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On page 23 (of Non-Wood News No. 4) in the definition of NWFPs, I continuously see "as well as services derived for the forests and allied land use". Kindly write in the bulletin board of the next issue what things can be included in this. As I understand it, they are the services provided by trees in terms of soil and water conservation and environment improvement, but continuously ignored by all because these services do not have an international market, but if ignored the price has to be paid by future generations.

I am giving emphasis to this aspect because: i) this is directly related to the environment; and ii) this decides the production of NWFPs from sources other than trees, i.e. herbs, grass, or from a system whereby trees make an environment for their survival.

Please write your comments in the next issue on this aspect and ask readers to send their contribution. (A.K. Sharma, Scientist, Division of Resource Management, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur 342003, Rajasthan, India)

Ed. note: Mr Sharma points to an important topic, which is also related to the question of terminology and classification. The following categories of the forest-based services can be considered:


Environmental services can include global climate effects (e.g. carbon dioxide absorption and mitigation of global warming), protection of soils and water resources (including quality), support to agricultural productivity and sustainability, conservation of biological diversity, combating desertification, protection of coastal areas and coastal fisheries, improvement of urban spaces.

Social and economic services can include recreation (hunting, fishing), leases, grazing; aesthetic, cultural, historical, spiritual and scientific values.

An important issue remains: how terminology and classification can be harmonized to allow reporting and comparison across countries, and what are the most appropriate methods to value these services.

Further reading: Working Paper No. 24, Ecotourism and other services derived from forests in the Asia-Pacific region: outlook to 2010, published within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Outlook Study (see under FAO Forest Policy and Planning Division in International Action, p. 44). This working paper reports on the estimated economic value of various services of forests at the global level.

Service value (1994 us$/ha/year)  
Nutrient cycling 361
Climate regulation 141
Raw materials 138
Erosion control 96
Waste treatment 87
Recreation 66
Food production 43
Genetic resources 16
Soil formation 10
Water supply 3
Disturbance regulation 2
Water regulation 2
Biological control 2
Cultural 2
Total value (us$/ha/year) 969

(Source: R. Costanza et al. 1997. The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature. WWW version at:

The Working Papers of the Asia-Pacific Outlook study are available at:
As mentioned in Mr Sharma’s letter, it would be interesting to have our readers’ views on this subject.

TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa is currently undertaking a study to document the trade and utilization of bushmeat in seven eastern/southern African countries. I was wondering whether you would be willing to put a brief summary of TRAFFIC’s project into your next issue (Ed. note: We have – for more details see "TRAFFIC" in International Action), requesting any information, data and literature that relate to the utilization and trade of bushmeat in the seven eastern/southern African countries.

We have developed a comprehensive bibliography of the utilization of bushmeat (ranging from insects and birds to large mammals) so that I would gladly undertake a search for anyone who sends me literature and who is interested in a particular issue, country, etc. I could then send them the specific search output list. How does this sound to you?

I look forward to hearing from you in due course. (Rob Barnett, TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa – Kenya Office, Box 68200, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel./fax: (+254 2) 890471; e-mail:

Several years ago, ambrette seeds were produced and exported from northern Peru. The region where Abelmoschus moschatus was grown for its seeds has been so thoroughly razed by the coca and marihuana growers that no ambrette seed is available nor any true Abelmoschus moschatus.

My partner and I want to revive this production. We have not been able to find a source of authentic, viable Abelmoschus moschatus seeds, of a grade good enough for the perfumery trade. Most of the advertisements I find on the Internet lean to aromatherapy and other consumer end products so I have not been able to source the seeds through these commercial seed sellers. (Patricio Castro B., e-mail:

I wanted to thank you for sending me the March 1997 issue of your information magazine. I found it very interesting and useful for the research that I am doing in agriculture. (Daniela Kiguel, AIES, Kibbutz Ketura, Israel)

I would like to thank you for having sent me a copy of your NWFP bulletin. I was very impressed by the good quality of this publication and would like to congratulate you for this very useful initiative. I indeed hope to be on your mailing list for future issues too. (Stefano Padulosi, IPGRI, Rome)

The students of forest engineering thank you very much for the material sent to us. We received all this material and have made photocopies for distribution to all our classmates. We promise to study all this, since it is very important for us and is the first in this field. Thank you too for adding our name to your mailing list in this important and wonderful newsletter. Este mensaje fue elaborado con 100 por ciento de electrones reciclables !!! (Julio Cesar Magne, Secretario Ejecutivo C.E.I.F., Centro de Estudiantes de Ingeniería Forestal, PO Box 1356, Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

Thank you for continuing to send me copies of Non-Wood News. I find it an excellent newsletter, full of very interesting and relevant material. (Dr John Doran, Forestry and Forest Products, Australian Tree Seed Centre, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia)

Your publication Non-Wood News is very informative and useful for our work in the field of Ethnobiology. (Archana Godbole, Applied Environmental Research Foundation, Pune, India)

Thank you for producing a great newsletter. (Bruce Hoffman, Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences, Miami, Florida, USA)

I have now had a chance to read the March 1997 Non-Wood News cover to cover and I want to commend you and your colleagues for doing a fantastic job of assembling information. I think it is exactly the kind of product/service that an international agency should have as top priority. I know the world is now going bananas over the Web, but to me it is still not a substitute for having a compendium (which doesn’t lead you off on new diversions with every scroll) like this. Also worthy of praise is that it not solely an organ for singing FAO’s praise... (Arnie Schlissel,


"Nature hides her secrets through intrinsic grandeur but not through deceit"



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