NWFP home page
The NWFP home page has been revamped and updated and is now available in French, English and Spanish. In addition:

Work is currently under way to:


Travel of NWFP officers
Mr Paul Vantomme was invited by CIFOR to participate in and contribute to the "FLORES Model Design Workshop", which was held in Indonesia from 23 January to 3 February 1999. The Workshop, which was organized by CIFOR in collaboration with CIRAD and the University of Edinburgh, was attended by 50 participants.The purpose of the workshop was to design, implement and test-run a first working version of the 'Forest Land Oriented Resource Envisioning System' (FLORES) model. FLORES is a software package for modelling purposes and intended to help explore the consequences at the landscape scale, of policies and other initiatives intended to influence land use. A preliminary version (first full working version of the complete model) of FLORES was constructed during this workshop while further development continues by CIFOR and at the University of Edinburgh.

(More information on FLORES can be found at: www.cgiar.org/cifor/research/flores.)

Ms Laura Russo and Mr Sven valter travelled to Lebanon to support the organization of, and participate in, the workshop «Development and Coordination of Regional Activities on Non-Wood Forest Products in the Near East Countries». The workshop, held from 10 to 12 May 1999, was jointly organized by FAO's Regional Office for the Near East (RNE), the Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon, and FAO's Wood and Non-Wood Products Utilization Branch (FOPW). The workshop was a follow-up to a regional meeting on Medicinal, Culinary and Aromatic Plants held in Cairo in May 1997, also jointly organized by RNE and FOPW.

The travellers believe that the workshop was a success and represented a good opportunity for increasing the awareness among the participants of NWFPs, their increasing importance and recognition at the regional and international level, and for identifying priorities for cooperation for the promotion of NWFPs in the Near East.

(Please see under Events for more information on this workshop.)

Mr Vantomme visited India in November 1999 to review the progress and planned activities of the UNDP-funded project IND/97/966 «NWFP for Sustainable Forest Development, Rural Income Generation and Biodiversity Conservation», with the national project coordinator and project staff.

Trade and NWFPs
The NWFP Programme, together with the Forest Products Trade Programme, has commissioned a study entitled «Echanges de certains PFNL entre l'Afrique subsaharienne et certains pays européens». The study, which is being carried out by Honoré Tabuna, received funds from the FAO Regional Office for Africa and from the Central African Regional Programme for the Environment (CARPE).

For more information, please contact: Jim Bourke, Senior Forestry Officer (Trade Analysis), Forest Harvesting, Trade and Marketing Branch, Forestry Department, FAO.
Fax: +39-06-57055618

E-mail: jim.bourke@fao.org
Mr Honoré Tabuna, 11, rue Faubourg de Bourgogne, Orléans Cedex 45000, France

Fax: +33-238-499541/811576

E-mail: htabuna@iname.com



After the completion of the Forestry Outlook Study for Asia and the Pacific, the FAO Forestry Department has embarked upon a similar exercise for Africa (Forestry Outlook Study for Africa [FOSA]), with funding support from the European Commission and the African Development Bank.

A series of thematic papers will provide an overview of the situation, trends and future prospects (to the year 2020) of key areas related to forest conservation and development in Africa. They will provide a regional analysis, but should also indicate differences within the region and, where applicable, present the information by subregion.

These papers will draw upon the information made available in the two FOSA baseline studies: (a) population and income/economic features; and (b) land cover and land use in Africa. The thematic papers will use the demographic, economic and land cover/land use datasets provided in the baseline documents in calculations involving these variables.

One of the thematic papers will cover NWFPs and will be an analysis of the current situation in the production and consumption of NWFPs: who are the main collectors/users, what are the main products in various parts of Africa, what are the sources (degree of domestication vs. collection from the wild), what is the level of commercialization and what are the marketing issues, degree of international trade, bioprospecting and intellectual property rights, and what are the future prospects for NWFP development.

For more information, please contact: Ms Susan Braatz, Forest Sector Analyst, Forestry Planning and Statistics Branch, Forestry Department, FAO.
E-mail: Susan.Braatz@fao.org



FAO is currently preparing a set of guidelines for the management of tropical forests for the provision of non-wood goods and services.

These Guidelines aim to provide practical advice on how to assess, manage and enhance tropical forest resources for the provision of non-wood goods and services (NWGS) in a sustainable manner. The Guidelines are limited to the humid tropics and emphasis is on production forests and/or special resource areas such as buffer zones, in which managed resource extraction is permitted.

For more information, please contact: Ms Mette L. Wilkie, Forestry Officer (Forest Management), Forest Resources Division, Forestry Department, FAO.
Fax: +39-06-5705-5137

E-mail: Mette.LoycheWilkie@fao.org

The Near East and Mediterranean region has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. The region, as other parts of the world, is also encountering a number of challenges to sustainable forest management such as globalization, privatization, decentralization, liberalization and increased pressure for public participation. These challenges are changing the way forestry is conceived and implemented. Therefore the government's role in supporting and promoting local forest management is evolving.

In response to this situation, FAO organized a regional workshop in Sana'a (Yemen) in July 1997 on «Communication and Extension for Sustainable Forestry» with participants from seven countries in the region. The workshop created a great deal of interest and documented that some positive experience exists in the region that should be widely shared and disseminated. In addition some methodologies have been developed which show promise for the region and need to be discussed and adapted as appropriate. The workshop concluded with a series of recommendations including the proposal of a follow-up workshop that would be more focused. Several priority issues were raised: What type of institutional arrangements and roles are best suited to supporting local natural resource management (NRM)? How are local capacity and partnerships built? What is the role of different groups and how is equity assured? What type of communication processes and systems are needed to support and facilitate local NRM? How can local NRM generate benefits for local communities and be sustainable? How are benefits shared? How are support systems financed?

A follow-up workshop, «Supporting local natural resource management: institutional, communication and economic options», was held in Fethiye (Turkey) from 1 to 5 November 1999. Its objectives were to:

For more information, please contact: Forestry Extension Officer, Forest Resources Division, Forestry Department, FAO.



Overview of GPPIS and Plantinfo databases
FAO has collaboratively established a global, shared knowledge resource for information on plants and pests. The Global Plant and Pest Information System (GPPIS) is Internet-based and its design allows for implementation in a variety of cross-platform environments, including an equivalent CD-ROM system that runs on both Windows and Macintosh.

Procedures are being developed to enable individuals to submit interest profiles that would filter data and information according to specific needs. Plantinfo aims at developing and maintaining a platform for access to reliable information on plants and crop management within different ecologies and production systems.

Individuals are invited to participate in the GPPIS community by "adopting" a species, a discrete "layer" (topic) of information about plants, or simply by serving as public referees. Each record has a primary editor who receives a password to edit or add data by a set of protocols. The information in GPPIS is in the public domain and under the name and logo of the contributing author or institution, resulting in a public, transparent assumption of responsibility and ensuring appropriate recognition. This dynamic framework for continuous knowledge processing and sharing within the community is possible as the Internet allows the distribution of tasks to create a global resource, while concentrating and multiplying the benefits of collaboration. You are invited to comment on and join this community by contributing information _ no matter how modest.

Under "Resources" in the top left menu of the home page you will find over 490 000 entries under Bibliographic references, over 27 000 terms in the Glossary, over 3 000 pictures in the Databank, 70 methodologies and 37 GPPIS-related methodologies.

If your "favourite" plant species does not have an editor assigned, perhaps you would like to participate?

(Source: Plantinfo: a Component of FAO's Global Plant and Pest Information System. Abstract from a paper presented at Oregon State University, United States. August 1999.)

For more information, please contact: Mr Peter Griffee, Senior Officer, Industrial Crops, Crop and Grassland Service, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO, Rome, Italy.|



FAO and the European Commission (EC)
In addition to the ongoing FAO/EC Partnership Programme "Information and Analysis for Sustainable Forest Management: Linking National and International Efforts in ACP countries", the following project documents have been recently signed by FAO and the EC:

Dans le cadre du Programme de Coopération technique (PCT) de la FAO, le projet d'Appui au programme de nutrition communautaire (TCP/MAU/8892)
visant à assister le Secrétariat d'Etat à la Condition Féminine de la Mauritanie comporte un volet de valorisation des ressources naturelles, végétales et animales, pour la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition.

Dans le cadre de ce projet, un diagnostic des ressources alimentaires locales (végétales et animales, cultivées ou sauvages) et leurs modalités d'utilisation (techniques de préparation, fréquence d'utilisation, caractère saisonnier, commercialisation) sera effectué et l'analyse des informations recueillies permettra de dégager des propositions et recommandations pour une stratégie intégrée à tous les stades de la chaîne alimentaire (recherche, production, stockage, transformation, commercialisation, préparation, consommation) contribuant à la sécurité alimentaire des ménages.

Pour plus de détails, veuillez contacter: Mme Florence Egal, Fonctionnaire de Nutrition (Sécurité Alimentaire des Ménages), Service des programmes nutritionnels, Division de l'alimentation et de la nutrition, FAO.
E-mail : Florence.Egal@fao.org

TCP/SUD/7821 «Development of gum arabic production and marketing»
FAO, through its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), is providing support to the production and marketing of gum arabic in the Sudan. The project will be finalized by mid-2000.

For more information, please contact: Mr A. Al-Fares, Regional Forestry Officer, Regional Office for the Near East (RNE), PO Box 2223, Cairo, Egypt.
Fax: +20-2- 7495981

CPR/96/110 «Poverty alleviation through community forestry in Western Hubei (Hefeng Community Forestry)»
This is a three-year US$820 000 project, funded by UNDP (US$720 000) and the Government of China, Hefeng County (US$100 000). The China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) is the executing agency, and the Hefeng Forest Bureau (through the Hubei Provincial Forest Department and the State Forest Administration) is the implementing agency. FAO is providing technical support under an agreement with UNDP.

The project began implementation activities in March 1998 and is expected to continue until the end of 2000. The overall goal of the project is the «alleviation of poverty and the promotion and demonstration of diversified and sustainable rural production through the application of community forestry.» The project aims to:

In addition to the crops traditionally grown by farmers in the area (e.g., maize, yams, tea, rice, vegetables), the project is introducing or improving farmers' management of «new» crops such as rivier giant arum (taro) and broadleaved vetch, both of which grow well under partial shade. Gingko, chestnut and Eucommia are being favoured as overstory trees because of their potential to provide economic returns to farmers, while helping to shield the fragile slopes from erosion.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Patrick B. Durst, FAO Regional Forestry Officer for Asia and the Pacific, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.
Fax: +66-2-2800445

E-mail: Patrick.Durst@fao.org



CIFOR's activities in the field of NWFP are mainly carried out under the research project «Forest Products and People». In 1998, CIFOR started a global research study designed to provide insight into NWFPs and their relation to land use and local livelihood strategies.

Research in Indonesia includes a comparative study of damar agroforests in Sumatra and the collection of gaharu in East Kalimantan, a research on the potential of small-scale rattan cultivation, and the collection and marketing of benzoin.

In Bolivia, research has analysed the shift in the distribution of benefits from NTFP collection following the collapse of the Brazil rubber market in the 1980s. Today, Brazil nut collection and processing has become the most important source of income for many rural households.

In Zimbabwe, CIFOR is participating in a study of the ecological and economic impacts of a booming woodcarving industry that offers income to thousands of rural people. Other research work is being carried out in Brazil (Western Amazonia), and in the Humid Forest Zone of Cameroon.

In 1998, CIFOR published «Incomes from the Forest: Methods for the Development and Conservation of Forest Products for Local Communities». Based on case studies from a number of organizations, it presents methods that have been used to assess the conservation and development of forest products in different contexts. The book includes a conceptual framework that illustrates the complex nature of NTFP development and conservation, with issues that must be addressed at various levels: in households, markets, local institutions and the surrounding forest. (Please see under Publications of Interest.)

For more information, please contact: CIFOR, P.O. Box 6596 JKPWB, Jakarta 10065, Indonesia.
Fax: + 62-251-622100



Le projet « Capitalisation et Transfert des Recherches sur les Ecosystèmes Forestiers d'Afrique Humide », ou projet FORAFRI, (1996-1999) a été mené conjointement par le CIRAD-Forêt (France) et le CIFOR. Son objectif stratégique était la mise dans une perspective régionale des recherches forestières menées sur le biome forêt dense guinéo-congolaise, à travers trois volets principaux :

(i) Capitalisation et synthèse des connaissances sur les écosystèmes forestiers en zone humide africaine et l'étude de l'effet des traitements sylvicoles sur la dynamique des peuplements.

(ii) Valorisation et transfert des résultats de la recherche aux utilisateurs potentiels tel que les services forestiers, les exploitants, les communautés rurales gestionnaires de la forêt.

(iii) Régionalisation de la recherche sur la gestion durable des forêts africaines.

La phase de capitalisation et de synthèse s'est concretisée par la rédaction de différents ouvrages, synthèse et publications, dont la validation a été assurée par un comité scientifique et technique (avec représentants du CIRAD, CIFOR, FAO, IUCN, ATIBT, et des institutions de recherche africaines).

Une seconde phase de FORAFRI est en préparation par le CIRAD en coopération avec les pays africains concernés.

Une des synthèse produites par le Projet FORAFRI est l'étude sur les produits forestiers autres que le bois d'oeuvre (PFAB) et leur rôle dans l'aménagement durable des forêts du Bassin du Congo.

Cette étude qui a également reçu le soutien du CARPE (Central African Regional Program for the Environment) de l'USAID, concerne l'Afrique Centrale « humide » qui comprend les pays arrosés par le Congo et ses affluents, et aussi ceux arrosés par l'Ogooué, la Sanaga et leurs affluents, soit six pays : Cameroun, Centrafrique (RCA), Congo Brazzaville, Congo Démocratique (RDC), Gabon, Guinée Equatoriale.

L'étude présente une synthèse des connaissances actuelles sur les PFAB : rôles socio-économiques, modes d'utilisation, durables ou non durables, et permet d'identifier les problèmes spécifiques liés à leur utilisation et d'esquisser des propositions en vue d'une meilleure gestion, à la fois plus rationnelle sur le plan économique et plus respectueuse de l'environnement.

Le premier point qui ressort de l'étude est l'extrême diversité des PFAB, liée à la richesse biologique qui caractérise les forêts tropicales humides du Bassin du Congo. Cette diversité s'organise selon des relations complexes qui structurent l'écosystème forestier.

Les populations locales montrent une connaissance approfondie des PFAB, étant utilisatrices depuis souvent fort longtemps. Le mode d'accès à la ressource généralement défini par les droits coutumiers se trouve souvent en contradiction avec la législation des Etats. Ce phénomène est général à l'échelle de la sous région, et l'on retrouve des exemples de telles incompatibilités entre le légal et le légitime dans chacun des pays. Par ailleurs, la situation est aggravée par le fait que l'Etat est rarement en mesure d'assurer la bonne application des lois. Il en découle une situation d'accès libre de fait et des pratiques illégales à la fois nombreuses et destructrices.

L'étude propose des solutions qui s'efforcent de prendre à la fois en compte les intérêts des différents acteurs, en particulier des populations locales, et les impératifs de conservation de l'écosystème, le but étant d'arriver à des recommandations réalistes.

Un premier point d'importance est la prise en compte effective des PFAB dans l'aménagement forestier. Ceci passe par une meilleure connaissance de la ressource, que l'on peut approcher grâce à des études spécifiques et à une adaptation des protocoles d'inventaires, et la définition d'objectifs considérant les différentes ressources du massif forestier.

Selon les objectifs afférents aux différentes séries d'un massif forestier, la gestion des PFAB devra être protectionniste ou interventionniste, c'est à dire cherchant à améliorer la ressource en PFAB..

Les pratiques liées à l'exploitation doivent viser à en minimiser les impacts. Des inventaires d'exploitation doivent permettent de connaître la nature et la localisation de la ressource, afin d'optimiser les tracés des pistes. Autant que possible, les techniques d'Exploitation à Faible Impact (EFI) seront utilisées. Globalement, les opérations sylvicoles seront légères, car moins « traumatisantes ».

Les impacts indirects liés à l'exploitation, braconnage en particulier, devront être régulés. Enfin, il est nécessaire de concilier les pratiques des exploitants et celles des populations locales afin d'éviter d'arriver à des situations de conflit préjudiciables pour tous.

Pour plus d'information, veuillez contacter: Mathurin Tchatat, Chargé de recherche, Institut de la Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (IRAD), B.P. 2067 Yaoundé, Cameroun ou Dr Jean-Guy Bertault, Chef du Programme Forêts Naturelles, CIRAD-Forêt, Campus international de Baillarguet, Montferrier-sur-Lez, BP 5035, 34032 Montpellier Cedex 1, France.
Fax: +33 467593733



IPALAC is an outgrowth of an approach used by research scientists of Ben-Gurion University in the development of Israel's Negev desert. Since 1956 they have introduced thousands of plant species from dry and from saline environments and evaluated their potential for filling a niche in the Israeli context - either as a crop or as elements of environmental enhancement activities (landscaping and afforestation). Some years ago it was concluded that the approach used so successfully in the Negev could be applied in the global battle against desertification.

The main objective of IPALAC is the improvement of the economic, environmental and social conditions of people living in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world by enhancing agricultural productivity. The tools for achieving this objective is the improvement and/or transfer of crops and associated technologies between the world's arid lands, and a complementary program of research and development, training and dissemination.

With funding from UNESCO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and MASHAV (Israel's Center for International Development Cooperation), IPALAC recently organized a conference on «Combating Desertification with Plants». Various papers presented at the conference covered the contribution of NWFP to sustainability of arid lands, and included:

For more information, please contact: Mr Arnie Schlissel, Administrative Coordinator, International Programme for Arid Land Crops, c/o Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO 653, Beer Sheva, Israel 84105.
Fax: +972-7-647-2984

E-mail: ipalac@bgumail.bgu.ac.il

(See Non-Wood News No. 5 for more information on IPALAC.)



ITTO facilitates discussion, consultation and international cooperation on issues relating to the international trade and utilization of tropical timber and the sustainable management of its resource base.

As a result of the complementarity between the sustainable management of timber and that of NWFP, ITTO is today involved in various projects related to NWFP (in Brazil, Panama, Philippines and Thailand).

For more information, please contact: ITTO, International Organizations Center, 5th Floor, Pacifico-Yokohama, 1-1-1, Minato-Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, 220-0012 Japan.
Fax: +81-45-223-1111

(Please see under Country Compass (Philippines and Thailand) for more information on ITTO projects.)


The Tropenbos Foundation was established in July 1988 in order to continue and expand the International Tropenbos Programme, which was set up by the Netherlands Government in 1986.

The main objectives of the Foundation are to:

In addition to its programme at the sites, Tropenbos develops policy- and management-oriented research strategies on specific themes, such as biodiversity, NTFP and criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management.

The Tropenbos research strategy for NTFP aims to identify under what conditions commercial NTFP extraction can serve as a strategy for conservation and wise forest use. Ongoing NTFP studies at the Tropenbos sites contribute to this strategy by providing insight into various key conditions for successful and sustainable NTFP extraction. These conditions include the availability of natural resources, sustainable harvest levels, access to markets and participatory planning.

The Tropenbos projects dealing with NTFPs can be subdivided into three categories. The first group of projects deals with NTFPs as part of a more comprehensive project on indigenous forest use and management A second group of projects specifically study the potential of NTFPs. These projects are taking place in Colombia, Guyana, Cameroon and Indonesia (East Kalimantan). Finally, some studies deal with specific products and focus on aspects of their sustainable use, like bushmeat, commercial fishing and Brazil nut exploitation.

In 1997, an inventory was made of the methodologies used to provide insight into one or more of these key conditions. The overview (published as Tropenbos Document 14 early in 1998) shows that methodological choices depend on each study's specific objectives and context. Rather than providing a methodological `blueprint', the Tropenbos strategy paper for NTFP research functions as a background document, providing a general framework for the selection of research questions and the integration of site-specific studies.

NTFP publications of the Tropenbos Foundation are available at: www.tropenbos.nl/tropenbos/thementfp.html

For more information, please contact: Jelle Maas, Network/Programme Officer, The Tropenbos Foundation, P.O. Box 232, 6700 AE Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Fax: +31-317-423024


(Please see under Country Compass for more information on the Cameroon project and also under events and publications of interest for more information on Tropenbos.)



WCS, founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, works to save wildlife throughout the world. With 60 staff scientists and more than 100 research fellows, WCS has the largest professional field staff of any US-based international conservation organization. WCS currently conducts more than 250 field projects in some 50 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America.

WCS's strategy is to conduct comprehensive field studies to gather information on wildlife needs, train local conservation professionals to protect and manage wildlife and wild areas for the future, and advise on protected area creation, expansion, and management. Because WCS scientists are familiar with local conditions, they can effectively translate field data into conservation action and policies, and develop locally sustainable solutions to conflicts between humans and wildlife. An acknowledged leader in the field, WCS forges productive relationships with governments, international agencies, and local organizations.

For more information, please contact: Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10460, USA.