RECENT EVENTS


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TOWARDS A MEDITERRANEAN NETWORK OF NTFPS

MÉRTOLA, PORTUGAL
14-18 JANUARY 1998

This workshop, organized by the WWF Mediterranean Programme, established a network on NTFPs in the Mediterranean region between projects in Greece (Parnon), Italy (Monte Arcosu), Lebanon, Morocco (Argania), Portugal (Mértola), Spain (Mallorca) and Tunisia (El Feidja). The main objectives of the network were defined and one single important NTFP was identified for each area (chestnut in Parnon; honey in El Feidja, Monte Arcosu and Mallorca; argan oil in Argania; pine nuts in Lebanon; and reeds in Mértola) and action plans were developed for these products.

Other topics discussed during the workshop were the exploitation of and trade in medicinal plants in the Mediterranean, fair trade and certification of NTFPs.

For more information, please contact:
WWF Mediterranean Programme Office
Via Po, 25/c - 00198 - Rome - Italy

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INTERNATIONAL EXPERT WORKSHOP ON THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF NON-WOOD GOODS AND BENEFITS FROM BOREAL AND COLD TEMPERATE FORESTS

JOENSUU, FINLAND
18-22 JANUARY 1998

For more information and for copies of the
conference proceedings (EFI Proceedings No. 23), please contact
European Forestry Institute,
Torikatu 34, FIN-80100 Joensuu, Finland.
Fax: (+358 13) 124 393;
e-mail: efisec@efi.joensuu.fi;
http://www.efi.fi
[See under International Action, FAO for more information on this workshop.]

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MEDICINAL PLANTS FOR SURVIVAL: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDICINAL PLANTS

BANGALORE, INDIA
16-19 FEBRUARY 1998

For more information, please contact
The Foundation for the Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT),
International Development and Research Centre,
50 MSH Layout, 2nd stage, 3rd Main, Anand Nagar, Bangalore 560024, India.
Fax: (+91 80) 3414167;
e-mail: root@frlht.ernet.in;
http://ece.iisc.ernet.in/ernet-members/frlht.html
[See under International Action, FAO for more information on this conference.]

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NTFP MARKETING AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT

POKHARA, NEPAL
FEBRUARY 1998

For more information, please contact
Mr Achyut Raj Gywali, Course Coordinator,
Institute of Forestry, PO Box 43, Pokhara, Nepal.
Fax: (+977 61) 21563.

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POTENTIAL MARKETS FOR CERTIFIED FOREST PRODUCTS IN EUROPE

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
13 MARCH 1998

The European Forest Institute and the Universität für Bodenkultur Wien arranged an international one-day meeting with the University of Helsinki, Finland, the Universität Freiburg im Breisgau and the University of North Wales.

Certification has been one of the most controversial and hotly debated issues in the forestry and forest industry sector during recent years. The majority of discussions have so far focused on political or technical-organizational questions related to sustainability in forestry and its certification. However, few data are available regarding the key factor for certification efforts: potential markets and potential market reactions.

An EC-FAIR research project was launched by a team of four European universities to close this apparent knowledge gap. Its task, inter alia, was to analyse the potential markets for certified forest products in Europe. The analysis covers the European main consumer markets (on the basis of representative surveys) and also key national business markets (analysis of the whole forestry-wood chain within each country) in Europe.

The results of these extensive analyses will, for the first time, be presented to and discussed with business people, policy-makers, researchers and others.

For more information, please visit the Web site:
http://www.efi.joensuu.fi/events

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NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS - A WORKSHOP

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
3-5 APRIL 1998

British Columbian communities that have traditionally depended on staple resources such as timber and salmon are looking for new sources of long-term economic strength and stability. Non-timber forest products, which include floral greens, wild foods and medicinal plants, offer opportunities for economically viable and ecologically sustainable businesses and jobs. NTFPs are the basis of multimillion dollar industries in the Pacific regions of the United States and Canada. The full value of these industries is unknown, but estimates such as the following suggest the extent of their economic and employment potential.

The NTFP industry is growing at a time when fewer jobs are available in the conventional forest industry. Well-managed NTFPs are potentially renewable in much shorter time frames than those required for timber production. Areas that are unsuitable for timber production, areas that have already been logged and areas that must be kept free of forest cover, such as power line rights-of-way, may be very suitable for the production of a wide range of valuable NTFPs. The dramatic international growth in popularity of ecotourism offers many opportunities for linking activities such as wildcrafting and gathering wild foods with new and existing tourism products.

For more information, please contact
Inner Coast Natural Resource Centre,
Box 9, Alert Bay, British Colombia V0N 1AO, Canada;
or
Darcy A. Mitchell, Ph.D. Adjunct Faculty,
School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Canada.
E-mail: dmitchel@hsd.uvic.ca

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ELEVENTH SESSION OF THE AFRICAN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION

DAKAR, SENEGAL
14-17 APRIL 1998

At the last session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC), the Commission noted the scope of forestry statistics currently collected by FAO and expressed the hope that they could soon be expanded to give more emphasis to non-wood forest products and wildlife. For this reason, it welcomed the consideration being given by FAO to establishing a regional forestry capacity in Africa which could facilitate the provision of statistics reflecting the continent's particular interests.

The issue of NWFPs was raised again in the Commission's recommendation with regard to launching a Forestry Sector Outlook Study (FOSA). The Commission, in fact, called for particular attention to be given to wildlife, institutional and policy issues, non-wood forest products and non-monetized goods and services of forests.

For more information, please contact
Mr Pap Koné, Forestry Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa (RAF),
PO Box 1628, Accra, Ghana.
Fax: (+233 21) 668427;
e-mail: FAO-RAF@fao.org

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REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON MEDICINAL PLANTS AND TRADITIONAL MEDICINE IN AFRICA

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
14-18 APRIL 1998

The workshop was organized jointly by the Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Kenya and the Traditional Medicine System Organisation and the School of Pharmacy, University of Western Cape of South Africa, in the framework of the regional medicinal plants and local communities project initiated by ELCI with support from IDRC, DANIDA and the Netherlands [see Non-Wood News, No. 5, p. 48 for more information on this project].

It was the second in a series of workshops, organized by ELCI and IDRC, which are designed to identify needs and priority actions in medicinal plants and traditional medicine in Africa. A similar workshop was organized in November 1997 in Conakry, Guinea for NGOs, researchers and traditional healers from francophone African countries.

The Cape Town workshop brought together researchers, conservationists and traditional and "modern" medical practitioners to share experiences in the area of medicinal plants and traditional medicine.

The workshop made the following general recommendations:

In addition, some detailed recommendations were made concerning the following issues:

Follow-up action includes:

For more information, please contact
Mr Ernest Rukangira, Coordinator,
Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity Working Group,
Medicinal Plants and Local Communities Programme,
Environment Liaison Centre International,
PO Box 72461, Nairobi, Kenya.
Fax: (+254 2) 562175;
e-mail: erukangira@elci.sasa.unon.org

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WORKING MEETING ON KARITÉ

ROME, ITALY
15-17 APRIL 1998

[See under International Action for more information on this meeting.]

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FIRST INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF AROMATIC AND MEDICINAL MEDITERRANEAN PLANTS

CONIMBRIGA, PORTUGAL
24-26 APRIL 1998

[See under International Action for more information on this meeting.]

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PERSPECTIVES FOR PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT IN NORTHEAST INDIA

ITANAGAR, INDIA
27-29 APRIL 1998

This workshop, attended by more than 100 participants, was organized by the G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development to formulate general recommendations for the future course of research in ecology and environment in northeastern India. The workshop was in the form of lead talks, poster presentations and group discussions. Six major themes were discussed: Land, water and energy management; Conservation of biological diversity; Environmental physiology and biotechnology; Indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable rural development; Human resource development; and Environmental impact assessment. The issue of NWFPs was discussed under Conservation of biological diversity. It was suggested that possibilities of enterprise-based conservation of high economic value taxa should be explored in terms of sustainable harvest from natural populations or on-farm cultivation. More than 30 recommendations were formulated.

For more information, please contact
Scientist-in-charge, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development,
North-East Unit, Vivek Vihar,
Itanagar 791113, India.
Fax: (+91 360) 211773;
e-mail: gbpine@asm.nic.in

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INTERNATIONAL EXPERT MEETING ON RATTAN CULTIVATION: ACHIEVEMENTS, PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
12-14 MAY, 1998

Sponsored by the European Community and organized and cosponsored by CIRAD-Forêt (France), Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, Innoprise Corporation Sdn. Bhd (Sabah, Malaysia), Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew, UK) and Forest Research Centre (Sabah, Malaysia), the workshop's main objectives workshop were to:

Although the workshop focused on Malaysia, case study papers were also presented from other countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia.

For more information, please contact
Dr Roberto Bacilieri, CIRAD-Forêt,
UMNO Building, PO Box 60793, 91017 Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia.
Fax: (+60 89) 763192;
e-mail: Barober@pc.jaring.my;
or
Dr Raja Barizan, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong,
52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Fax: (+60 3) 6367753;
e-mail: Barizan@frim.gov.my

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INTERNATIONAL EXPERT WORKSHOP ON NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS IN CENTRAL AFRICA

LIMBE, CAMEROON
10-15 MAY 1998

[See under International Action, FAO and Special Features for information on this workshop.]

For more information, please contact
United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
Information Center, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington,
DC 20523-0016, USA.
Fax: (+1 202) 216 3524;
http://carpe.gecp.virginia.edu

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PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS and CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF PLANT BIODIVERSITY

CHANIA, CRETE, GREECE
18 MAY - 5 JUNE 1998

These two intensive courses were offered by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania in its efforts to train scientists interested in these two fields.

For more information, please contact
Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh),
Alsyllio Agrokipiou,
PO Box 85, GR-73 100 Chania, Crete, Greece.
Fax: (+30 821) 81154.

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NINTH NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ITALIAN SOCIETY OF PHYTOCHEMISTRY

CETRARO (CS), ITALY
27-30 MAY 1998

For more information, please contact
Prof. Francesco Menichini, Direttore Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche,
Università della Calabria,
87030 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy.
Fax: (+39) 0984 493032;
e-mail: f.menichini@unical.it

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FIRST INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON THE CONSERVATION OF MEDICINAL PLANTS IN TRADE IN EUROPE

KEW, SURREY, UK
22-23 JUNE 1998

The symposium was organized by TRAFFIC Europe in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the IUCN/SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.

The symposium consisted of the following main themes: Status and trends of medicinal plant trade in Europe: an overview; From collectors to users; Management regimes and regulations; Conventions and international agreements; and Workable solutions.

For more information, please contact
Ms Anne Vanden Bloock, TRAFFIC Europe,
Waterloosteenweg 608, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.
Fax: (+32 2) 343 25 65;
e-mail: TRAFFIC_EUROPE@compuserve.com

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INTERNATIONAL TRAINING COURSE IN COMMUNITY FORESTRY EXTENSION AT THE REGIONAL COMMUNITY FORESTRY TRAINING CENTER (RECOFTC)

KASETSART UNIVERSITY, BANGKOK, THAILAND
29 JUNE - 24 JULY 1998

The Community Forestry Extension Course is a collaborative activity between RECOFTC and the Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Department, University of Reading, United Kingdom. The course is designed to provide middle management personnel in forestry departments and NGOs with the appropriate knowledge and skills for a participatory approach at all stages of the development process, recognizing that the participation of community and user groups in planning and managing the use of forest and tree resources is key to successful extension.

For more information, please contact
Dr Somsak Sukwong, Director,
Regional Community Forestry Training Center (RECOFTC),
Kasetsart University,
PO Box 1111, Bangkok 10903, Thailand.
Fax: (+66 2) 561 4880;
e-mail: ftcsss@nontri.ku.ac.th

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ECOCERTIFICATION OF FORESTRY PRODUCTS

GENOA, ITALY
1 JULY 1998

This one-day seminar was organized by the Federation of Agronomists and Foresters of the Liguria Region (northern Italy) and covered the following topics: General background on different quality certification systems; Wood products and process certification (ISO 14000 - Emas - standard FSC), including resource management; and Non-wood forest products certification.

The lecturer was Dr Davide Pettenella of the Department of Territory and Agroforestry Systems, University of Padova.

Given the increasing interest in the above topics, the main goal of the seminar was to inform and update the members of the Liguria Federation of Agronomists and Foresters and other concerned professionals about ecocertification as it applies to the forestry sector. Fifty participants from different regions of Italy (Liguria, Piemonte, Val d'Aosta, Lombardia) working in both the private and the public sector attended the seminar. The lectures focused mainly on wood products and forest management system certification.

With regard to non-wood forest products, general information was provided on the European Community Regulations regarding this matter.

Special reference was made to the EC agricultural product certification policies, such as Reg. 2081/92 - Policy for products with Protected Geographical Indication or Protected Origin Denomination Label and Reg. 2082/92 - Policy for products with Specificity Attestation Label.

Mushrooms, truffles, chestnuts and other minor fruits represent the main portion of NWFPs suitable for a certification process.

If, on the one hand, certification of these products could increasingly promote their presence on the market, the certification process, on the other hand, especially for mushrooms and truffles, is hampered both at the rural and the industrial level for a number of reasons:

Rural level. The mushroom and truffle market mainly consists of "local black market". The certification process necessarily leads to official recognition of the markets for these two products which could result in conflict with the economic interests of small local producers. Truffles, which are considered a luxury item under Italian law, are subject to very high taxation, which makes the black market definitely more convenient and profitable. As far as mushrooms are concerned, in Liguria for instance, according to interviews conducted in areas of wild mushroom production, the local mushroom black market contributes up to US$10 000 to $12 000 annually to family incomes. In these cases, the traditional black market seems to be much more profitable than the official market for rural people, in particular for those who consider it as a "second job" carried out on an individual basis.

Industrial level. Industries are normally used to sell, for instance, mushrooms with a label of origin/provenance that should guarantee the quality of the product, even if the mushrooms come from different places and even from abroad. This is the case of the "Borgotaro mushroom": a consortium of local mushroom producers obtained the Protected Geographical Indication for mushrooms collected at the stated origin in an area of approximately 32 000 ha, located in the municipalities of Pontremoli, Borgotaro and Albareto (Massa and Parma provinces). Local industries wishing to sell "Borgotaro mushroom" can sell under that label only mushrooms certified as "Borgotaro mushroom" and only coming from that specific area, through the consortium. In this case, industries clearly prefer products with no certification, while rural people find it more profitable to sell certified products, if the mushroom market represents the main income-generating activity and is carried out on a collective basis.

For more information, please contact
Ms Francesca Cambiaggi, Forestry Working Group
Il Frassino, Genova, Italy.
E-mail: frassino@tin.it;
or
Mr Davide Pettenella, Department of Territory and Agroforestry Systems,
Università di Padova, Italy
E-mail: dpettene@agripolis.unipd.it

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WORKSHOP ON ZIZYPHUS MAURITIANA

HARARE, ZIMBABWE
13-16 JULY 1998

The cultivars of Zizyphus mauritiana, which have been bred in India for the last 30 years and which excel in their fruit production, may be able to make an important contribution to food security in semi-arid Africa.

The workshop was attended by 32 participants who discussed the following topics: climates and soils; propagation and planting; agromanagement; role in farming systems; and fruit processing.

For more information, please contact
Dr M. Nzima, National Horticultural Research Institute,
PO Box 97, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe.
Fax: (+263 32) 2562;
e-mail: RSSChiredzi@mango.zw;
or
Mr A. Schlissel, Administrative Coordinator, IPALAC,
c/o Ben Gurion University of the Negev,
PO Box 653, Beer Sheva, Israel.
Fax: (+972 7647) 2984;
e-mail: IPALAC@bgumail.bgu.ac.il

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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INDICATORS FOR SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
24-28 AUGUST 1998

The conference was organized by IUFRO, in collaboration with CIFOR and FAO, and attended by some 200 delegates. The broad objective of the conference was to accelerate the further development of scientifically based criteria and indicators for sustainable development at the Forest Management Unit level. Further objectives were to encourage:

The proceedings of this conference were published by the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

For more information, please contact:
Mr D.W. Flinn, Centre for Forest Tree Technology,
Department of Natural Resources and Environment,
PO Box 137, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia.
Fax: (+61 3) 9450 8715;
e-mail: d.flinn@dce.vic.gov.au;
or
Mr F. Castaneda, Forestry Department, FAO,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: (+39) 06 5705 5137;
e-mail: froylan.castaneda@fao.org

 
INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

POKHARA, NEPAL
31 AUGUST - 2 SEPTEMBER 1998

The seminar was organized by the Institute of Forestry and ITTO under the project, Training and Manpower Development in Community Forestry Management. The general objective of the seminar was to learn about the state-of-the-art approaches and methods in: community/participatory forest management activities; participatory watershed and environmental conservation; people's participation in wildlife/buffer zone management; and agroforestry and use of NTFPs in biodiversity conservation and rural development.

For more information, please contact
Dr I.C. Dutta, Coordinator,
PO Box 203, Pokhara, Nepal.
Tel./fax: (+977 61) 21563;
e-mail: itto@iof.mos.com.np

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AFRICAN EXPERT CONSULTATION ON BAMBOO AND RATTAN

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
31 AUGUST - 2 SEPTEMBER 1998

Although about 40 species of bamboo grow in the African continent, only two species have a strong and well-recognized economic and social role for rural communities: Arundinaria alpina (mountain bamboo) and Oxytenanthera abyssinica (lowland bamboo). These two species play important ecological and economic roles for rural people. Utilization includes handicrafts, building and storage materials, fencing for cattle, food, furniture manufacturing and medicine.

However, bamboo resources are being increasingly depleted. The reasons for this are overuse, weather patterns, drought, rapid development of competing land uses, etc. The situation has been aggravated by the fact that these resources are neglected and scarcely researched.

There is a clear need for regional networking and a thorough review of the potential for rattan and bamboo development through a cooperative programme of conservation and utilization. With this in mind, the African Expert Consultation on Bamboo and Rattan, organized by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 31 August to 2 September 1998. The objective was to review the situation and utilization of bamboo and rattan resources in Africa and explore ways and means of creating a cooperative programme to conserve and develop these resources further among regional countries.

The overview of the bamboo situation revealed the following characteristics: insufficient knowledge of resources, unsustainable modes of harvesting, lack of knowledge of the biological behaviour of bamboo species, insufficient knowledge of the forest resources that harbour bamboo species, and inadequate regional and international cooperation for the promotion of bamboo in Africa. These issues need to be tackled within any cooperation programme in terms of proper resource assessment, awareness raising, strengthening of national institutions, sustained cooperation, technology transfer, and so on.

The consultation provided a strong impetus for developing cooperative project ideas. A number of regional and national proposals were developed and there are good prospects of cooperation between the institutions present (FAO, IFAD, INBAR and IDRC) and interested countries (Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mauritius and the United Republic of Tanzania) to promote activities including research for the conservation and development of bamboo resources. (Source: Travel report of E.H. Sene, Chief, Forest Conservation, Research and Education Service, Forest Resources Division, Forestry Department, FAO.)

For more information, please contact IDRC,
PO Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1G 3H9.
Fax: (+1 613) 238 7230;
e-mail: info@idrc.ca

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26TH INTERNATIONAL FORESTRY STUDENTS' SYMPOSIUM: COLLABORATIVE FOREST MANAGEMENT - PROSPECTS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
TEMPERATE ZONE

KUMASI, GHANA
13-27 SEPTEMBER 1998

The International Forestry Students' Association (IFSA) is the worldwide organization of local and national associations of forestry students. At present, IFSA represents 86 member associations in 36 countries. IFSA also admits consulting, supporting and honorary members. The primary goal of the association is to enrich forestry students' formal education, especially in terms of a wider, more global perspective through extracurricular activities and the exchange of information and experience.

The 26th symposium was hosted by students of the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Kumasi and the Sunyani School of Forestry. It was attended by approximately 60 students, 50 of whom represented overseas associations; the remainder were from Ghana. These participants encompassed undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students from a wide range of countries in Europe, but Asia and Africa were underrepresented. Apart from Ghana, the only other regional country represented was South Africa.

IFSA presidency has now passed from Germany (University of Göttingen) to Ghana (Renewable Natural Resources Students' Association [RENARSA]), which is responsible for coordinating the activities of all 86 member associations for the year 1998-99. Although this is a challenge which has been accepted with enthusiasm by the Ghanaian students, they lack the necessary means to do the job to the same standard achieved by their German colleagues. Indeed, apart from Ghana and South Africa, the region is hardly involved in this international students' body. (Source: Travel report of Peter Lowe, FAO Regional Office for Africa, Accra.)

For more information, please contact
IFSS 98 Secretariat, IRNR,
University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
Fax: (+233 1) 60137;
e-mail: ustlib@ust.gn.apc.org

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METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMICS, PRODUCTION, PROCESSING AND MARKETING OF NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS

ARCHANGEL, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
18-21 SEPTEMBER 1998

This seminar was organized by the European Forest Institute and the Northern Research Institute of Forestry, with financing from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The objectives were to pass on information regarding various methods and approaches applicable in the research of socio-economics, production, processing and marketing of NWFPs, and to exchange experiences from different countries. Special emphasis was given to local experiences and knowledge on the NWFP situation and research in the northwestern part of the Russian Federation.

The seminar was a follow-up to the International Workshop on the Sustainable Development of Non-wood Goods and Benefits from Boreal and Cold Temperate Forests, which was organized by FAO and EFI in Joensuu, Finland in January 1998 [see p. 61 for more details of this workshop].

The seminar addressed three main themes: Marketing and trade; Socio-economic aspects; and Production and harvest forecasting.

For more information, please contact
Mr Anssi Niskanen, European Forest Institute,
Torikatu 34, 80100 Joensuu, Finland.
Fax: (+358 13) 124393;
e-mail: anssi.niskanen@efi.fi

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INTERNATIONAL COURSE ON LOCAL LEVEL MANAGEMENT OF TREES AND FORESTS FOR SUSTAINABLE LAND USE

WAGENINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS
20 SEPTEMBER - 12 DECEMBER 1998

The theme for 1998 was "Policy and practice in community forestry".

For more information, please contact
International Agricultural Centre (IAC),
PO Box 88, 6700 AB Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Fax: (+31 317) 418552;
e-mail: iac@iac.agro.nl

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INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON CULTIVATING FORESTS: ALTERNATIVE FOREST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND TECHNIQUES FOR COMMUNITY FORESTRY

BANGKOK, THAILAND
23-25 SEPTEMBER 1998

The objectives of the seminar were to:

Among the seminar topics was Management of community forests for multiple purposes. This topic included: NTFPs, wildlife and biodiversity; water and/or watersheds with a group or consortium of villages and user groups; tourism; and timber and community-based logging.

For more information, please contact
Dr Somsak Sukwong, Director,
Regional Community Forestry Training Center (RECOFTC),
Kasetsart University,
PO Box 1111, Bangkok 10903, Thailand.
Fax: (+66 2) 561 4880;
e-mail: ftcsss@nontri.ku.ac.th

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NINTH ASIAN SYMPOSIUM ON MEDICINAL PLANTS, SPICES AND OTHER NATURAL PRODUCTS

HANOI, VIET NAM
24-28 SEPTEMBER 1998

The main topics of the meetings were: Chemistry; Biological studies; Ethnobotany and biodiversity; Biochemistry and biotechnology; and Product development and commercialization.

For more information, please contact
Secretariat of ASOMPS IX,
Institute of Natural Products Chemistry,
National Centre for Natural Science and Technology,
Nghiado, Tuliem, Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Fax: (+84 4) 83 45 390;
or
UNESCO Jakarta, Jl. Thamrin 14,
Tromolpost 273/JKT, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Fax: (+62 21) 3150382.

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NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH AGROFORESTRY: FARMING THE AGROFOREST FOR SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, USA
4-7 OCTOBER 1998

For more information, please contact
Mr Scott J. Josiah,
CINRAM/University of Minnesota,
1530 Cleveland Avenue North, 115 Green Hall,
St Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.
Fax: (+1 612) 625 5212;
e-mail: josia001@maroon.tc.umn.edu

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FOREST MANAGEMENT IN DESIGNATE CONSERVATION RECREATION AREAS

FIRENZE, ITALY
7-11 OCTOBER 1998

For more information, please contact
Prof. Maurizio Merlo,
Università di Padova, Dipartimento TESAF,
Agripolis, Via Romea,
I-35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.
Fax: (+39) 49 8272 719;
e-mail: merlo@ipdunidx.unipd.it

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INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF AFRICAN RAINFORESTS TODAY

12-16 OCTOBER 1998
LIBREVILLE, GABON

This seminar was organized by FOAFRI, with CIRAD and CIFOR, and was attended by 130 participants, mainly African and European researchers working in Africa.

The seminar made it possible to measure the degree of isolation in which the majority of these researchers are working (particularly the young African researchers) and the relevance of the project FAO/FORNESSA in support of research in Africa. The development of a network on exchange and communication between researchers in Africa is essential for activities dealing with research and technology for the improvement of silvicultural methods and management of dense African forests.

For more information, please contact
Dr Robert Nasi, Project FOAFRI,
BP 643, Libreville, Gabon.
Fax: (+241) 733145;
e-mail: FORAFRI@compuserve.com

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XV SIMPOSIO DE PLANTAS MEDICINAIS DO BRASIL

AGUAS DE LINDOIA, SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
14-17 OCTOBER 1998

For more information, please contact
Secretaria Executiva: eventus@sp.dglnet.com.br

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SEANN WORKSHOP ON EVOLVING MECHANISM FOR NTFP-ORIENTED NEED-BASED SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

DEHRA DUN, INDIA
27-28 OCTOBER 1998

An important breakthrough was achieved in the first South and East Asian Countries NTFP Network (SEANN) Workshop with the publication of the Standard NTFP classification and documentation manual for universal use for forest managers and other user groups. The theme of the second workshop was focused on the management of the forests, in which the role of NTFPs has been strongly emphasized, while harvesting both NTFPs and timber on a sustainable basis. Forest managers and policy-makers have now realized that multipurpose tree, shrub and herb species yielding NTFPs and minor forest products (MFPs) play a vital role in the global economy for subsistence, market use, ecotourism, socio-cultural aspects, ecological diversity maintenance and environmental conservation. In this endeavour, appropriate harvesting systems of forest resources and techniques have to be evolved for sustainable forest management which will itself conserve the ecosystem and environment while contributing to the economy and social aims of sustainable management.

Based on the above strategy, the workshop aimed to prepare a country document of guidelines for sustainable forest resources and management by improving the standard of utilization and reducing environmental damage.

For more information, please contact
Dr M.P. Shiva, Centre of Minor Forest Products (COMFORPTS),
HIG-2, No. 8, Indirapuram, PO Majra,
248 171 Dehra Dun, India.
Fax: (+91 135) 650944/651108.

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PUBLIC POLICIES AFFECTING FOREST FIRES

FAO, ROME, ITALY
28-30 OCTOBER 1998

This meeting was organized by the FAO Forestry Department in response to the worldwide concern about forest fires and to requests expressed by member countries at the 29th session of the FAO Conference and the XI World Forestry Congress.

The main objective of the meeting was to identify, analyse and discuss current public policies which affect forest fires and to propose appropriate policy action to prevent or mitigate their impact. The meeting brought together key experts in land-use policies and related subjects from governmental and non-governmental organizations, thus providing a forum for open dialogue and discussion.

For more information, please contact
Mr Manuel Paveri, Chief,
Forestry Policy and Institution Branch,
Forestry Department, FAO,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: (+39) 06 57055137;
e-mail: manuel.paveri@fao.org

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BAMBOO FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA
2-6 NOVEMBER 1998

For more information, please contact:
Bamboo Foundation (FUNBAMBU),
PO Box 21-1350,
San José, Costa Rica.
Fax: (+505 226) 48 48;
e-mail: pbambu@sol.racsa.co.cr

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UNCTAD CONFERENCE ON NEW TECHNOLOGIES, PRODUCTS AND MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

LYON, FRANCE
10-12 NOVEMBER 1998

The objective of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conference, part of UNCTAD's BIOTRADE initiative, was to explore and discuss the prospects that bioresource development offered in terms of new technologies, products and market opportunities.

The main subject areas discussed included bioprospecting, partnership case studies, biobusiness development strategies, joint BIOTRADE partnerships in bioresource development, legal and policy developments and NTFPs.

NTFP subjects included international market opportunities for herbal medicines, the harvesting of raw materials for the fabrication of homeopathic medications in tropical countries, technology and market options for high value-added NTFPs, development and marketing of Peruvian NTFPs and the geotechnical application of biotextiles such as coir and jute rather than synthetic textiles (erosion control and land and water conservation).

Leading herbal remedies on an international level include Ginkgo biloba, St John's wort, ginseng, garlic and valerian; at present these plants have the best pharmacological and clinical research profile and the broadest acceptance. St John's wort represents a special example. Clinical trials in Germany demonstrated and documented its effectiveness as a treatment for mild and moderate depression. Good acceptance from physicians and patients means that St John's wort is now the leading anti-depressant in Germany. The success continued in the United States after a strong public relations campaign.

Many opportunities exist for marketing herbal and natural medicines in North America and Europe. Strict international standards for herbal products now mean these products are cultivated rather than wild-crafted. Cultivation ensures plant ingredients are considerably more homogenous and consequently yield better-quality herbal remedies. Indeed, many large pharmaceutical companies such as Glaxo Wellcome and Bayer are actively selling and researching botanical medicines. As herbal medicines become more mainstream internationally, further opportunities should open up for their exchange and development.

Regional and international trade in high value-added NWFPs, such as medicinal and aromatic plants, essential oils, etc., often provides important foreign exchange income for many developing countries. However, lack of technical knowledge and expertise often means local people cannot enjoy the benefits of increased value. Inadequate technology transfer and insufficient resources mean that on-site processing and effective marketing are unfeasible.

Nevertheless, projects in El Salvador underline the potential to assist rural and forest communities in achieving the desired added value through the development of natural product industries. Local entrepreneurs and NGOs have been spurred on by newly emerging local and regional markets for NWFPs. The transfer of technology and expertise (for the design and construction of distillation equipment) for essential oil production from Lippia graveolens (oregano) is a good example. Local processing initiatives, such as those in El Salvador, offer interesting potential to rural and forest communities for income generation and for gaining a fairer share of the profits from high-value NWFPs. (Source: UNCTAD conference proceedings.)

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PRIMER CONGRESO LATINOAMERICANO IUFRO: EL MANEJO SUSTENTABLE DE LOS RECURSOS FORESTALES. DESAFÍO DEL SIGLO XXI

VALDIVIA, CHILE
22-28 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 1998

Para más información, dirigirse a
Secretaría del Congreso,
Secretaría de Relaciones Internacionales,
Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF).
Tel./fax: (+56 2) 697 2273;
correo electrónico: dejecuti@iusanet.cl

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CONFERENCE ON BIOTECHNOLOGY

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
23-27 NOVEMBER 1998

This conference was organized by the Western Australia Branch of the Australian Biotechnology Association with the Department of Conservation and Land Management and Murdoch University, with the purpose of facilitating the exchange of information and views on the management and utilization of biodiversity and the role biotechnology plays in this activity.

Biodiversity and biotechnology are inextricably interlinked and the challenge for the next decade is to conserve and sustainably exploit the rich biodiversity of the Asia-Pacific region. This presents not only scientific challenges, but also requires integration with environmental, social, legal and economic requirements. This conference provided a blend of papers on basic scientific and conservation issues and the application of new biotechnology to these issues. It also explored how the biotechnology industry can benefit from the unique biodiversity of the region and how this benefit can be realized. The social and legal issues, such as access and ownership of biodiversity, were also discussed.

For more information, please contact
Biodiversity, Biotechnology & Biobusiness Congress West Pty Ltd,
PO Box 1248, West Perth, Western Australia 6872, Australia.
Fax: (+61 8) 9322 1734.

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NTFP CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP

30 NOVEMBER - 2 DECEMBER 1998
OAXACA, MEXICO

The workshop was one of the first activities of the Non-Timber Forest Product Certification and Marketing Program of Falls Brook Centre, an environmental NGO based in New Brunswick, Canada [see under News and Notes for more information on the activities of Falls Brook Centre]. Participants represented organizations working in the sustainable forestry, organic agriculture and fair trade sectors.

The workshop was intended to be an introductory gathering for organizations involved in aspects of NTFP certification, to raise awareness among participants about the range of existing and planned activities that are taking place in this field and to look at the possibilities for increasing the compatibility between NTFP certification and labelling systems as they are developed. The impetus for the workshop lay in the realization that a large number of existing programmes are focused on developing NTFP certification and that it will be important and necessary to link these initiatives in order to avoid imposing negative impacts on producer groups and overwhelming or confusing the consumer.

The workshop was structured to enable the 28 participants to discuss different aspects of NTFP certification and to identify areas of common interest. In broad terms, each day of the workshop was focused on one of three main topics:

During the workshop, it became obvious that there was a strong desire among the participants to work together. The extremely positive input and level of commitment and willingness by the participants to seek common solutions allowed discussions to move beyond these introductory topics and to incorporate the potential for future collaboration and linkages between NTFP certification initiatives. Major steps were made in acknowledging the benefits of mutual recognition between certification systems and a significant number of concrete collaborative activities were outlined for follow-up. Many of the workshop participants will be involved in the follow-up activities that focus on practical field trials and testing multiple certifications. Strong support was also expressed for improved information exchange among interested organizations to keep abreast of the developments being made towards NTFP certification. Participants agreed that the workshop formed a solid step forward in the development of effective and compatible certification systems for NTFPs and that the momentum generated during the workshop should be maintained through further collaborative activities. (Based on a contribution by: Patrick Mallet, Falls Brook Centre, New Brunswick, Canada.)

For more information, please contact
Mr Patrick Mallet, Program Coordinator,
Falls Brook Centre,
125 South Knowlesville Road, Knowlesville, New Brunswick
E7L 1B1, Canada.
Fax: (+1 506) 375 4221;
e-mail: fbcja@web.net;
or
mallet@web.net

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INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON DECENTRALIZATION AND DEVOLUTION OF FOREST MANAGEMENT IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

DAVAO CITY, THE PHILIPPINES
30 NOVEMBER - 4 DECEMBER 1998

The seminar was organized by the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Forest Management Bureau, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and the Regional Community Forestry Training Center (RECOFTC).

Many governments throughout the Asia and the Pacific region (as well as in other parts of the world) are devolving control and responsibilities of forest management to local authorities. The seminar was aimed at providing an opportunity to compare and discuss this decentralization of forest management experiences and assist in finding appropriate ways to enhance and support these efforts.

The main objectives of the seminar were to:

Discussions and presentations were organized around three themes: Decentralization and devolution; Legal and institutional framework; and Impact of decentralized decision-making on forest management. The seminar also included a one-day field trip to show the participants some of the devolution approaches being implemented in the Philippines.

For more information, please contact
Mr Steffen Weidner, FAO Regional office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP),
39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.
Fax: (+66 2) 280 0445;
e-mail: steffen.weidner@fao.org

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POTENCIAL DE LAS PALMAS DEL GÉNERO DESMONCUS COMO PRODUCTORAS DE FIBRAS DEL BOSQUE NEOTROPICAL

TURRIALBA, COSTA RICA
1-3 DE DICIEMBRE DE 1998

Para más información, dirigirse a
Sr. Roger Villalobos, Investigador Area de Manejo y Conservación de Bosques y Biodiversidad,
Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE),
7170 Turrialba, Costa Rica.
Fax: (+506 556) 8417;
correo electrónico: rvillalo@catie.ac.cr

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COMMUNITY FORESTRY COURSE

COCHABAMBA AND SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA
DECEMBER 1998 - JUNE 1999

FAO´s Forests, Trees and People Programme (FTPP), the Centre for Studies on the Economic and Social Reality (CERES), the Centre of Superior Academic Studies (CESU-UMSS) in Cochabamba and Núr University in Santa Cruz are conducting (in Spanish) an extensive Community Forestry Course as part of their M.Sc. degree programmes. The regional course focuses on the systematic and interdisciplinary study of the relationship between society and nature. Participants will critically analyse the new theories on development and the diverse tendencies and experiences in forest management. The course is divided into seven modules: each module covers one month of which one week is in the form of classes and workshops and the rest of the month is spent on practical work in the participants' organizations, literature review and writing papers.

In each module the seven main themes of community forestry will be addressed: the paradigms of development; communal management of natural resources; community forestry and the local management of forests; policies and local management; land-use planning; epistemological and methodological analysis; and the valuation of environmental resources and services. The course identifies the academic, methodological, political and practical dimensions.

The course is designed for holders of a bachelor's degree and engineers of various disciplines. International visitors include lecturers from the University of Kansas (USA), the University of Bloomington (USA), the Mexican College of Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (Mexico), Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales - FLACSO (Guatemala), FAO Regional Latin American Office (Chile) and FTPP-Costa Rica.

For more information, please contact
FTPP-CERES,
Casilla 949, Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Fax: (+591 4) 293145;
e-mail: ftpp-fao@albatros.cnb.net;
or
CESU-UMSS,
Casilla 5389, Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Fax: (+591 4) 254625;
e-mail: cesu@pino.cbb.entelnet.bo;
or
Universidad Núr,
Casilla 3273. Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Fax: (+591 3) 331850;
e-mail: foresteria@nur.edu;
http://www.cnb.net/~ftpp-fao/webcfc1.html;
http://www.nur.edu/forestal

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FLORES MODEL DESIGN WORKSHOP

BOGOR, INDONESIA
23 JANUARY - 3 FEBRUARY 1999

The Forest Land Oriented Resources Envisioning System (FLORES) is designed to help explore the consequences at the landscape scale of politics and other initiatives intended to influence land use in developing countries in the tropics. It should provide an accessible platform to foster interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and facilitate empirical tests of hypotheses and other propositions.

The workshop was organized by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Cooperation Centre on Agrarian Research for Development (CIRAD) and the Institute of Ecology and Resource Management (IERM) and participants collaborated on designing, constructing and testing several components of the system. Five working groups covered the five subcomponents of FLORES: crops-soils-water; trees and forests; household village decision-making; corporate and client issues; and NTFP-fauna-biodiversity.

The emphasis of the workshop was on capturing the interactions between human decision-making - modelled at the individual household level - and the surrounding land, modelled at a level approaching that of an individual field. These relationships will be implemented in AME, a compartment-flow modelling environment freely available from the University of Edinburgh (http://meranti.ierm.ed.ac.uk/ame/).

For more information, please contact
CIFOR,
PO Box 6596, JKPWB, Jakarta 10065, Indonesia.
Fax: (+62 251) 622 100;
e-mail: cifor@cgnet.com;
http://www.cgiar.org/cifor

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RESEARCH ON NTFPS IN THE TROPENBOS PROGRAMME: SEMINAR ON RESULTS AND PERSPECTIVESP

WAGENINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS
28 JANUARY 1999

At the start of the final year of the current phase in the Tropenbos programme (1994-99), Tropenbos decided to present and reflect on the results of NTFP research carried out thus far and to discuss directions for future research.

During the seminar researchers from various universities presented and evaluated results of NTFP studies carried out in the framework of the Tropenbos programme over the past few years. A forum discussion on a future research agenda on NTFPs was held with experts outside the Tropenbos programme.

For more information, please contact
Dr Mirjam A.F. Ros-Tonen, NTFP Officer, Tropenbos Foundation,
PO Box 232, 6700 AE Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Fax: (+31 317) 423024;
e-mail: tropenbos@iac.agro.nl;
http://www.tropenbos.nl

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CHEMISTRY, BIOLOGICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF AFRICAN MEDICINAL PLANTS

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
28 FEBRUARY - 3 MARCH 1999

For more information, please contact
Prof. Ermias Dagne, Chemistry Department,
Addis Ababa University,
PO Box 30270, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Fax: (+251 1) 551244;
e-mail: eda@telecom.net.et;
or
Prof. Kurt Hostettmann, Institute of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry,
University of Lausanne, B.E.P.,
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Fax: (+41 21) 6924565;
e-mail: Kurt.Hostettmann@ipp.unil.ch

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FIRST INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON CHERIMOYA

LOJA, ECUADOR
16-19 MARCH 1999

During a study of cherimoya in southern Ecuador, its centre of origin, the symposium's organizing committee was surprised to note the lack of interest and research on this fruit, even though it seemed to have a considerable commercial potential. Consequently, the organizing committee decided to unite national and international scientists and other interested people in order to exchange experiences and research results, to address the problem of genetic erosion and biodiversity and to promote future cooperation between Ecuador and cherimoya- producing countries.

For more information, please contact
Centro Andino de Tecnología Rural (CATER),
Universidad Nacional de Loja,
Ciudadela Universitaria "Guillermo Falconí", Veerle Van Damme,
Casilla 302, Loja, Ecuador.
Fax: (+593 7) 583807;
e-mail: xschelde@telconet.net;
or
veerle@uio.satnet.net

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