical Forest Update
Tropical Forest Update (TFU) is a free journal published every three months by ITTO, both in hard copy and on the ITTO Web site, to promote the conservation and sustainable development of tropical forests. TFU is also available in French and Spanish.

Tropical Forest on-line is an electronic version newsletter, containing articles published in the most recent edition of TFU.

To receive the printed version of the newsletter, send your full postal address to the TFU Editor, Alastair Sarre, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), International Organizations Center, 5th Floor, Pacifico-Yokohama 1-1-1, Minato-Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, 220-0012 Japan. E-mail: tfu@itto.or.jp ; www.itto.or.jp/newsletter/v10n3/index.html

Secretariat of the Pacific Community

Regional Forestry Programme
The Suva-based Regional Forestry Programme is made up of the former UNDP/FAO South Pacific Forest and Trees Support Programme (SPFTSP) and GTZ Pacific German Regional Forestry Project (PGRFP).

Forest resources play a critical role in the economy and sustainable livelihood of Pacific Island people. Proper management practices and sustainable harvesting of this resource are the key objective of the Regional Forestry Programme. Focus is on natural forest management and conservation, watershed management, agroforestry, and development and use of tree/plant resources.

In addition, the Regional Forestry Programme integrates the focus and activities of previously independent regional forestry initiatives, to ensure that there is collaboration and complementarity at a regional level.

For more information, please contact:
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex,
New Caledonia.
Fax: +687 26 38 18;