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Guest article - (Pdf )

• Revitalizing Pacific sandalwood production

Special Features - (Pdf )

• Bee products

    • World honey trade
    • German scientist identifies special properties in manuka honey
    • Honey-based cosmetics manufactured in the Russian Federation
    • A tree full of honey
    • Honey hunting of honeybees
    • Sustainable honey collection boosts returns to Cambodian communities
    • Turkey is second in honey production
    • Beeswax
    • A Cameroon body cream using beeswax
    • Propolis

• NWFPs and climate change

    • Climate change and indigenous peoples
    • Canada must adapt to climate impact on forests
    • Bark cuts methane emission from cows
    • Development should not affect forests
    • Carbon traders, not conservationists, could save the Cameroon rain forest
    • Bamboo as carbon sequester and income booster
    • Biodiversity key to fighting climate change
    • Climate focus neglects biodiversity and poverty issues
    • Chinese biofuel “could endanger biodiversity”
    • Bamboo as carbon sequester and income booster
    • International Alliance will unite the forest peoples of the world

News and Notes - (Pdf )

• Approaches to NTFP modelling

• Biopesticidal plant-derived essential oils

• Bioprospecting/benefit-sharing or biopiracy?

    • Plans to control access to the Amazon
    • Namibia: San medicine could be hijacked
    • Biopiracy rampant in Nagaland, India
    • Filipino scientists developing system to stop biopiracy

CITES and agarwood-producing taxa

Cultivating wild fruits “could boost African nutrition”

Développement des PFNL comme moyen de réduction de la pauvreté des femmes rurales

Drinks and juices using NWFPs

• Mulberry juice drink unveiled
• The buzz on energy drinks

Exploitation des feuilles en Afrique centrale

Fragrance house sources sustainable ingredients

Functions and uses of mangroves


    Forests, Trees and Livelihoods
    • Journal of Medicinal Plant Research

Latest laundry soaps

Non-profit organizations and NGOs

    • The Boreal Centre
    • Reforesting Scotland
    • Tourism Cares for Tomorrow

Plants to raise biological activity in space

Plugging NTFPs in the Congo Basin

Stylishly sustainable jewellery

Tanning: need to explore niche markets for East Indian leather

Tree resin: insulation retrofitters push “green” alternative

Valuing trees and forests

    • Revenues from forests of the Congo Basin
    • Adding value to forest resources
    • Putting a value on rain forests
    • How is a tree valued?

Products and Markets - (Pdf )

• Bamboo, Berries, Edible insects, Ginseng, Gum arabic, Maple syrup, Medicinal plants and herbs, Moring aoleifera, Nuts, Piperine, Sandalwood, Shea butter, Stevia, Wildlife

Country Compass - (Pdf )

• Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Viet Nam

Econook - (Pdf )

• “Biodiversity is vital for human survival and livelihoods”

• Community-based ecological monitoring – a promising option to ensure the sustainability of NWFP extraction

• Elephants keep ants in harmony with tree hosts

• Indigenous languages and biodiversity

• UN strikes new forest accord

International Action - (Pdf )

• FAO, Domestication and Development of Baobab and Tamarind (DADOBAT)

Recent Events - (Pdf )

Forthcoming Events - (Pdf )

Publications of Interest - (Pdf )

Web sites - (Pdf )

Readers' Response - (Pdf )

Non-Wood News 17


JULY 2008


The editorial for this issue of Non-Wood News has been written by Dr Wulf Killmann, Director of the Forest Products and Industries Division.

From 3 to 5 June 2008, FAO, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), hosted in Rome an International High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy. For three days, over 4 700 people, among them 43 Heads of State or Government, discussed options and ways forward to overcome a major challenge for the years to come: global food security in times of changing climatic conditions.

Indeed, not since the 1970s have we seen rises in food prices like those ofthe last few years. The FAO Food Price Index rose by 8 percent in 2006 and by afurther 24 percent in 2007. The index average for the first three months of 2008 was 53 percent higher than for the same period in 2007; the price of vegetable oilsrose by 97 percent, grains by 87 percent, dairy products by 58 percent and rice by 46 percent. Sugar and meat prices also rose, but to a lesser extent. This rapid rise in food prices is affecting people in all countries, particularly in low-incomeand food-deficit countries, where it is raising the cost of food imports and exacerbating the balance of trade. The livelihoods of hundreds of millions of already-vulnerable, poor and hungry people in developing countries are further threatened. However, rising food costs are affecting consumers in wealthy countries as well.

About 850 million people of a world population of 6 billion still go to bed hungry. By 2050, the world population is expected to have increased to 9 billion people. During the same period, climate change and related extreme weather events will affect food production and infrastructure, and thus further challenge the attainment of food security.

What does this mean for forests?

The population increase and negative impacts of climate change will especially affect tropical countries. The resulting rising demand for food, water and energy is likely to put additional pressure on tropical forests. In some countries, the demand for wood fuels may increase. More forests may be converted for cultivation of agricultural crops or liquid biofuel crops, or for raising cattle. This will affect the water cycle, biodiversity and the carbon cycle. Already, 13 million ha of forests, roughly the area of Greece, are deforested annually, leading to greenhouse gas emissions in the order of 1.6 gigatonnes of carbon.

However, the food crisis also represents new opportunities for forests. Sustainably managed forests play an important role in contributing to food security, both directly and indirectly. Forests regulate the water cycle and protect watersheds, and thereby also agricultural production in the lower catchments. They protect and conserve soils; give shelter for agricultural crops in agroforestry and mixed cropping systems; provide fodder for livestock and offer grazing in silvopastoral schemes; and conserve biodiversity that may provide gene banks for future crops. Forests supply employment and income for an estimated 1.2 billion people, thus allowing them to buy food. They also directly supply food and livelihoods for an estimated 450 million people worldwide.

Non-wood forest products play an important role in all this. They are a direct source of staple foods, essential nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins, snacks and relishes, and they cater for a diverse and flavourful diet. They also play a very important role in health care, and in alleviating seasonal hunger, i.e. during dry spells and monsoons, or periods of high food prices.

Thus, the global food situation should be an incentive for us to take a closer lookat the existing, as well as the as yet unrealized, opportunities that NWFPs provide for food security!



is compiled and coordinated by Tina Etherington, Forest Products Service of the FAO Forest Products and IndustriesDivision. For this issue, editing support was provided by Regina Hansda; language editing by Roberta Mitchell, Josiane Bonomi and Deliana Fanego; design, graphics and desktop publishing by Claudia Tonini.

Non-Wood News is open to contributions by readers. Contributions are welcomed in English, French and Spanish and may be edited to fit the appropriate size and focus of the bulletin.
If you have any material that could be included in the next issue of Non-Wood News for the benefit of other readers, kindly send it, before before 31 October 2008, to:
FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy

FAO home page:

All Internet links cited were checked on 24 June 2008. Articles express the views of their authors, notnecessarily those of FAO. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do notimply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UnitedNations (FAO) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.



Non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are goods of biological origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests. Non-timber forest products (NTFPs), another term frequently used to cover this vast array of animal and plant products, also includes small wood and fuelwood. However, these two terms are used synonymously throughout this bulletin. Other terms, such as “minor”, “secondary” or “speciality” forest products, are sometimes used to keep original names and/or titles.