International action



Forest Products Division

The Forest Products Division has launched a programme for the development of non-wood forest products, incorporating activities to support identification of development opportunities, carrying out feasibility studies, assessing technologies for harvesting and processing and exchanging information related to non-wood forest products. The programme also supports activities related to improved and potential uses of non-wood forest products and their valorization, including improved marketing practices. These will be linked to activities under other FAO programmes to promote the improved and increased role of NWFPs in generating rural employment and income, and to support integrated and sustainable management of forest resources. An appropriate database in relation to the important aspects of NWFPs will be developed and relevant information suitably documented and disseminated. The Division has provided technical support to field project activities related to NWFPs in a number of countries.

Figure 22

During 1994, two new publications (Nutmeg and derivatives, Flavours and fragrances of plant origin) were printed. Three new studies (Edible nuts, Dyes and colourants, Gums and resins) were initiated.

For more information, please contact C. Chandrasekharan, Chief, Non-Wood Products and Energy Branch, FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52255618.

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Responsibility for technical assistance by FAO's Forest Harvesting and Transport Branch now includes harvesting and transport of non-wood forest products in addition to its historical responsibility relating to industrial timber harvesting. Approximately 10 percent of the duties of the two professional officers in the branch have been allocated to non-wood forest products and fuelwood. Two technical publications on non-wood forest products have been completed and the branch is working on several others. The branch is currently involved in determining major harvesting and transportation problems associated with commercially important non-wood forest products, especially in tropical areas, in order to decide where efforts may best be concentrated.

Readers with suggestions are requested to contact Rudolf Heinrich, Chief, Harvesting and Transport Branch, FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52255618.

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The Programme on Forest Products Marketing and Trade of the Division is currently carrying out a study on "Trade restrictions affecting international trade in non-wood forest products". The study will look into the tariff and non-tariff measures affecting international trade in NWFPs, and identify possible policy action to overcome the negative effects of trade restrictions

For more information, please contact l.J. Bourke, FOPD/FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax- +39 6 52255618.

Forest Resources Division

The Forest Conservation, Education and Research Service (FORW) of the Forest Resources Division is preparing an FAO Conservation Guide on "Income generation from non-wood forest products in upland conservation". This conservation guide, which is related to UNCED Agenda 21, Chapter 13, "Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development", will review the socioeconomic and environmental role of non-wood forest products in mountain ecosystems of both humid tropics and the arid and semi-arid uplands.

It will identify examples of non-wood forest products with a high potential for income generation, and describe their production process as well as their economics for mountainous areas of Southeast Asia (green mountains) and mountainous areas of the Near East (brown mountains). It will also include information from the literature on selected non-wood forest products in specific countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

For more information, please contact T. Michaelsen, FORW/FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52256661.

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Another conservation guide in preparation is on the "Role of acacias in rural development in dry Africa and the Near East". Drylands are typically known in Africa through the image and symbol of extensive grass expanses interspersed with the silhouettes of large canopied Acacia trees. Behind this stereotype are the numerous functions, services and timber and non-timber products that acacias contribute to local economies including livestock and also to subregional, regional and international markets. Acacias are essential to the livelihood systems of the populations of dry lands in Africa and the Near East; they contribute to the sustainability of their agriculture, to their food and medicines and to the conservation of their environment. A number of subregional studies were undertaken to cover West Africa with special reference to Burkina Faso and East Africa with special reference to the Sudan and the Near East. The findings of such studies and other literature are being analysed and consolidated into a new conservation guide to be published in 1995.

For more information, please contact E.H. Sne, Chief, Forest Conservation, Production and Research Service, FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52256661.

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Under the auspices of the Forest Resources Development Service (FORM), a study on the in situ conservation of Euterpe edulis (palmito) in the Atlantic forests of Brazil is being carried out in collaboration with the Centro de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis SC, Brazil.

Another study being carried out by the service is directed towards the integrated management of wood and non-wood forest resources in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Other NWFP-related activities being undertaken by the service include: elaboration of information on the management of bamboo resources, in collaboration with national institutes in the countries of origin of the genus; development of genetic conservation strategies for bamboo species in South and Southeast Asia in collaboration with the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

For more information, please contact Christel Palmberg-Lerche, Chief, FORM/FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52256661.


Food and Nutrition Division (ESN)

Some of the activities of ESN are related to the use of NWFPs as food and food additives. ESN coordinates, for example, the work related to specifications for food additives through the FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). ESN also provides support and technical assistance to countries to upgrade quality and to establish systems for quality control and standardization of food additives, so that they will be able to meet the international specifications developed by JECFA. An example is gum arable, which is a widely used additive in a large number of processed foods. The Sudan is the world's top producer and exporter of gum arable. Other gum-producing countries in the Sahel region are Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali, the Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

For more information, please contact A.W. Randell, Food Quality and Standards Service, ESN, FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52253152.


FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP)

Under the Technical Cooperation Programme, the Director-General approved a project in June 1994 to develop Apiculture Development Strategy in the Solomon Islands at a cost of US$118000. Solomon Islands has an advantage over other countries with apiculture industries since it is recognized as being disease free. The objectives of the project are to assist the government in preparing a strategy for apiculture development, identification of the means by which the strategy can be implemented, and preparation of an action plan for its implementation.

The FAO Technical Cooperation Programme provides technical support to member countries through small projects that will serve, among other things, as a catalyst for further investment and development.

For more information, please contact Coordinator, TCP Unit, FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52253152.



The FAO Regional Office for Africa has initiated a study on Development of Naval Stores Production and Regional Trade in sub-Saharan Africa, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Institute of ODA/UK.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the regional demand for gum naval stores and the extent of imbalance with existing production capability; assess the potential for increased production from existing and future pine plantations, and the development of regional trade in crude or processed gum naval stores through the exploitation of currently underutilized pine resources; and disseminate the findings and explore possible developmental pathways for the creation of new industries and trading systems in the region.

For more information, please contact J.D. Keita, FAO Regional Forestry Officer, Accra, Ghana. Fax: +233 21 668427.

Latin America and the Caribbean

In collaboration with UNEP, the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLAC) is planning many activities to promote innovative approaches for use of non-wood products. The activities being considered are the following: to support five countries of the region in organizing national workshops on NWFPs to raise awareness of their importance and to promote action-oriented strategies; to undertake in-depth studies on ten selected NWFPs of socio-economic and environmental importance in the Latin American and Caribbean region; to draw from the above studies success stories that can be replicated in other countries; and to implement in two pilot countries improved definition, classification and gathering and processing of statistics on NWFPs.

For more information, please contact Torsten Frisk, FAO Regional Forestry Officer, RLAC, Santiago, Chile. Fax: +56 2 6961121.


As an aspect of forestry related to the conservation of biodiversity and local community welfare, the Bank has an interest in NWFPs. However, the Bank's involvement, through country projects, is still marginal. The Bank's spending on forestry projects (which during 1991-94 amounted to about US$1.7 billion) is categorized as: policy-related (reform, studies); institutional support; forest tenure reform; resource management (resource assessment, protection, road construction and maintenance, harvesting, other management operations, alternative livelihood means, watershed management); resource expansion; national parks and protected areas; wood industries/processing/utilization (large-scale, small-scale); technology development and transfer (research, extension); training; and other related matters. In these, NWFPs are not an identified item. The Bank's new forest policy, which is now being finalized, is known to have treated the subject only peripherally.

In some of the Bank's forestry projects, NWFPs have been included as a minor component under the subcomponents of resource management, for example, under alternative livelihood means. Bank officials, however, feel that the Bank's involvement in NWFPs would increase as and if specific quantitative information on the importance of these products for local communities and as an investment activity becomes available.

Some projects currently being developed appear to address the issues related to NWFPs somewhat more than in the past. For example, the World Bank's Forest Sector Review of Mexico has looked into the importance of NWFPs in some depth. Since most NWFP enterprises are small-scale and in the private sector, it is not certain to what extent funding support will be provided for their development, for research, product development, extension, etc.

The World Bank, in the Environmental Division, has commissioned several studies related to the silvicultural, ecological, economic, social and marketing aspects of NWFPs, with particular reference to environmental issues and marketing strategies for non-wood forest products.

For more information, please contact Horst Wagner, Forestry Advisor, The World Bank, 1818 H St NW, Washington, DC, USA. Fax: +1 202 5221142.


The Global Forest Policy Project is a US-based NGO consortium cosponsored by the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation and Friends of the Earth-US. The project works in several multilateral arenas of forest policy issues and distributes regular reports and copies of official documents to some 80 NGO representatives and contacts throughout the world. It attempts to counter forest misvaluation and mismanagement, as well as the underlying root causes of forest loss and degradation. It exerts pressures, as an environmental group, for beneficial incentives to promote sustainable forestry. It campaigns against the destructive utilization of forests, and for sustainable utilization. It promotes environmental orientation to development, which supports the recreation and ecotourism industries, non-wood forest products, pharmaceuticals and medicines, the natural lifestyles of millions of forest-dwellers and the long-term sustainability of forest resources.

For more information, please contact William E. Mankin, Coordinator, Global Forest Policy Project, 1400 16th St NW, Suite 502, Washington, DC. Fax: +1 202 7976562.


The primary focus of IFPRI is on food, to feed the growing millions in the world. Many tree products other than timber directly provide food and food supplements or are a means of diversifying rural income. Markets for non-timber tree products (NTTPs) are important in this regard.

The promise of the market has been of special interest to environmentalists who are seeking to encourage the conservation of tropical forests. If markets can be tapped, tropical forests will be more highly valued and there will be a greater incentive for their conservation. NTTPs pose a number of difficult methodological problems for market analysts because of the multiproduct potential of trees and forests. These in turn present a range of issues with regard to market development promotion and performance.

IFPRI, in cooperation with the National Resource Institute (NRI) of the United Kingdom, the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), organized a workshop from 12 to 14 December 1994 in Annapolis, Maryland, United States on "Non-timber tree products market research" in response to the growing interest in the role of markets for NTTPs.

For more information, please contact Stephen Vosti, Research Fellow, Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, 1200 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036-3006. Fax: +1 202 4674439.


IPGRI is an autonomous international scientific organization operating under the aegis of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Previously known as IBPGR (International Board for Plant Genetic Resources), IPGRI was established by CGIAR in 1974 and is administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. IPGRI's mandate is to advance the conservation and use of plant genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Financial support for the core programme of IPGRI is provided, among others, by the governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands. Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the World Bank.

IPGRI's activities include work on several plants yielding important NWFPs - bamboo, rattan, medicinal plants, oil yielding plants and others.

For more information regarding IPGRI's activities related to NWFPs, please contact Oudara Souvannavong, Forest Resources Development Service, FAO, Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 52256661.


ICRAF was named as the coordinating institution for the alternatives to slash-and-burn initiative (ASB), which was created as a result of the 1992 Global Workshop on Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn, held in Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brazil and sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Eight sites were chosen and a Global Steering Group was selected. The ten-year initiative involves a total of 18 national programmes, international research centres and NGOs. In December 1993, the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) approved ASB as one of the projects in its pilot phase. In March 1994, UNDP began to provide funds for the first phase of the ASB initiative.

People in the humid tropics need land to grow food to feed their families and to generate income. Slash-and-burn farming is an unsatisfactory, inefficient and unsustainable short-term answer for most migrants and farmers. They are forced to continue slashing and burning forests, even when population pressure and shortages of arable land mean that this farming system can no longer work. This system provides food for about 500 million of the world's poorest people. It supplies farming families with firewood, medicine and other domestic needs, but it produces low yields of crops and has almost no potential beyond subsistence farming.

ASB is working to reduce deforestation caused by unsustainable slash-and-burn by providing technology alternatives and policy options that eliminate the need to clear additional land and that encourage the reclamation of degraded and abandoned lands. The national institutions, as ASB partners, develop and implement these policies and disseminate and apply research findings.

Benchmark sites for ASB research and training have been chosen to cover the full range of biophysical and socio-economic conditions in the humid tropics where slash-and-burn is practiced. The initial sites are Indonesia, Brazil and Cameroon. ASB publishes a quarterly newsletter Slash-and-Burn: Update on Alternatives.

For more information, please contact ASB/ICRAF, PO Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya. Fax: +254 2 521318.


The Tropical Agricultural Research and Training Centre (CATIE) is an international, non-profit, regional scientific and educational institution founded in 1973. Its main purposes are research and education in the fields of agricultural sciences and natural resources and related subjects in the American topics, with emphasis on Central America and the Caribbean. Countries with membership in CATIE are Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and Venezuela.

CATIE has been working in the area of non-wood forest products research, training and production in Central America and the Caribbean for some years. It started in 1989 with the Olafo Project, Conservation for Sustainable Development in Central America, aiming to test in field conditions the feasibility of using resources from natural ecosystems (forests and mangroves) in a sustainable way to promote the development of rural communities associated with these ecosystems. This objective included the idea of conserving biodiversity by attaching a value to its resources through its sustained use by the communities. Demonstrative areas were established in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras. In every area there is a small technical team staffed by an agronomist, a forester, a scientist and, sometimes, an economist. In these areas the project started working with small communities and later with groups of producers from within these communities. Technical assistance was given to these groups to carry out resource inventories, preparation of management plans for sustained harvest, market surveys and actual harvesting.

The project has been active since the beginning in non-wood forest products, starting with ethnobotanical studies, species screening by market and economic factors, and species selection. These species, which included those for medicinal and ornamental purposes, for insecticides and for fibres for handcrafts and edible plants, were subjected to a series of ecological and agronomic studies, aiming first to develop a basic scheme for the management of their wild populations in the forests, and later to a process leading to cultivation and, eventually, domestication. At present, a suitable level of wild population management has been reached in respect to some species (Quassia amara, Desmoncus spp., Zamia skinner and Reinhardtia gracilis), which are being harvested sustainably by local communities. Ecological studies are being conducted on several other species. The studies will also lead to the development of field practices for the sustained use of these species.

CATIE organizes short training courses and regional meetings to promote the further development of these techniques in Central America. (Source: Alejandro C. Imbach, Head, Biodiversity Area, PO Box 92, 7170 CATIE-Turrialba, Costa Rica. Fax: +506 5561533/5561 421.)


PROTRADE is the trade and export-promotion programme of Germany, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), and is attached to the Industrial Consultancy and Private Sector Promotion Division at the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.

PROTRADE provides services for initiating contacts and promoting trade in processed products by means of storing information in a data bank so that it can be rapidly retrieved and made available to interested parties.

PROTRADE has provided consultancy services whose chief objective is to increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises while ensuring the sustainability of natural resources. PROTRADE activities have included, for example, promoting trade in medicinal and aromatic plant products and essential oils, and the controlled cultivation of spices for the European health food market. A broad range of herbal remedies has enjoyed a long tradition in Germany. Indeed, the drugs used for certain important therapeutic needs contain plant derived active ingredients for which no economical synthetic substitutes are available. Suppliers from developing countries thus have an opening for their products in the German market and German consumers will have an opportunity to examine the effectiveness of these natural drug products. However, before these products can be marketed, they have to be registered with the Federal German Health Office, and they must comply with German standards.

In Asia, PROTRADE projects are already operating in Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia; in Latin America projects are being started in Costa Rica and Guatemala. The United Republic of Tanzania and Morocco are also the focus of PROTRADE project activities in Africa.

For more information, please contact PROTRADE, Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Postfach 5180, D-6236 Eschborn, Germany. Fax: +61 96 797414.


The Inter-American Development Bank's interest and work in the area of NWFPs is aimed at promoting small to medium-scale private enterprise activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, under the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). (The agreement establishing the Multilateral Investment Fund was signed February 1992 by 21 member countries of IDB. The agreement appointing IDB as administrator of the fund was signed at the same time. These became effective in January 1993.) Promoting the economic, political and social viability of new market-based modes of expansion is the task of the US$1.2 billion multilateral investment fund. It is dedicated in particular to broadening participation in the enterprise economy (in micro-enterprises), especially of those people left out of the economic mainstream. In this regard, MIF seeks active partnership with NGOs/PVOs, foundations, associations and other networks that have a track record of success in the region. NWFP-related projects are thus being looked into in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, among others.

MIF is also interested in, and supports through the partners, the activities of the "barefoot biologists" in prospecting plant resources, and is following closely the related initiatives in the region such as the agreement between the pharmaceutical company Merck and Costa Rica's National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio).

MIF will help introduce a new dynamics into the region - investing in venture capital for people. MIF directs its investments along several sectors: a concentration on micro-enterprises and smaller businesses; investments in socially beneficial activities that promote the market; a focus on promoting technology; strengthening women's contribution to development; a spotlight on innovations with demonstration values; an emphasis on building institutions for the long term; active partnerships with other organizations; and flexible and entrepreneurial approaches to investment. MIF invests through three "windows": technical cooperation, human resources development and small enterprise development.

For more information, please contact MIF/IDB, 1300 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20577, USA. Fax: +1 202 9428291.


WHO is involved with traditional medicine in its Action Programme on Essential Drugs. Under its traditional medicine programme, it is currently involved in preparing an example of a model monograph of widely used medicinal plants. The monograph will deal with some 35 plant species and will be produced in three parts: Botanical aspects, Pharmacological properties and Clinical uses.

For more information, please contact Xiaorui Zhang, Medical Officer, Traditional Medicines, WHO, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 7910746.


The Worldwatch Institute is dedicated to fostering a sustainable society, one in which human needs are met in ways that do not threaten the health of the natural environment or future generations. To this end, the Institute conducts interdisciplinary research on emerging global issues, the results of which are published and disseminated to decision-makers, the media and the public. It also makes all data from its publications available on diskette. Concerns of the Worldwatch Institute include, directly or indirectly, the sustainable management and utilization of NWFPs.

For more information, please contact Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. Fax: + 1 202 2967365.


WWF International

The biodiversity unit of WWF International is actively involved in the People and Plants Initiative. The People and Plants Initiative was started in July 1992 by WWF, Unesco, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to promote and support community-based ethnobotanical work in the humid tropics, in order to contribute to the sustainable and equitable use of plant resources Overharvesting of non-cultivated plants is increasingly common, linked to loss of habitat, increase in local use and the growing demands of trade Long-term conservation of plant resources and the knowledge associated with them is needed for the benefit of the local people and for their potential use to communities in other places

The People and Plants Initiative is building support for ethnobotanists from developing countries who work with local people on issues related to the conservation of both plant resources and indigenous ecological knowledge Field activities concentrate on biosphere reserves, World Heritage sites and other protected areas where the organizations have been active in the past.

Work is carried out jointly by teams of local people, park personnel, researchers and university students as a way of building local expertise and reinforcing the interaction between communities, national scientific institutions, nongovernmental organizations and conservation agencies.

For more information, please contact Biodiversity Unit, Conservation Policy Division, WWF International, World Conservation Centre, Avenue du Mont-Blanc, 1196 Gland, Switzerland. Fax:+41 22 3648219.


WWF/USA is a large organization with numerous projects and programme activities. The Biodiversity Support Program (BSP) is a well-funded parent programme - a consortium of WWF, the Nature Conservancy and the World Resources Institute The Biodiversity Conservation Network (BCN) has been set up within BSP to solicit requests for grants for enterprise activities that could contribute to the goal of increasing local interest in biodiversity conservation

The new Eco-Venture Programme of WWF/USA emphasizes generation income for far more people through innovative business plans Some of the plans now being developed are: palm heart processing and Brazil nut shelling in Brazil; ecotourism in Belize; ecotourism in Nepal; butterfly and insect farming in Papua New Guinea; orchid propagation in India, Mexico and Costa Rica; production of aquarium fish in the Philippines; development of honey and beeswax production in eastern Africa; vegetable ivory (from palms) in Namibia; seasonal wild fruit processing in several countries and development of biodiesel from palms in some tropical countries. The business plans aim to change the way in which rural people produce and sell products with emphasis on market orientation.

Without quick returns from a production activity, it is difficult to provide the necessary incentive to local people to support conservation and to create a visible ripple effect on local economy Economic sustainability of enterprises is important for environmental sustainability. The recent initiatives discussed here indicate that the romantic notion of jungle people with baskets collecting fruits and nuts (without adequate technological, investment and market support) may not be the solution for improving sustainability

For more information about Eco-Venture Programme, please contact Jason Clay, WWF/USA, 1250 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037. Fax: +1 202 2399211.

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The Social Science and Economics Program of WWF/USA (SSE) is a new programme, formed by merging the conservation finance and wild lands and human needs programmes SSE's primary goal is to assist the regional and policy programmes in promoting sustainable rural livelihoods through socially, economically and ecologically sound management of natural resources at both the national and local levels. In areas such as conservation finance, ecoventures, ICDPs and populations, SSE provides expertise to help the regional programmes create and support enabling policy environments and institutions, as well as the development and dissemination of locally based approaches to the management and use of biologically important resources It seeks to develop capacity within developing countries as well as within WWF, building on investments that WWF is already making in the field Two basic missions of SSE are: providing WWF and other international agencies with technical expertise in specific disciplines of conservation and development; linking WWF's local policy efforts directly to lessons learned from what works in the field, and helping to translate local lessons into broader lessons for the Policy Program.

For conservation and development specializations, at the field level, SSE will also provide experience and advice in several specialized areas. For ecoventures. SSE will provide specific assistance and expertise to regional staff by helping to identify candidates for model projects, providing technical assistance to advance specific ecoventure and ecotourism projects and providing a link with key industries such as the travel industry for ecotourism.

For more information, please contact WWF/USA, 1250 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037. Fax: +1 202 2939211.


WWF/UK is also very interested in non-wood forest products and is in the process of developing a handbook to help project managers around the world with the development of non-wood forest products. In particular it will give them the methodology on how to approach the whole issue of non-timber forest products, it will cover a range of different products round the world and will also have an economic section. WWF/UK has already produced some publications in conjunction with other institutions such as "Plants for People" by Anna Lewington produced in collaboration with the Natural History Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

For more information, please contact Clive Wicks, Senior Conservation and Development Executive, WWF/UK, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1XR, UK. Fax: +44 483 426409.


ATI is a non-governmental, non-profit development assistance organization created by the United States Congress and in operation since 1978 It is promoting commercially viable and environmentally sound technologies and enterprises in countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean By enhancing the entrepreneurial and natural resource base, ATI helps communities to build economies for a sustainable future.

ATI operates at the sharp end of project identification, design, appraisal and management of small enterprises Its emphasis is to help small producer groups to succeed in their business ventures. ATI and its local partners work directly with small producers to devise an improved business plan for an entire economic subsector, test it under varying conditions, and diffuse the plan to the benefit of small producers Partner organizations (NGOs, local groups, women's organizations, tribal committees, etc.) across the developing continents form the framework for action A growing number of large institutions are also ATl's collaborators. ATI has been subcontracted by other agencies to design and start up some of the forest-based enterprises These include the tagua nut project in Ecuador and Colombia for Conservation International, and the management/harvesting of xate palm, chicle and allspice in Guatemala's Paten for IDB. New projects under investigation include: NWFP-based pharmaceuticals in Nepal and India; application of mushroom spawn technology and enterprise development in Nepal; oak-tassar silk development and essential oils in the Chamoli region of the Indian Himalayas; commercial micropropagation of kapok trees in Java, Indonesia; commercialization of selected agroforestry and non-wood forest products in the Philippines; development of essential oils and medicinal plants in Ecuador and Bolivia; improvement in the production system of allspice in Guatemala; and small-scale production of neem oil in Zimbabwe Some other new initiatives in the planning stage include using jatropha (Jatropha curcas, J glandulifera) seed oil as diesel fuel substitute and the establishment of a medicinal plants information network in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).

ATl's activities with NWFP collectors and processors are intended to assist small-scale producers in gaining more of the value-added in the NWFP subsector, while providing incentives for the primary collectors to harvest and manage NWFP resources sustainably.

For more information, please contact Eric L. Hyman, ATI, 1828 L St NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036, USA. Fax: +1 202 2934598.


ICIMOD was established in 1983 out of widespread recognition of the environmental degradation of mountain habitats and the increasing poverty of mountain populations Although international in its concerns, ICIMOD focuses on the specific, complex and practical problems of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. As part of its multidisciplinary approach to solving the problems of mountain ecosystems, ICIMOD is involved in development of non-wood forest products, such as fruits, nuts, medicinal herbs, etc

For more information, please contact ICIMOD, PO Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal. Fax: +977 1 624509/524317.


NRI has a wide experience of research and development work with NWFPs in many developing countries. Areas of activity include: production within plantation systems; development of sustainable production within natural forest and agroforestry systems; value-added processing and marketing

Work on these commodities is led and coordinated by two specialist units, the Flavours and Phytochemistry Section and the Plant Commodities Economics Section. Services offered by NRI on NWFPs embrace: technical, economic and market research; product quality and marketability evaluations; development of primary production and processing methodologies; equipment procurement and commissioning; training (in the United Kingdom and overseas); provision of staff for both short-term consultancies and long-term overseas assignments; and project management.

NRI recently published three booklets in its series on the use of trees by livestock, namely Ficus, Caliandra and Erythrina The aim of the series is to bring together published information on selected genera of trees which have the potential to increase the supply of fodder for ruminants. Other publications in the series cover Prosopis, Acacia, Gliricidia, Quercus and Cassia.

For more information, please contact C.L. Green, Natural Resources Institute, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4TB, UK. Fax: +44 634 880066/883388.


IIED is an independent, non-profit organization that seeks to promote sustainable patterns of world development through research, services, training, policy studies, consensus building and public information. Established in 1971, the Institute advises policy-makers and supports and collaborates with southern specialists and institutions working in similar areas. IIED's work is undertaken with, or on behalf of, governments and international agencies, the academic community, foundations and NGOs, community organizations and the people they represent Focusing on the linkages between economic development, the environment and human needs, the Institute has research programmes in a number of areas critical to sustainable development including human settlements, sustainable agriculture, environmental planning and management, forestry, drylands, environmental economics and climate change.

The Environmental Economics Programme of IIED has been active in the area of tropical forest use. The Environmental Economics Programme was established in 1988 - under the name of London Environmental Economics Centre - as a joint initiative of IIED and the Economics Department of University College, London (UCL) The Programme is now wholly integrated within IIED, although collaborative links with UCL continue.

The Programme is supported by grant funding from a number of sources, including the governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden. In 1993 the Programme embarked on a new programme of Collaborative Research in the Economics of Environment and Development (CREED), funded initially by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and conducted jointly with the Institute for Environmental Studies (IES), Amsterdam The CREED programme aims to strengthen research capacity in environmental economics and policy analysis in developing countries, mainly through collaborative research with selected partner organizations.

During 1992-1993, IIED carried out a project on the economic value of species information and its role in biodiversity conservation. The project evaluated the costs and benefits of generating and using species information, through case-studies of pharmaceutical prospecting and Costa Rica's National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio). The study also explored various ways of creating economic incentives for taxonomic research and conservation activities.

Currently, under the Malaysia UK Forest Biodiversity Management Programme, IIED's Environmental Economics Programme is assisting the Overseas Development Administration in developing, coordinating and conducting several substudies related to the valuation of non-wood forest products and services and trade-offs between wood and non-wood values. A collaborating partner in the United Kingdom is the Natural History Museum. Partners in Malaysia include the Federal Forestry Department, Forest Research Institute, public universities and other research agencies.

Since 1992 the Programme has been collaborating with the IIED Sustainable Agriculture Programme and WWF International in an exploration of linkages between economic valuation techniques and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods, for analysis of the importance of wild products, especially wild foods, in rural livelihoods in developing countries. Research to date has focused on a review of the literature, methodological development and preliminary case-study applications. Further work will emphasize the testing and refinement of methods, as well as training activities, through additional case-studies in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

For more information, please contact Joshua Bishop, Programme Director, Environmental Economics Programme, IIED, 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1 HODD, UK. Fax: +44 71 3882826.)


The forestry activities of WRI used to be more related to sustainable natural forest management in the humid tropics for timber. Recently, however, WRI has moved into the area of non-wood products through its regional programmes and the "from-the-ground-up" programme. With CIFOR funding, a series of economic case-studies are being developed in the Amazon. These will look at alternative resource-based activities, will attempt to quantify their contributions to household income and distributional equity and will monitor problems encountered, pressure points and implications for policy The "from-the-ground-up" programme promotes local community initiatives in conservation-oriented land management. Some of the state-of-knowledge reports on this programme are related to non-wood products. Another important area of WRI activities is related to the conservation of biodiversity.

For more information, please contact Nels Johnson, Forests and Biodiversity, WRI, 1709 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006. Fax: + 1 202 6380036.


CI was established in 1987 and has devoted attention and energy towards harnessing the power of economics to promote conservation. This is reflected in its various programmes in conservation finance, economic policy, ecotourism and marketing biodiversity products CI is dedicated to the protection of natural ecosystems and the species that rely on these habitats for survival Conservation depends on finding ways for people to respect and live harmoniously with nature

The CI initiatives are based on using natural resources sustainably that can be harvested without harming the ecosystem, and also on the premise that economic benefits generated from enterprises must return to the local communities.

Currently, CI is operating in 23 countries CI's SEED (Sound Environmental Enterprise Development) Ventures Programme helps to develop commercial markets that will contribute to forest conservation by enhancing local incomes from forests. SEED ventures involve rapid surveys of the resource, development of sustainable harvesting/management systems, development of appropriate process technology, identification of market outlets and the establishment of marketing mechanisms. CI focuses on building up local institutions to take over the programme functions Local CI staff are nearly always recruited in the country

The SEED venture initiative was started in 1990, when CI undertook to link the sustainable harvesting of tagua, an ivory-like palm nut, by the forest communities of Ecuador to prominent clothing and jewellery manufacturers all over the world. SEED venture operations have now expanded beyond tagua nut buttons and jewellery to a wide range of products for food, clothing, cosmetics, gift articles and decorative items CI is also involved in ecotourism ventures that are decentralized, low impact and community-based; three such ventures have been inaugurated in Guatemala, Ghana and the Philippines

Biodiversity prospecting is yet another field in which CI is involved It has embarked on a bioprospecting programme with BristolMyers-Squibb, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Government and people of Suriname. At first, prospecting will be limited to flowering plants, but future activities may also include fungi and insects.

For more information, please contact Michael Saxenian, Senior Director for Conservation Enterprises, Conservation International, 1015 18th St NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036. Fax: + 1 202 8875188.


Tree Talk is a non-profit, educational organization involved in developing practical and educational software for sustainable forestry It is a sister organization to the Forest Partnership. Tree Talk has just developed and released Woods of the world, an interactive, multimedia database on the world's timber species.

Tree Talk is also developing A forest of choices, an educational database consisting of reference information on economic, political, ecological and social issues affecting forest users This information includes journal and newspaper articles, research papers, conference proceedings, books, full-colour and black-and-white photographs and video footage Both Woods of the world and A forest of choices are part of a software series called Software for a healthy environment (SHE), which will be updated and expanded each year

For more information, please contact Tristram Hill, Tree Talk, 431 Pine Street, Burlington, VT 05401, USA. Fax: +1 802 8634344.


The Forest Partnership, Inc. established in 1992, is a non-profit corporation. Its expertise is in the forest products industry, "green' marketing, business management and organizational development and architecture Its main purpose is to provide practical solutions to environmental, economic and social problems resulting from unsustainable methods of harvesting and managing the world's forest resources With these goals in mind, it conducts research and disseminates information that is important for encouraging ecofriendly and sustainable forestry and forest products use.

For more information, please contact Richard Miller, Executive Director, The Forest Partnership, Inc., PO Box 426, 431 Pine Street, Burlington, VT 05402, USA. Fax: +1 802 8634344.


FSC was formally established in 1993 as an independent, non-profit NGO to provide consumers with reliable information about forest products and their uses FSC seeks to promote good forest management throughout the world - environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable FSC principles of forest management underline the need to respect indigenous people's right to and efficient use of the forest's multiple products and services. The Board of FSC is structured to achieve a balance between social, environmental and economic interests as well as between North and South

For more information, please contact Timothy J. Synott, Executive Director, The Forest Stewardship Council, Avenida Hidalgo 502, Oaxaca, Mexico. Fax: +52 951 62110.


The New York Botanical Garden, apart from its multifarious activities in the botanical arena, is also the home of the Society for Economic Botany, under whose auspices it publishes the quarterly journal Economic Botany. Many publications of the Scientific Publications Department of the New York Botanical Garden provide interesting and valuable information on non-wood forest products. Advances in Economic Botany as an international forum publishes original, monograph-length research papers and collections of papers; it also organizes symposia dealing with the uses and management of plants

For more information, please contact Christine Padoch, Scientist, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York 10458-5126, USA. Fax: +1 718 2206504.


The Forest Conservation Programme of IUCN has two main components in its conservation strategy: one concerned with policy, and the other concerned with the application of this policy in the field. Each component feeds on the other and each is critical to the effectiveness of the other.

Work on non-wood forest products is a good example of the way in which the programme is attempting to achieve its goal of forest conservation within a context of use that is sustainable and equitable. To illustrate this a special report: "Making the most of forests", was included in IUCN Bulletin No. 3 (1994). The special report contained several articles that examine some of the issues and give an insight into some of the work being carried out by the Forest Conservation Programme and its partners.

The IUCN Forest Conservation Programme is building a network of people who can contribute to the process of policy and institutional reforms to ensure that our natural surroundings are more benign and more socially equitable than has often been the case. Workshops have already been held in partnership with other groups in Brazil, Colombia and Kenya, and others are planned. Field projects in selected locations will continue to be the testing ground for innovative policies, and a valuable source of the experience needed to modify existing policy and practice.

IUCN is currently developing a policy statement on NWFPs which, while not a magic solution, will explore in more depth the implications of some of the issues and controversies surrounding this crucial topic.

For more information, please contact Don Gilmour, Forest Conservation Programme Coordinator, Rue Mauvernay 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 9990025


The United Nations University was established in 1973 to be an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training and the dissemination of knowledge through a centre located in Tokyo and a network of research and training centres located in the developed and developing countries. UNU focuses attention on global problems that require vision and concerted effort. In 1994, it has initiated a Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI) which is a long-term commitment on the part of the University to ensure that the productive forces in the world have access to the best scientific approaches for securing the manufacturing of goods without affecting the critical balance of the ecosystem. ZERI will undertake scientific research, involving centres of excellence from around the world, with the objective of achieving technological breakthroughs that will facilitate manufacturing without any form of waste.

One of the projects of ZERI involves, for example, the extraction of preservatives, colour pigments and essential oils from the green mass of forests. The first objective of this research initiative is to search for breakthrough expertise in the distillation of essential oils, preservatives and colour pigments. Under different pressures and temperatures, different types of valued ingredients can be extracted from the green mass. The second objective is to design mobile distillation units. These units could serve remote forest areas and provide a revenue stream for the investors. The third objective is to study the use of the residues after distillation, for fertilization purposes. Since the amount of active ingredients extracted is limited to 1-2 percent, the remainder could potentially be used as a soil enricher.

For more information, please contact Gunter Pauli, Advisor to the Rector, The United Nations University, 53-70, Jingumae 5-chrome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150, Japan. Fax: +81 33 4992828.


The University was established in 1980, based on a resolution of the UN General Assembly. It is an international institution dedicated to the promotion of peace through education and research in the fields of human development, conflict resolution and the management of natural resources.

As part of its education programme, the University conducts courses in the valorization and sustainable management of forest resources, including non-wood forest products and services.

For more information, please contact Felipe Matos, Programa de Recursos Naturales, Universidad pare la Paz, Apdo 138, 6100 Ciudad Coln, Costa Rica. Fax: +506 2491929/2534227.


ACEER is a non-profit organization offering dynamic, innovative and practical strategies to counteract the misuse and exploitation of rain forest habitats. It aims to unite ecologically concerned individuals and private companies with local inhabitants in a pragmatic and mutually beneficial conservation strategy. ACEER facilities are now in use throughout the year and the number of researchers and scientific studies in progress is growing. ACEER also offers children's workshops to inspire children to become strong advocates for the conservation of the Amazon rain forest.

For more information, please contact ACEER Foundation, 10 Environs Park, Helena, Alabama 35080, USA.


The Rural Development Forestry Network (RDFN), based at the Overseas Development Institute, was established under the name of Social Forestry Network in 1985. The Rural Development Forestry Research Fellows divide their time between appropriate research and running the interactive network. Twice a year, the network publishes a newsletter and a set of network papers in English, French and Spanish. Topics of the series have included forest policy; forestry extension; local participation in the management of natural woodland; farm forestry; nurseries as extension tools; institutional change; managing the forest boundary and non-wood forest products.

The network currently links about 1900 members, of whom at least 70 percent are in developing countries - where access to up-to-date comparative thinking about specific issues and current written material is difficult. Although most networkers are foresters involved in forestry for rural development, the membership also embraces a wide range of other natural and social scientists. Membership is free of charge. Members contribute to and receive papers and newsletters containing information on recent work, workshops and other recent events. RDFN is funded by the European Commission and ODA

For more information, please contact Gill Shepherd, Rural Development Forestry Network, ODI, Regent's College, Regent's Park, Inner Circle, London NW1 4NS, UK. Fax: +44 71 4877590.


The East-West Center, a centre for cultural and technical interchange between East and West, is a national educational institution established by the United States Congress and incorporated by the state of Hawaii. It fosters mutual understanding and cooperation among the governments and people of the Asia-Pacific region, including the United States. The East-West Center Program on Environment holds a Community Forestry Writing Workshop annually and concentrates on a different topic each year. The Center plans to focus the 1995 workshop on non-wood forest products and also to increase research in this area. Many non-wood forest products have a long history as cash crops for indigenous people.

For more information, please contact Deanna Donovan, Renewable Resources Programme on Environment, East-West Center, 1777 East-West Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96848, USA. Fax: +1 808 9447298.


EFI is an independent and nongovernmental research body. It was founded in 1993 and started its activities in Joensuu, Finland. Its purpose is to conduct problem-oriented and multidisciplinary forest research at the European level in order to serve the needs of policymaking and decision-making bodies in Europe. Its aim, therefore, is to provide improved basic data and to serve decision-makers by studying the interaction between the elements in forestry, forest products and the environment, and also by building future scenarios based on these studies.

The main R&D themes that are given the highest priority in EFl's research programme are forest sustainability, forestry and possible global climate change, structural changes in markets for forest products (wood and non-wood) and services, forest policy analysis and forest sector information services and research methodology.

Figure 23

NWFPs figure in the list of EFl's research and development priorities. The theme "Structural changes in markets for forest products (wood and non-wood) and services" includes activities on preferences for and valuation of non-wood products.

For more information, please contact Birger Solberg, Director, Torikatu 34, Joensuu, FIN-80100, Finland. Fax: +358 73124393.


UNIDO was active during 1993-94 in the area of utilizing medicinal and aromatic plants. It provided technical assistance for: the strengthening of the Centre for Traditional Medicine in Pyongyang in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; the Quality and Technology Centre producing plant-based products in Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam; Dr Cemil Senel Laboratory producing a herbal medicine in Turkey; and the Product and Process Development Centre for Essential Oils in Kannauj, India. Technology was transferred for the improvement of cultivation and processing of aromatic plants at Pemba Essential Oils Distillery in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania and the extraction of the sweetener stevioside at the Food Research Institute in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Non-wood forest products (essential oils, spices and medicinal preparations) from 14 selected companies in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and Rwanda were promoted at the Biofach Trade Fair held in Wiesbaden, Germany in March 1994. This project was sponsored by UNIDO, the UNIDO Investment Promotion Services Office. in Cologne and PROTRADE (GTZ) of Germany.

For more information, please contact Tuley De Silva, Special Technical Advisor, Chemical Industries Branch, UNIDO, D-1222 Vienna International Centre, A-1400 Vienna, Austria. Fax: +431 2309615.


CIFOR, incorporated within the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) system, became an operational entity in May 1993, with the signature of the host country agreement between the Government of Indonesia and CIFOR.

ClFOR's medium-term plan of action consists of five major programme areas: policy development; management and conservation of natural forests; reforestation of degraded lands; products and markets; and support for research through human resource development, databases and information dissemination.

Because policy failures are so often the major cause of deforestation, a concentration on policy research would provide the greatest benefits to ClFOR's clients. Policy analysts will need new data, or reworking of relevant old data, to prepare new policy options and these data will be provided by ClFOR's biological and technological programmes. The strong focus on research driven by demand may also help the national forestry research systems in developing countries to redefine their own priorities. An important component of the programme on products and markets is non-wood forest products. ClFOR's focus on NWFPs will be on people and products at the local level. CIFOR will also be working on a global model for NWFPs.

For more information, please contact Manuel Ruiz Perez, Acting Director, Products and Markets, CIFOR, PO Box 6596 JKPWB, Jakarta 10065, Indonesia. Fax: +62 251 326433.


The Rainforest Medical Foundation was recently established by a group of physicians in the Netherlands. The general aim is to contribute to the conservation of the tropical rain forest and to support its indigenous people. More specifically, however, the Foundation seeks to reach its goal through the following, health-oriented activities:

• focus attention on the conservation, study and use of medicinal plants and their products;

• provide material and non-material assistance in the battle against negative health effects as a result of global destruction of the tropical forest;

• create funds for health projects for people from the rain forests; and

• organize a travelling exhibition on the consequences of rain forest deforestation for human health.

By increasing public awareness of the far-reaching consequences of deforestation and by allocating funds to indigenous health projects in developing countries, the Foundation also expects to contribute to ongoing ethnobotanical and ethnomedical research in the tropics.

For more information, please contact A.P. van Seters, Secretary, Einthovenlaan 8, 2105 TJ Heemstede, the Netherlands. Fax: +31 23 293483.

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