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Guest article - (Pdf )

• Communicating research for impact and accountability

Special Features - (Pdf )

Marketing of traditional NWFPs

    • Are insects valuable? Synopsis of mopane worms
    • Bark cloth makes comeback on international fashion scene
    • Chambira palm: baskets bring a new way of life to Peruvians
    • Ecoenterprises and Terminalia ferdinandiana: “best laid plans” and Australian policy lessons
    • First FSC-labelled gin from Belgium
    • Consumers’ contribution towards biodiversity – the cork case study
    • Honey and wax: a sticky challenge
    • Custom-made Crafts Centre: creating new markets and appropriate strategies for communities
    • International logos for local products in Nepal
    • Brazilian brokering company to market Amazonian NWFP oils
    • Guatemalan maya nut producers participate in the Terra Madre event in Italy
    • Marketing and export of yarina (Phytelephas macrocarpa) in Loreto, Peru

• Berries

    • Mistletoe infection of amla, the value of local management practices
    • Summer berries in British Columbia, Canada
    • Thousands of Thai berry pickers invited to Finland
    • Berry products showcased
    • Antioxidant in berries stops wrinkles
    • Açaí berry, superfood or superfraud?
    • “Miracle fruit” turns sour things sweet
    • Guarana beverage
    • Maqui superberry
    • Berry-based natural sweetener "brazzein" to hit the market in 2009

News and Notes - (Pdf )

• Biodegradable chewing gum

• Bioprospecting/benefit-sharing or biopiracy?

• Bioprospecting: “The Green Gold Rush”
• India moves to protect traditional medicines from foreign patents
• Rural communities in Kenya to benefit from plan to market natural plants
• Biopiracy in the Cuzco region, Peru

• Bird flu antivirus sourced from Indian trees

• “Cork ReHarvest”

• Educational tool with a difference

• Forests, human health and the impacts of climate change

• Hope for Africa in baobab

• Japan’s Denso develops “organic”radiator tank

• NWFPs – a global perspective

• NWFPs in North America
• PFNM en América Latina
• NWFPs in Europe
• PFNL en Afrique
• NWFPs in Western and Central Asia
• NWFPs in Asia and the Pacific

• Non-profit organizations and NGOs

• ApiTrade Africa
• The Association for Nature and Sustainable Development (ANDES), Peru
• Le Centre de développement desforêts communautaires au Cameroun

• Palm fronds: fair trade and ecofriendly

• Photovoices: new way to share traditional knowledge

• Sustainability standards in wild plants harvesting – FairWild and ISSC-MAP

• The role of NWFPs and forests inimproving and sustaining livelihoods

• Forests sustain livelihoods
• The role of NWFPs in improving rural livelihoods

• Tulsi to “insulate” the Taj Mahal

• Who owns the world’s forests?

Products and Markets - (Pdf )

• Bamboo, Frankincense, Hedychium spicatum, Honey, Kava, Medicinal plants and herbs, Natural fibres, Rattan, Saffron, Sandalwood, Sclerocarya birrea, Shea butter, Silk, Wildlife and bushmeat

Country Compass - (Pdf )

• Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, India, Italy, Krygyzstan, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Republic of the Congo, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Viet Nam, Zambia

Econook - (Pdf )

• Africa: Minister tasks continent on bioresources development

• Forest elephants and their role in“planting” trees in the Congo

• Forests move rain: study revolutionizes meteorology

• Plant workshop winds up with resolve to create a regional network

• Transboundary rain forest park in West Africa: a symbol of peace and stability

Wild food biodiversity

International Action - (Pdf )

• FAO, The XIII World Forestry Congress, Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR), International Year of Natural Fibres 2009

Recent and Forthcoming Events - (Pdf )

Publications of Interest - (Pdf )

Web sites - (Pdf )

Readers' Response - (Pdf )

Back Cover - (Pdf )

Non-Wood News 19


JULY 2009


The editorial for this issue of Non-Wood News has been written by Sophie Grouwels, Forestry Officer in charge of the small-scale forest enterprise development programme.

The Millennium Development Goals commit most countries to reducing global poverty in half by 2015. Perhaps nowhere are the stakes higher for meeting this goal than in forest-dependent communities in tropical countries, where poverty tends to be more pervasive and deeper than in urban and more-favoured rural areas. According to the World Bank, approximately 90 percent of the poorest people rely on forests for subsistence and income. The development of small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) represents an opportunity for strengthening the livelihoods of these people and conserving the natural resource base through sustainable forest management and processing of timber and non-wood forest products (NWFPs). Local benefits from SMFE development may include wages and employment, profit-sharing, capital accumulation, cultural and political empowerment, investment in public goods, and increased conservation of forest ecosystems through long-term sustainable management.

Several new market trends favour the development of SMFEs, including increased tourism, providing expanding markets for handicrafts and ecotourism; specialized export markets, e.g. fair trade NWFPs and bio-ingredients; and growing specialized domestic and regional markets for NWFPs such as bamboo, rattan and palm hearts. In this issue, Non-Wood News has highlighted a variety of aspects related to this development. For example, one of the Special Features includes information on the marketing of traditional NWFPs, including various handicrafts. In addition, in the Products and Markets section, you will find articles on the fair trade of two specific NWFPs (shea butter and palm fronds), as well as information in the Products and Markets section on bamboo and rattan.

However, most SMFEs are not able to capture the benefits from these opportunities fully. They struggle to advance beyond the start-up stage of business development, exhibiting low levels of output, productivity, value added and profit. Overcoming these challenges requires concerted action and long-term investments among the various stakeholders, including SMFEs themselves, their business partners (processors and buyers) and service providers, as well as government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). One of the key constraints that SMFEs face has to do with isolation. They are isolated in various ways,not only from neighbouring enterprises with whom they might work for scale efficiencies and bargaining power, but also from potential buyers who would give them sales options, from financial and business development service providers who would help them with sustainability and upgrading and from decision-makers governing their forest accessand use.

Forest Connect, an alliance launched in 2007, is dedicated to tackling this. Its overall goal is to avoid deforestation and reduce poverty by better linking sustainable small forest enterprises to each other, to markets, to service providers and to policy processes such as National Forest Programmes. In fact, across the different countries where Forest Connect operates there are signs that SMFEs can contribute – and are already contributing considerably – to local economies and the sustainable management of the forest, including NWFPs.





is compiled and coordinated by Tina Etherington, Forest Products Service of the FAO Forest Products and Industries Division. For this issue, editing support was provided by Adam DeHeer; 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 15 October 2009, to:
FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy

FAO home page:





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.





All Internet links cited were checked on 5 July 2009. Articles express the views of their authors, not necessarily those of FAO. Authors may be contacted directly for their reference sources. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply 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. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.