World Food Summit: five years later
FAO Livelihood Support Programme "Improving support for enhancing livelihoods of the rural poor"
Forest Products Division
Travel of NWFP officers
RIL-Afrique-L - une nouvelle liste électronique
Forest Resource Division
Center for Tropical Forest Science
Convention on Biodiversity
IUCN/SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group
Overseas Development Institute
Tropenbos International


World Food Summit: five years later

FAO will host a global meeting at its Rome headquarters from 10 to 13 June to review progress towards ending hunger. The meeting, the World Food Summit: five years later, is meant to track progress achieved since the 1996 World Food Summit and consider ways to accelerate the process.

The summit was originally scheduled for 5 to 9 November 2001 but has been delayed in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in the United States. "The purpose of this event is to give new impetus to worldwide efforts on behalf of hungry people," says Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO. "We must raise both the political will and the financial resources to fight hunger. The international community has repeatedly declared that it is dedicated to the eradication of poverty. Eliminating hunger is a vital first step."

Unfortunately, current data indicate that the number of undernourished is falling at an average rate of only 6 million each year, far below the rate of 22 million per year needed to reach the World Food Summit target. Although headway has been made and some striking success stories exist in individual countries and communities, much remains to be done.

World leaders will be requested to outline the measures needed to achieve the goal, and make suggestions on how to accelerate progress. They are also expected to consider how to increase resources available for agricultural and rural development.

At the World Food Summit in 1996, representatives of 185 nations and the European Community pledged to work towards eradicating hunger. As an essential first step, they set a target of reducing the number of hungry people by half by 2015. (Source: www.fao.org/worldfoodsummit/)

FAO Livelihood Support Programme "Improving support for enhancing livelihoods of the rural poor"

FAO and other agencies have been exploring sustainable livelihoods (SL) approaches as a means of enhancing the quality and impact of their programmes on the reduction of poverty and food insecurity. In this context, the promotion of sustainable livelihoods is a key strategy for FAO in its Strategic Framework for 2000-2015. With support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), which will provide US$7 million over five years, the Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) seeks to improve the impact of FAO interventions at country level through the effective application of sustainable livelihood approaches. The SL methods and lessons arising through the LSP are aimed at helping FAO to deliver field programmes, policies and institutions that better support the livelihoods of the rural poor.

The overall LSP programme is composed of nine complementary subprogrammes and major outputs, each with its own theme, interdepartmental team, budget and an evolving workplan developed in collaboration with the other subprogrammes. The overall LSP management team includes representatives from each of the subprogrammes.

For more information, please contact:

Jan Johnson, Project Coordinator,
Livelihood Support Programme,
FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome 00100, Italy.
E-mail: Jan.Johnson@fao.org;
Sabina Curatolo, Project Secretary.
E-mail: Sabina.Curatolo@fao.org

Forest Products Division

FAO is to support UNCTAD's biotrade

The best way to protect a resource, such as forests and their biodiversity, is to make it useful to those destroying it. And if they are willing to preserve it instead, they should receive a fair income from it.

That is the thinking behind the Biotrade Initiative launched in 1996 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Its objectives, in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), are to ensure conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and to ensure that the benefits arising from its use are shared fairly. The initiative has practical support from the UNCTAD/WTO International Trade Centre, which assists developing countries with the skills needed for trade promotion and export development.

Now, following discussions in Rome with representatives of UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre, FAO will support the Biotrade Initiative's Trade Facilitation Programme. This is intended to enable sustainable trade in biodiversity products and services, through innovative partnerships in product development, processing, marketing and biodiversity management.

FAO already actively promotes a fair-trade approach to the preservation of genetic resources, one example being promotion of non-wood forest products (NWFP) that can be harvested sustainably from the forest. This gives people an economic alternative to cutting down the forest for either timber or agriculture. NWFPs range from wild honey to fibres used in car upholstery, and include mushrooms, wild edible nuts, berries and bamboo.

Why biotrade?

The thinking behind the initiative is that people will be more willing to preserve biodiversity if doing so offers economic advantages.

An example is the karite, or shea nut, tree. It grows over much of West Africa - including ecologically sensitive areas on the fringes of the Sahara, where trees are vital.

Karite demonstrates how sustainable exploitation of a resource may help preserve it, according to Paul Vantomme, FAO's expert on NWFPs. "Farmers often cut trees down to free land for growing food," he says. "But, increasingly, they are tolerating karite trees in their fields because the nuts provide an edible oil. That oil can also be processed into shea butter, which can be used as a substitute for cocoa butter in chocolates, and in cosmetics. If local farmers earn enough from the income this generates, they will integrate the trees with agriculture. This is now happening."

The next step, says Mr Vantomme, may be that farmers start growing a plant in which they previously had no interest - or even considered a nuisance. "A crossover situation has arisen in which some potentially threatened plants (such as kola nuts in West Africa) are farmed and traded, but wild ones continue to grow in nearby forests. This is good, as the wild populations can be used to maintain the genetic health of the farmed crop."

The principle does not apply solely to forests, but they offer particular potential because they are a critical reservoir of biodiversity. And NWFPs are an important business. In 1990/91 the value of the total recorded trade in such products was estimated at US$11 billion. To put this in context, the global coffee-bean trade was then worth about US$17 billion.

Challenges to biotrade

The Rome discussions on the Trade Facilitation Programme centred on a number of key issues concerning sustainable trade in biodiversity and forest products.

Trade in a threatened resource must have sufficient value for it to be worth preserving. But at the same time, the trade may have to be limited, precisely because the resource is limited. Species yielding NWFPs tend to grow at low densities - especially in tropical forests. This means there will not be large commercial quantities. So these products must be aimed at niche markets that can be profitable in small quantities. This could include, for example, forest plants used for high-value medicines and herbal remedies.

It is also important to determine where the limits of sustainable harvesting lie for a given wild product. And the technical tools for assessing those limits must be developed and transferred. After this, there must be ways to certify that harvesting is sustainable, in order to set standards for labelling - but it is difficult to certify products gathered in the wild.

Finally, new initiatives are needed to market unfamiliar products.

Many of these issues should be addressed by the joint activities provisionally agreed to at the meeting. They include:

• Improving terms and definitions for NWFPs, essential for international trade. Work will focus on adding to the classifications already listed by the World Customs Organization.

• Clarification of certification and labelling issues. Consumers must know that what they are buying was harvested sustainably.

• Development of benefit-sharing arrangements. These are mechanisms to ensure that those who harvest resources with care receive a fair share of the income. These arrangements also cover, for example, farmers' rights to use commercial varieties of crops developed with genetic material they have helped preserve.

• Possible joint promotion of trade in key NWFPs.

"If this collaboration develops," says Paul Vantomme, "it will help us to help local communities become partners in conservation - and raise their own living standards at the same time." (Source: www.fao.org/news/2001/010903-e.htm )

Relevance and applicability of certification and benefit-sharing mechanisms in the field of NWFPs

The assessment of impact of trade and marketing on the sustainable use of NWFPs is one of FAO NWFP Programme's many activities. The objective of the assessment is to analyse the relevance and applicability of certification and benefit-sharing mechanisms in the field of NWFPs.

For agricultural and timber products, certification and benefit-sharing mechanisms have been established in order to monitor and evaluate the ecologically friendly, economically viable and/or socially equitable use of these products. Criteria and indicators have been elaborated, against which production and commercialization are assessed. The following mechanisms are becoming more relevant for NWFPs:

Forest management schemes mainly assess ecological aspects of resource management, both at the forest and species/product level. These schemes aim at providing environmentally sound products, which can be marketed as "green products".

Fair-trade schemes and benefit-sharing arrangements focus on social aspects of trade and the adequate share of benefits among stakeholders, including disadvantaged local communities.

Product quality standards aim at ensuring that defined production standards have been taken into consideration. These standards can focus on various aspects such as organic production or product purity.

Certification of origin is used for a variety of products (e.g. food products), in order to guarantee that a given product is derived from a certain region or area. It does not assess any quality standards.

These mechanisms are mainly used as marketing and policy tools. The variety of existing schemes, standards and arrangements reflects the different ecological and socio-economic dimensions of sustainability. Market demand appears to be the driving force when choosing a specific mechanism.

NWFPs have only recently been incorporated in some of the above mechanisms. The relevance of these mechanisms for the sustainable use of NWFPs will be analysed and the methods used to assess the sustainable production and commercialization of NWFPs will be documented by this programme activity.

The main activities include:

a) documentation of relevant stakeholders involved in certification and benefit-sharing (e.g. private sector, governmental and non-governmental organizations, labelling initiatives, collector associations, development agencies, consumer groups);

b) analysis of the relevance and applicability of certification and benefit-sharing mechanisms for different NWFPs (e.g. food products, medicinal plants, gums, cosmetics);

c) compilation of working paper(s);

d) establishment of Web site;

e) co-organization of meeting(s).

A first review of literature on the ethical and legal aspects related to the trade in NWFPs led to the compilation of a Special Feature on the "Commercial use of biodiversity: ethical and legal aspects" published in Non-wood News No. 7. In addition, a report on "Benefit-sharing arrangements in the field of non-wood forest products - an overview" has been compiled and will shortly be available on our Web site.

Contacts are being established with various organizations involved in the development and application of certification and benefit-sharing mechanisms. Based on these contacts and an extensive literature review, a documentation of existing mechanisms, organizations involved and case studies will be made available.

It is intended to co-organize a workshop in the second half of 2002 in order to clarify further the relevance of certification and benefit-sharing mechanisms related to the sustainable use of NWFPs.

Preliminary results of this documentation and information on the planned workshop will be made available on our Web site (www.fao.org/forestry/fop/fopw/nwfp/nwfp-e.stm) as soon as they are available.

Note: We would greatly appreciate receiving any information on existing certification or benefit-sharing mechanisms or related case studies. This information would be duly acknowledged in our documentation.

For more information, please contact:

Sven Walter, NWFP Programme,
Forest Products Division,
Forestry Department, FAO.
Fax: +39 0657055618;
e-mail: sven.walter@fao.org

Travel of NWFP officers

Mr Paul Vantomme travelled to Australia from 11 to 22 April 2001 to attend the ninth International Conference on Tree and Nut Crops that was held in Perth. The main objectives of the conference were: to increase awareness of the importance of tree crops and nuts for food production; to provide and share information and understanding on the production, processing and marketing and their business environment; and to initiate and strengthen collaboration in the sector between public and private organizations in the various countries.

Mr Vantomme was invited by the conference organizers to present a keynote address on FAO's activities on NWFPs during the opening plenary session, to chair the NWFP subgroup and to present a paper on gum arabic in the "Gums" subgroup. In addition, a poster on FAO's activities on NWFPs was displayed and presented by the Regional Office in the exhibition hall.

[See under Recent Events for more information on this conference.]

Mr Sven Walter travelled to the Sudan from 27 May to 8 June 2001 in order to participate, together with three forestry officers from the Niger, in a study tour on the production and commercialization of gum arabic, carried out in the context of TCP/NER/0066 "Support to the Revival of the Production and the Commercialization of Gum arabic" (Appui à la relance de la production et de la commercialisation de la gomme arabique). The main objective of the study tour was to inform the Niger participants about the current situation of the gum arabic sector in the Sudan, in order to enable them to draw conclusions for the development of the gum arabic sector in the Niger and to establish contacts between the institutions and governments concerned in both countries.

During the study tour, governmental organizations, producer associations, private companies and research institutes were visited in order to gather information on the production, collection and trade of gum arabic (mainly gum hashab provided by Acacia senegal).

Mr Sven Walter carried out a backstopping mission to the Niger from 25 June to 10 July 2001 within the framework of project TCP/NER/0066 [see above]. The aim of the mission was to: i) evaluate the results of the first phase of the TCP; ii) assist in the preparation, realization and evaluation of the "First National Workshop on the gum sector in Niger: potentialities, constraints and perspectives of the production and the commercialization of the gum arabic sector in Niger"; and iii) prepare the second phase of the project.

During the first phase, missions were carried out by national and international consultants on technological, commercial, socio-economic and legal aspects related to the use of gum arabic in the Niger. Moreover, a study tour was carried out to the Sudan and Chad and a national workshop was organized.

The workshop achieved its goals and the results obtained will contribute to the development of the national strategy regarding the revitalization of the gum sector of the Niger and to the preparation of the second and third phases of the project.

[Please see FAO in the Field for more information on this project.]

Mr Paul Vantomme travelled to Switzerland from 15 to 18 July 2001 to represent FAO at the International Expert Meeting on "Ways to Enhance the Production and Export Capacities of Developing Countries of Agriculture and Food Products, including Niche Products, such as Environmentally Preferable Products". The meeting was organized by the Trade, Environment and Development Section of UNCTAD and was attended by more than 80 participants from about 40 countries. Mr Vantomme was invited by the organizers to make a presentation on the role of edible NWFPs as potential organic products for developing countries' export to niche markets in developed countries

[See under Recent Events for more information on this international expert meeting.]

Ms Laura Russo travelled to Caracas, Venezuela, from 5 to 10 August 2001 to participate in the workshop "Información sobre productos forestales no madereros y árboles fuera del bosque en América Latina".

[See under FAO in the Field for more information on this workshop.]

Mr François Ndeckere-Ziangba travelled to Zambia from 15 to 19 October 2001 to organize and participate in an Expert Consultation with specialists from African English-speaking countries. The objective of the meeting was to get contributions from experts with solid practical experience in the field of NWFP inventory. These contributions would then help to develop guidelines for the assessment of NWFP resources. This Expert Consultation was one of the main activities to be performed under component 4 of the EU-funded project GCP/RAF/354/EC designed to sustain forest management in ACP African countries.

[See under Special Features - Biometrics - for more information on this Expert Meeting.]

Mr Sven Walter travelled to Cameroon from 10 to 19 November 2001 in order to participate in the national workshop "Collection and analysis of statistical data on non-wood forest products (NWFP) in Cameroon: potentialities, constraints and perspectives". The workshop was carried out in the context of the European Commission-FAO Partnership Programme "Data collection and analysis for sustainable forest management in ACP countries: linking national and international efforts" (GCP/INT/679/EC). In addition, Mr Walter collected information on the exploitation of and the trade in the medicinal plant Prunus africana.

During the workshop, the "Pilot study on the collection and analysis of statistical data on NWFPs in Cameroon", realized in the framework of GCP/INT/679/EC, was presented, discussed and validated. The discussions stressed the importance of improving the quality and quantity of information on NWFPs. Moreover, the participants discussed methodological aspects, the management and dissemination of information and other technical issues. The participants identified as a priority activity the organization of a national workshop, which should aim at: a) creating a national network on NWFPs and an agreement on working arrangements; b) creating a national database on NWFPs; and c) identifying the information to be included in the database.

Mr Walter also participated in the meeting of the national working group on the exploitation and commercialization of Prunus africana. During the meeting, two studies on the national inventory and the trade in Europe were discussed and validated. He visited the Mount Cameroon Project Buea in order to collect in the field first-hand information on the exploitation of Prunus africana.

RIL-Afrique-L - une nouvelle liste électronique

La Division des produits forestiers a lancé une nouvelle liste électronique, sous le nom de RIL-Afrique-L. RIL-Afrique-L est un bulletin électronique (en français) portant sur les pratiques d'exploitation forestière à faible impact en Afrique. Il veut être l'expression d'un réseau de communications, d'échanges et de discussions entre les différents acteurs du secteur forestier et il s'adresse plus particulièrement à l'Afrique francophone.

La liste, qui va s'établir avec des inscriptions volontaires, est gérée par la Sous-Division de l'exploitation et de la commercialisation des produits forestiers (FOPH) de la FAO avec le soutien du programme de partenariat Commission Européenne-FAO «Gestion durable des forêts dans les pays africains de l'ACP».

Cette liste sera un complément à d'autres sources d'information existantes, telles que la liste RILNET opérée à partir de Bangkok avec le soutien du bureau régional de la FAO pour l'Asie et le Pacifique.

Pour s'inscrire à la liste, envoyer un message à l'adresse suivante: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org , en laissant la ligne objet vide et en rentrant la seule phrase: subscribe RIL-Afrique-L

Pour faire parvenir une contribution à la liste, envoyer un message à l'adresse suivante: RIL-Afrique-L@mailserv.fao.org

Pour plus d'informations sur RIL-Afrique-L, contacter:

Laura Russo.
Mél. : laura.russo@fao.org

Forest Resource Division

FRA 2000 - main report

The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000) provides a comprehensive and up-to-date view of the world's forest resources at the end of the second millennium. It is the result of the collective efforts of the countries of the world. This major undertaking was based primarily on information provided by the countries, supplemented by state-of-the-art technology to verify and analyse the information and to make the results accessible to the world through the Internet.

The FRA 2000 is a key source for the State of the World's Forests 2001 which reports every two years on the status of forests, recent major policy and institutional developments and important issues concerning the forest sector.

Comparison of FRA 1990 and FRA 2000

One of the most common and crucial questions we receive about the FRA 2000 results is how to compare them with FRA 1990, particularly for forest area and area change, which are the variables that hit most headlines.

A Working Paper (No. 59) which explains and analyses the differences in detail is now available online. It is no surprise that the change in forest definition for the industrialized countries caused some confusion. What may be more interesting, however, is that the so-called "slowdown" of net forest area change (1990s compared with 1980s) is more pronounced if the differences between the assessments are taken into account. Furthermore, although South America shows considerable deforestation in the 1990s, the "slowdown trend" compared with the 1980s is quite pronounced there.

The title of the working paper is: "Comparison of forest area and forest area change estimates derived from FRA 1990 and FRA 2000" and is available online (www.fao.org/forestry/fo/fra/index.jsp - under Working Papers).

For more information, please contact:

Peter Holmgren,
Senior Forestry Officer,
Global Forest Assessments,
Forestry Department, FAO, Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 0657055825;
e-mail: peter.holmgren@fao.org ;
FRA 2000 main report: www.fao.org/forestry/fo/fra/main/index.jsp  

Database on forestry short courses

The Forest Conservation, Research and Education Service of the FAO Forestry Department has just completed a new database on Short Courses and Related Subjects. The database is meant to provide information on short courses available worldwide on forestry and related subjects, such as watershed management, protected areas and wildlife management, and ecotourism. Users can search according to training area, institution and country.

The database is available online at: www.fao.org/forestry/for/forc/free/education/courses.asp

For more information, please contact:

Pieter van Lierop,
Forestry Education Officer,
Forest Conservation, Resources and Education Service,
Forestry Department,
FAO, 00100 Rome, Italy.
E-mail: free@fao.org


The role of forestry in poverty alleviation

The main contributions that forests and trees can make to the livelihoods of the poor are well known. At the same time it is clear that the economic relationship between poor people and forests and trees can be modified for good or ill by the institutional and regulatory environment within which it is found. In order to further the understanding of the ways in which forests and forestry might contribute towards the International Development Target (IDT) and the World Food Summit goal, i.e. to halve the number of people who suffer from hunger to 400 million by 2015, FAO Forestry Department is coordinating an initiative investigating the role of forests and trees in poverty alleviation and how this role might influence poverty reduction strategies.

The first activity within this initiative was to hold an interagency Forum on the Role of Forestry in Poverty Alleviation from 4 to 7 September 2001 in Tuscany, Italy. Representatives of multi- and bilateral agencies, international research organizations and NGOs came together to share their experiences.

The aim of the forum was to help representatives of participating agencies develop a sharper sense of issues in designing and supporting assistance to the forest sector. The intention was to strengthen the capacity of identifying and highlighting conflicting policies, laws and regulations, as well as perceptions which may need to be reinterpreted to meet pro-poor goals.

The participants confirmed that forests and trees have an important role to play in the struggle to reduce poverty. The outcome of the forum was the drawing up of an Agenda for Action to assist forestry in having a more effective role in strategies for poverty alleviation.

The Agenda for Action is as follows:

1. Strengthening rights, capabilities and governance

• Support the poor's own decision-making power
• Strengthen forest rights of the poor and the means to claim them
• Recognize links between forestry and local governance

2. Reducing vulnerability

• Make safety nets not poverty traps
• Support tree planting outside forests
• Cut the regulatory burden on the poor and make regulation affordable

3. Capturing emerging opportunities

• Remove the barriers to market entry
• Base land use decisions on true value of forests
• Ensure that markets for environmental services benefit the poor
• Support associations and financing for local forest businesses

4. Working in partnership

• Simplify policies and support participatory processes
• Promote multisectoral learning and action
• Enhance interagency collaboration
• Make NGOs and the private sector partners in poverty reduction


About 1.6 billion people in the world rely heavily on forest resources for their livelihoods.

Sixty million indigenous people living in the rain forests of Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa depend heavily on forests.

Three hundred and fifty million people living in, or next to, dense forests rely on them for subsistence or income.

(Source: How forests can reduce poverty. 2001. FAO.)


A brief for policy-makers, How forests can reduce poverty, has been published which highlights the findings from the forum and outlines the Agenda for Action. At present, the brief is only available in English. The Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish versions will be available in March 2002.

To view How forests can reduce poverty please visit: http://foweb01/forestry/brochure/brochure.stm  

For more information or to request hard copies, please contact:

Chief, Forestry Policy and Institutions Branch,
Forestry Policy and Planning Division,
Forestry Department, FAO,
Rome 00100,
Fax: +39 0657055514;
e-mail: fonp-documents@fao.org


EC-FAO Partnership Programme "Data Collection for Sustainable Forest Management in ACP Countries - Linking National and International Efforts" (Project 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.

Africa and the Near East

Two regional studies have been completed and the results published in the following two working documents produced in 2001 by FAO's NWFP Programme:

Non-wood forest products in Africa: a regional and national overview/Les produits non ligneux en Afrique: un aperçu régional et national (FOPW/01/1); and

Non-wood forest products in the Near East: a regional and national overview (FOPW/01/2)

These documents consist of two main parts: i) presentation of background information on the programme activities and analysis of the available information at the regional and subregional levels; and ii) presentation of data on NWFPs at the national level (so-called "country profiles").

Most of the data presented in these two reports are indicative figures, which have been collected in published and unpublished reports, and therefore do not represent official statistics. The results show that qualitative and quantitative information on NWFPs at the national level is still weak. It is hoped that these reports will support the ongoing process of data improvement on NWFPs. Improved data are considered to be essential to ensure that the use and importance of NWFPs are adequately taken into consideration by decision-makers, land-use planners, politicians or other concerned experts.

Additional information and comments from readers to improve data on NWFPs in African and Near East countries would be very much appreciated. The authors of the country briefs will be duly acknowledged in the Internet version. Please contact FAO's NWFP Programme with any comments (non-wood-news@fao.org).

Asia and the Caribbean

Data on NWFPs in Asia and the Caribbean are being reviewed and will be made available later in 2002.

Pilot studies

In addition, FAO has carried out pilot studies in Cameroon, Madagascar and Suriname in order to improve the availability of data on NWFPs. More precisely, the studies aimed at elaborating appropriate methodologies on data collection and analysis related to NWFPs, which should: i) provide reasonable estimates of the production, consumption and trade in NWFPs; ii) be widely applicable and relevant to other countries; and iii) be cost-effective, adaptable and feasible within the limited human and financial resources available.

The pilot studies were carried out in collaboration with:

• the University of Yaoundé, Faculty of Science, Cameroon;

• the Forestry Department, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Madagascar; and

• Adek University of Suriname, Faculty of Technology.

Workshops were organized in Madagascar and Cameroon in order to disseminate and discuss the findings of the studies.

During the workshop held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 13 to 14 November 2001, the participants recommended the organization of a follow-up workshop in order to:

• create a national network, which should aim at facilitating the sharing of information on NWFPs and agree upon working arrangements;

• establish a national database on NWFPs;

• identify the information to be stored in such a database.

The participants of the workshop held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, from 20 to 22 November 2002, identified as priority activities the:

• improvement of synergies between all stakeholders (e.g. private sector, governmental and non-governmental organizations) of the NWFP sector;

• estimate of the available resources providing NWFPs;

• consideration of NWFPs as an entity within organizations concerned;

• encouragement to domesticate selected NWFPs;

• establishment of a information-sharing network on NWFPs;

• prioritization of NWFPs of major importance; and

• building of capacities within the ministries and institutions concerned.

The report of the various pilot studies, as well as a global synthesis, will be made available as a working paper.

For more information, please contact:

FAO NWFP Programme.
E-mail: Sven.Walter@fao.org ;
EC-FAO Partnership Programme, |
Forest Policy and Planning Division,
Forestry Department,
FAO, 00100
Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 0657055137;
e-mail: johan.lejeune@fao.org;

Proyecto GCP/RLA/133/EC - Información y análisis para el manejo forestal sostenible

Este proyecto, que integra esfuerzos nacionales e internacionales en 13 países tropicales de América Latina, persigue el mejoramiento de 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 taller sobre «Información sobre Productos Forestales No Madereros y árboles fuera del bosque en América Latina», organizado en Caracas, Venezuela, del 6 al 9 de agosto de 2001, por la Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe, en colaboración con la Dirección de productos forestales y la Dirección de recursos forestales del Departamento de Montes de la FAO y con el apoyo del Ministerio del Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales de Venezuela, tuvo tres objetivos principales:

El primer objetivo consistió en analizar, en el contexto de la Región, la calidad, cantidad, oportunidad, puesta a disposición de los usuarios y agregación de valor de la información sobre los diversos PFNM y de los árboles fuera del bosque en los diferentes países de América Latina. En este contexto se sitúan los siguientes objetivos específicos:

detectar las debilidades y fortalezas estructurales en los sistemas de información forestal de la Región relacionadas con la información sobre ambos temas tratados;

detectar las similitudes y diferencias en las debilidades y fortalezas de los sistemas de información forestal en lo que respecta a los productos forestales a nivel de países de desarrollo forestal similar y/o pertenecientes a los Grupos Subregionales de la COFLAC, Centroamérica y México, Cono Sur y Amazónico.

El segundo objetivo consistió en desarrollar, con los asistentes al taller, un proceso de capacitación que redunde en un mejoramiento de la recolección, análisis, puesta a disposición de los usuarios y agregación de valor de la información sobre PFNM y árboles fuera del bosque en América Latina.

El tercer objetivo consistió en desarrollar un proceso de capacitación horizontal, es decir, desde los propios países participantes en el proyecto, destinado en particular a:

recibir una capacitación sobre la experiencia de la información forestal referente al tema del taller por parte de una institución subregional como CATIE;

recibir la presentación sobre la experiencia del propio país anfitrión del taller.

El taller se desarrolló mediante conferencias plenarias y sesiones de trabajo en grupo, y contó con el apoyo técnico de L. Russo, Oficial forestal de la Subdirección de industrias madereras y de S. Sadio, Oficial forestal del Servicio de Conservación, Investigación y Enseñanza Forestales de la Sede de la FAO en Roma. El taller fue moderado por J. Morales, Coordinador del Proyecto en la Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe con sede en Santiago de Chile.

Al taller asistieron representantes oficiales de los 16 países que participan en el proyecto. Y se contó, además, con la presencia de invitados especiales y expertos en la temática del taller. También asistieron permanentemente técnicos del Ministerio del Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales de Venezuela.

A continuación se presenta un resumen con las recomendaciones y conclusiones más importantes derivadas de los trabajos de síntesis sobre los dos temas centrales.

El aprovechamiento de los PFNM se basa en la extracción o caza, con excepción de algunos de ellos que, por su importancia económica, se cultivan o crían en forma intensiva. Tal es el caso del orégano, la jojoba, el palmito, la hierba mate, el caucho y algunas palmas, entre otras. Cabe señalar que el cultivo de estas especies también depende del conocimiento biológico que se tiene de la especie.

La carencia de información continua que comprende desde la recolección hasta la comercialización, incluyendo el manejo referente a los PFNM y los servicios que brinda el bosque, provoca la subvaloración de los mismos. Se hace necesario, por lo tanto, orientar más recursos y desarrollar más investigaciones sobre los PFNM; así como implementar políticas que estimulen su explotación sostenible, a fin de resguardar la diversidad biológica y contribuir al desarrollo de las regiones donde se localizan estos productos.

A tal fin, se requiere contar con bases de datos en cada país que elaboren la información con variables estandarizadas, lo que hará más accesible el intercambio de información entre los países de América Latina, sobre todo en los aspectos comerciales y de manejo.

La información de la base de datos debe ser revisada, sistematizada, evaluada y procesada, a efectos de contar con información actualizada que pueda difundirse oportuna y públicamente a través de boletines informativos, revistas técnicas especializadas o páginas Web. De esta manera, se podrá contar con los elementos necesarios para establecer el valor real de esta actividad en la economía regional y en el sector forestal en su conjunto.

Se debe fomentar la domesticación de las especies, cuando esto sea posible, sin menoscabo de la calidad de sus productos, lo que coadyuvará a disminuir la presión sobre las poblaciones silvestres.

Es necesario promover el manejo de los PFNM dentro de los sistemas agrosilvopastoriles, como una de las mejores opciones para el manejo integrado de los recursos forestales.

Se debe promover el desarrollo de proyectos de investigación que generen información básica referente a la ecología, biología, manejo y comercialización de los PFNM con mayor importancia socioeconómica en cada país.

Igualmente hay que promover la realización de proyectos regionales de investigación multidisciplinaria de los PFNM con importancia regional, a través de la participación y financiamiento multinacionales.

Las economías de las regiones en las cuales se extraen los PFNM se caracterizan por su fragilidad en el contexto de las economías nacionales y, más aún, en el de la internacional. Esta fragilidad exige una particular mesura a la hora de promover alternativas productivas novedosas o la ampliación de las existentes a circuitos de mercados mayores. Cualquier propuesta de envergadura significativa deberá partir de la realización de estudios de factibilidad, ya que de no hacerlo existe un gran riesgo de emprender empresas comerciales e iniciativas sociales asociadas con los PFNM con pocas probabilidades de éxito.

Se debe impulsar estudios específicos sobre el manejo de las especies objeto de extracción actual o potencial. Para ello es necesario un marco político que brinde a los investigadores la posibilidad de iniciar y darle seguimiento en el mediano y largo plazo a sus investigaciones, sobre todo en aquellos productos que así lo ameriten (por ejemplo, setas).

Uno de los principales problemas que enfrenta la colecta, análisis y diseminación de la información sobre los PFNM es la escasa importancia que quienes toman decisiones, y la sociedad en general, dan a los PFNM. De allí que toda acción que se tome para lograr la concientización y conocimiento de sus potencial e importancia actual y futura, resulta fundamental.

Acciones de corto, mediano y largo plazo en los PFNM

• Promover y organizar un red regional de información de los PFNM.

• Mantener la vigencia de SI Regional-PFNM como consecuencia de este esfuerzo inicial, con el propósito de definir y viabilizar las estrategias formuladas en consenso y orientadas a satisfacer las necesidades específicas de información.

• Generar el programa informático para el procesamiento de la información sobre PFNM y capacitar al personal encargado de su manejo.

• Validar y enriquecer el programa informático.

• Poner en funcionamiento la red regional.

• Sugerir a la FAO la incorporación de los PFNM en el Cuestionario Conjunto del Sector Forestal (FAO, ITTO, CEPE, EUROSTAT).

• Realizar talleres locales de amplia participación a fin de divulgar información y compartir conocimientos y experiencias sobre PFNM.

• Difundir en foros internacionales la relevancia socioeconómica y ambiental de los PFNM.

• Detectar aquellos temas vinculados a los PFNM que resulten de inmediata consideración para el cumplimiento de los compromisos internacionales suscritos por los países signatarios.

Posibles proyectos de apoyo a los SIF de los países para mejorar la información sobre PFNM

Realizar una encuesta regional para detectar elementos comunes para la formulación y ejecución de proyectos conjuntos.

Formular e implementar proyectos específicos sobre PFNM de interés común entre países de la región, tales como taninos, hongos, palmas, palmitos, gomas, algarrobos, fibras, esencias, plantas medicinales, entre otros.

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: Jorge.Morales@fao.org ;


Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) "Support to the Revival of the Production and the Commercialization of Gum Arabic" (TCP/NER/0066)

Gum arabic is an exudate, derived from Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal, which is mainly used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. Both gum arabic-yielding species grow in the semi-arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa. The so-called "gum belt" crosses Africa from Senegal/Mauritania in the west to Somalia in the east. World trade is supposed to reach 40 000 tonnes per year. The main exporting countries are the Sudan, Chad and Nigeria.

The Niger was one of the major gum arabic exporting countries in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1979, the Niger exported 2 610 tonnes, but this amount dropped to some 100 tonnes in 1998. The causes for the decline are multiple and include: bad condition of the gum-providing species, inappropriate exploitation techniques (tapping, natural exudation), disorganization of the production and market chain, and insufficient political and institutional support.

FAO was requested to assist the Government of the Niger in the elaboration of a national strategy in order to improve and strengthen the national gum arabic sector. FAO is, therefore, funding a 15-month (December 2000 to April 2002) Technical Cooperation Project, which is being executed by the Ministry of Environment and Combating Desertification (MELD). FAO's NWFP Programme is responsible for the technical implementation of the TCP.

The main project activities include:

1. Diagnosis of the current situation related to resource management, socio-economic aspects, collection and processing technologies, trade and legal aspects (Phase 1).

2. Development of guidelines and extension concepts related to the sustainable use of gum arabic in the Niger (Phase 2).

3. Elaboration of proposals for an adequate legal framework and improved institutional collaboration (Phase 2).

4. Development of a national strategy and plan of action and proposals for follow-up projects (Phase 3).

During the first phase of the project, which finished on 31 July 2001, various technical reports on resource management, commercialization, technology, socio-economic and legal aspects provided the necessary information to analyse the status of the gum arabic sector in the Niger.

The information that was collected and analysed over seven months was presented and discussed during a four-day workshop on "Potentials, constraints and perspectives of gum arabic production and commercialization in Niger". This workshop was held in Diffa, the Niger from 2 to 5 July 2001 and was attended by some 90 participants representing different stakeholders involved in the gum arabic sector in the Niger (e.g. producers, collectors, exporters, representatives from different ministries).

During the second phase of the project, i) the above-mentioned guidelines and extension concepts on resource management, technological and socio-economic aspects, and ii) proposals for an adequate legal framework and institutional collaboration, will be elaborated.

In addition to the FAO NWFP Programme, technical backstopping of the project is provided by the FAO Forest Conservation, Research and Education Service (FORC) and the FAO Development Law Service (LEGN).

For more information, please contact:

Mr G.J. Bernard,
FAO Representative,
PO Box 11246,
the Niger.
Fax: +227 724709;
e-mail: FAO-NER@field.fao.org;
Mr S. Walter, FAO NWFP Programme.
e-mail: Sven.Walter@fao.org .

Center for Tropical Forest Science

The Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) is a programme within the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) that joins together - through formal memoranda - a voluntary association of natural and social scientists and institutions around the world. The mission of CTFS is to promote and coordinate long-term biological and socio-economic research within tropical forests and forest-dependent communities, and translate this information into results relevant to forest management, conservation and natural-resource policies. To achieve its objectives, natural and social scientists associated with CTFS work with foreign collaborators in forestry departments and universities to develop a network of long-term forest research sites. The primary involvement of CTFS is to coordinate and standardize research at different sites. CTFS also provides technical assistance and training to the extent needed at each site.

A unifying research tool shared by all CTFS research sites is the Forest Dynamics Plot. These are large (up to 52 ha), permanent forest demographic plots that are situated in natural forests. All trees with a diameter of 1 cm or greater are mapped, identified and monitored. An initial census and periodic recensuses yield long-term information on species growth, mortality, regeneration, distribution and productivity in relation to topography, hydrology, soils, climate and biotic factors. Owing to their large size, the plots are capable of dealing with the high tree diversity of tropical forests.

The CTFS network of long-term forest research programmes is monitoring more than 3 million individuals of approximately 6 000 tree species throughout the world's tropics.

CTFS is currently addressing questions such as:

• Why do tropical forests have high species diversity? How can that high diversity be maintained under conditions of human use?

• What role do tropical forests play in stabilizing our climate and atmosphere? How can we take advantage of and enhance their ability to store carbon?

• What determines tropical forest productivity? How can we utilize forest resources sustainably?

By finding answers to these types of questions, CTFS fulfils its twofold goal of: a) helping us understand how tropical forests respond to human activity; and b) providing a sound scientific basis for relevant forest management and policy decisions.

The Center for Tropical Forest Science also produces an annual newsletter, Inside CTFS.

For more information, please contact:

Elizabeth Losos,
Director, Center for Tropical Forest Science,
900 Jefferson Drive,
Suite 2207,
Washington, DC 20560,
Fax: +1 202 7862819;
e-mail Shallin Busch at shallinb@stridc.si.edu;

Convention on Biodiversity

The 7th Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) took place in Montreal, Canada from 12 to 16 November 2001. Working Group I of SBSTTA-7 focused on forest biodiversity issues and discussed recommendations on the forest work programme, status and trends, bushmeat, forest fires and climate change, as well as the specific elements of the work programme on forest biodiversity.

During the working group discussions, the issue of NWFP (called NTFPs in the documentation) was mentioned in various contexts:

The linkages between biodiversity and human health, which have so far been largely ignored in CBD's work, were highlighted, stressing that human health depends on biodiversity. It was mentioned that: i) medicine from natural sources and species contribute to medicinal research; ii) relationships exist between biodiversity destruction and the spread of diseases; iii) biodiversity and food production are interlinked.

Regarding the management of NWFPs, the sustainable harvest of NWFPs was addressed, noting differences in perceptions regarding the use and importance of NWFPs.

The bushmeat crisis was highlighted and the establishment of a United Nations bushmeat task force and captive breeding programmes was proposed. Based on this proposal the following comments were made:

• the European Commission preferred a joint work programme with other institutions instead of a task force;

• the Russian Federation noted bushmeat-related problems in temperate and boreal forests;

• Colombia highlighted the responsibilities of consumer countries; and

• Cameroon, with Senegal, stressed the need for alternative sources of protein. Senegal noted the need for breeding programmes and financial resources.

Following this discussion, a draft provision on bushmeat was introduced. Responding to the draft, Belgium suggested broadening the focus to cover unsustainable hunting of forest animals, and Kenya called for collaboration with other relevant agreements and institutions. Delegates debated whether to establish a liaison group or an expert group without resolving the bushmeat issue.

The final text (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/CRP.1) requests the Executive Secretary to establish a liaison group on non-timber forest resources with a focus on bushmeat. It invites Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) members to explore the integration of non-timber forest resources in inventory and management; invites FAO, the International Tropical Timber Organization and others to address biodiversity in their fire assessment activities; and references community-based approaches to managing forest fires and non-timber forest resources.

Finally, activities to prevent losses caused by unsustainable harvesting of timber and NWFPs were identified. They include:

• the establishment of a liaison group with an associated workshop to facilitate a joint work plan with relevant CPF members to bring harvesting of NWFPs, particularly bushmeat, to sustainable levels;

• the promotion of alternatives to fuelwood;

• the development of legislation; and

• encouragement and assistance of importing countries to prevent illegal import not covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES).

(Source: P.S. Chasek, ed. 2001. Summary of the seventh session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 12-16 November. Earth Negotiation Bulletin, 9(212). Also available at www.iisd.ca/linkages/biodiv/sbstta7/)


Annex to Recommendation VII/6 of SBSTTA-7

Elements for an expanded work programme on forest biological diversity - Summary of specific recommendations related to NWFP

Programme Element 1: Conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing

Goal 4: To promote the sustainable use of forest biological diversity.

Objective 1: Promote sustainable use of forest resources to enhance the conservation of forest biological diversity.


(b) Develop, support and promote programmes and initiatives that address the sustainable use of timber and non-timber forest products.

(c) Support regional cooperation and work on sustainable use of timber and non-timber forest products and services, including through technology transfer and capacity building within and between regions.

(h) Facilitate and support a responsible private sector committed to sustainable harvesting practices and compliance with domestic laws through effective development and enforcement of laws on sustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber resources.

Objective 2: Prevent losses caused by unsustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber forest resources.


(a) Establish a liaison group with an associated workshop to facilitate development of a joint work plan with relevant members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to bring harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFP)s, with a particular focus on bushmeat, to sustainable levels. This group should have a proportionate regional representation, giving special consideration to subregions where bushmeat is a major issue and representation of relevant organizations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The mandate of this group is to:

(i) Consult in a participatory manner with key stakeholders to identify and prioritize major issues pertaining the unsustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products, particularly of bushmeat and related products.

(ii) Provide advice on the development of policies, enabling legislation and strategies that promote sustainable use of, and trade in, non-timber forest products, particularly bushmeat and related products.

(iii) Provide advice on appropriate alternative sustainable livelihood technologies and practices for the affected communities.

(iv) Provide advice on appropriate monitoring tools.

(c) Develop any necessary legislation for the sustainable management and harvesting of non-timber forest resources.

(d) Solicit input from Parties, other countries and relevant organizations on ways and means to encourage and assist importing countries to prevent the entry of illegally harvested forest resources, which are not covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and consider this information as a basis for further steps on this issue.

Programme element 2: Institutional and socio-economic enabling environment

Goal 1: Enhance the institutional enabling environment.

Objective 4: Combat illegal logging, illegal exploitation of non-timber forest products, illegal exploitation of genetic resources, and related trade


(f) Invite governments and relevant organizations to develop and forward to the Secretariat case-studies and research on the impacts of illegal exploitation and trade in timber and non-timber forest products.

(Source: Secretariat of the ConventiononBiologicalDiversity.2001.RecommendationVII/6,Forestbiologicaldiversity, www.biodiv.org/recommendations/default.asp?lg=0&m=sbstta-07&r=06  )


IUCN/SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group

The Medicinal Plant Specialist Group (MPSG) is a global network of experts contributing within their own institutions and in their own regions to the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. The MPSG was founded in 1994, under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), to increase global awareness of conservation threats to medicinal plants, and to promote conservation action. Our group is currently made up of approximately 70 individual scientists, field researchers, government officials and conservation leaders.

Our overall aim is to support and promote efforts leading to medicinal plant conservation and rational, sustainable use. Our approach is to provide information, tools and strategy coordination that builds on the efforts of local, national, regional and global partners to conserve and use medicinal plants sustainably, focusing particularly on actions that reduce threats to endangered species and habitats.

During the current triennium (2001-2003), one of our goals is to restructure the group, currently more than 70 members worldwide, into regional subgroups. We are setting up a steering committee, which includes regional vice-chairs. This change in structure will support the engagement of the subgroups in development of regional projects, as well as identification of regions where our membership needs to be strengthened. We are furthest along in organizing regional MPSG subgroups in South Asia and in Central America and the Caribbean. We are also working to set up more efficient communication tools for the group (an electronic list-serve and a Web site).

In partnership with the International Development Research Centre and the Canadian Museum of Nature, and other partners, we are developing regional projects as Centres of Medicinal Plant Diversity. These projects will support research on medicinal plant conservation, as well as the wider application of SSC tools, such as Red Listing, the Species Information Service and the Top 50 campaign.

Recent publications include the 7th issue of our newsletter Medicinal Plant Conservation (contact: Natalie.Hofbauer@bfn.de) and the second volume of the Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography (available through info@books.iucn.org).


Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography, volume 2

In June 2001, volume 2 of the Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography' was published (the first volume was published in 1996). This bibliography is designed to collect information from the many scattered sources of books and papers on medicinal plants and to set priorities on books focusing on the conservation of medicinal plants. In total, 801 references and 170 reviews, indexed by general, geographic and taxonomic keywords are incorporated for the period 1997 to 2000.

The second volume of the bibliography can be purchased from: IUCN Publications Service Unit, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DL, United Kingdom; fax: +44 1223 277175; e-mail: info@books.iucn.org

Bibliographical information: Uwe Schippmann, 2001, Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography, Volume 2. ISSN 1433-304x.


MPSG Steering Committee - current

Chair - Danna J. Leaman (djl@green-world.org )

Vice-Chair, Central America/Caribbean - Sonia Lagos-Witte (tramilca@codetel.net.do )

Vice-Chair, South Asia - Vinay Tandon (forprojs@sancharnet.in )

Research Programme - Tony Cunningham (peopleplants@bigpond.com )

Publications, CITES - Uwe Schippmann (schippmu@bfn.de )

For more information, please contact:

Danna J. Leaman,
Canadian Museum of Nature,
PO Box 3443, Station D,
Ontario K1P 6P4,
Fax: +1 613 3644022;
e-mail: dleaman@mus-nature.ca

Overseas Development Institute

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the United Kingdom's leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Its mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. This is done by locking together high-quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate. ODI works with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries.

ODI's work centres on five research and policy programmes:

• Poverty and Public Policy Group, which includes the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure
• International Economic Development Group
• Humanitarian Policy Group
• Rural Policy and Environment Group
• Forest Policy and Environment Group

The Forest Policy and Environment Group (FPEG) has its own Web site (www.odi.org.uk/fpeg/index.html) housing a variety of publications, including the Rural Development Forestry Network (RDFN) papers, the TROPICS (Tropical Forestry Projects Information System) database and a "grey literature" collection.

The Rural Development Forestry Network is an important component of FPEG's outreach programme. As well as disseminating research information on key issues in tropical forestry to its members, the network aims to influence policy- and decision-making in both governments and international aid agencies.

Rural Development Forestry 1985-2001

The Overseas Development Institute has produced a CD-ROM that contains 17 years of its publications on forestry-related issues. Its 214 key publications chart the development of people-oriented forestry from 1985 to the present day:

• 174 Rural Development Forestry Network papers (RDFN)
• 5 European Tropical Forestry Papers (EUTFP)
• 14 Natural Resources Perspectives (NRP)
• 4 forestry-related Working Papers (WP)
• 17 chapters of the EU Tropical Forestry Sourcebook

All papers are indexed by publication, keyword, author and region. Full text versions of the majority of publications are available in English, French and Spanish as Acrobat pdf files. The Adobe Acrobat® ReaderTM software is also included on the CD-ROM.

For more information, please contact:

Overseas Development Institute,
111 Westminster Bridge Road,
London SE1 7JD,
E-mail: forestry@odi.org.uk;


Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) was established in 1976, largely to assist in the implementation of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Today CITES covers some 30 000 plant and animal species and has more than 150 member countries. TRAFFIC itself has developed from a single office based in London into a global network of 22 offices in eight regional programmes around the world, being the world's largest wildlife trade monitoring programme and a global expert on wildlife trade issues.

The global wildlife trade is big business, estimated to be worth billions of dollars and involving hundreds of millions of plants and animals every year. Most of the trade is legal but a significant portion of it is not. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals for food and pet markets to ornamental plants and to huge industries such as timber and marine fisheries. An array of wildlife products and derivatives, such as exotic leather goods, ivory carvings and hawksbill turtle shell accessories, musical instruments, food and medicines can be found in markets around the globe. For more information on wildlife trade, please visit the TRAFFIC Web site (www.traffic.org).

In 2001, TRAFFIC celebrated its 25th anniversary with a "25th Anniversary Event of TRAFFIC", which was held on 27 November 2001.

For more information on TRAFFIC, please contact:

Maija Sirola,
Communications Officer,
TRAFFIC International,
219c Huntingdon Road,
Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK.
Fax: +44 (0)1223 277237;
e-mail: maija.sirola@trafficint.org;

Tropenbos International

A new name, a new logo, a new funding phase. The Tropenbos Foundation is making some changes after ten years. With increasing attention to international environment issues related to tropical rain forests, and more autonomy exercised by the research sites, the time had come to give Tropenbos the stature of a full-fledged international organization.

Confusion about whether Tropenbos was located in Wageningen, the Netherlands, or in a certain country was noted frequently by the research sites. By renaming the organization "Tropenbos International", this indicates that the activities are foremost of a worldwide nature.

As the third funding phase of the Tropenbos programme set in (2001-2005), the opportunity to make this change was apparent. Each research site will place the country name below the logo so that it is seen as linked to "Tropenbos International" but is recognized locally as the national site. The head office in Wageningen will refer to the organization in general as "Tropenbos International".

The logo will be incorporated immediately. The acronym to be used will be TBI, but the Internet address is to remain (www.tropenbos.nl).

The Tropenbos Foundation, established in 1988, is an independent, internationally oriented organization which facilitates research and development activities to support the conservation and sustainable utilization of tropical rain forests. Tropenbos, in close cooperation with universities and research institutes, facilitates interdisciplinary research at permanent locations. Currently these are in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Colombia, Guyana and Indonesia. Research results are applicable on a local as well as on a broader scale. (Contributed by: J.B. Maas, Tropenbos International.)

For more information, please contact:

Tropenbos International,
PO Box 232,
NL-6700 AE Wageningen,
the Netherlands.
E-mail: tropenbos@tropenbos.agro.nl ;