No. 03/08

Welcome to FAO’s NWFP-Digest-L, a free e-mail journal that covers all aspects of non-wood forest products. Back issues of the Digest may be found on FAO's NWFP home page: www.fao.org/forestry/site/12980/en.

You can take part in contributing to the continued success of this newsletter by sharing with the NWFP community any news that you may have regarding research, events, publications and projects. Kindly send such information to NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org:We also appreciate any comments or feedback.

A special thank you to all those who have sent me links to information.


IN THIS ISSUE:

PRODUCTS

1. Bamboo: Researchers lead way to medical bamboo fabric

2. Bamboo buzz

3. Bamboo kitchen cloth launched

4. Bamboo in Bangladesh: Steps needed to flourish bamboo handicraft sector

5. Bamboo in India: $2 m bamboo project for N-E launched

6. Bamboo in Kenya: Plans to turn bamboo into money maker for farmers

7. Berries: Indian berries may fight dengue mosquitoes

8. Berries: Studies show goji berries are among the most nutritious foods on the planet

9. Cork: Wine makers now prefer aluminium caps over corks

10. Ginseng: Major ginseng research program

11. Gum Arabic: Pectin replaces gum arabic for better beverage stability: study

12. Medicinal plants in India: Indian herbal market to grow by 20%

13. Medicinal plants: Medicinal knowledge related to Diabetes Type II

14. Moringa in Kenya: Farmers eye indigenous tree to boost their income

15. Moringa in the Philippines: RP biotech firm to sell moringa oil to US

16. Sandalwood oil deal with Lush (UK)

17. Sandalwood: Fresh bid to check sandalwood smuggling in India

18. Shea butter in Ghana: 312 women train in shea butter production

19. Shea butter in Nigeria: NSG grants tax relief to investors

20. Stevia: Innovation still driving force for additives

COUNTRY INFORMATION

21. Brazil: Human impacts on primate conservation in central Amazonia

22. Canada must adapt to climate impact on forests

23. China: Chinese biofuel 'could endanger biodiversity'

24. Ghana: Traditional medicine practitioners meet on HIV/Aids

25. India: UP tribals demand forest rights

26. Ireland: Felling debate

27. Malaysia: Orang Asli couple happy with income from wild plants

28. Namibia: San medicine could be hijacked - study

29. Netherlands: Mushroom varieties disappear

30. Tanzania: Fruits of the Soil

31. Uganda: UK project to boost honey

32. Vietnam: Anti-cancer pines virtually wiped out

NEWS

33. Call for Nominations: Equator Prize 2008

34. Indigenous peoples of Congo map their forests with GPS in an effort to save them

35. International Alliance will unite the forest peoples of the world

36. International Fellowships available at the World Forest Institute, USA

37. Putting a value on rainforests

38. Tapping biotechnology vs. cancer

39. Trade is virtual but the wildlife isn’t

EVENTS

40. Revolutionising the Global Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) Supply

41. 2008 Training Course on Bamboo Technologies for Developing Countries

42. 2008 Global Katoomba Meeting: Developing an Infrastructure Fund for the Planet

43. First World Congress of Environmental History 2009

REQUESTS

44. Request for information: foliage

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

45. Community-based Ecological Monitoring – Manual for Practitioners

46. Doctoral thesis on spice-crop agroforestry systems

47. Microfinance and forest-based small-scale enterprises – Arabic version

48. Zimbabwe: Book provides vital data on biodiversity

49. Other publications of interest

50. Web sites and e-zines

MISCELLANEOUS

51. Conservation areas 'neglected' under current efforts

52. “Mountains and People” Global Digital Photo Contest

53. Swedish tree may be world's oldest


PRODUCTS

1. Bamboo: Researchers lead way to medical bamboo fabric

Source: Scenta.co.uk, 7 April 2008

Bamboo is a leading environmentally-friendly textile. However, there are two major obstacles that are blocking its wider adoption in the marketplace - its lack of UV radiation protection and the bacteria blooms that can lead to unsanitary and odorous clothing.

Despite bamboo’s promise as an eco-friendly fibre, its untreated form has plenty of room for improvement, according to researcher Subhash Appidi from Colorado State University. Raw bamboo fabric lets almost all damaging UV radiation pass through and reach the skin. And while many tout bamboo’s inherent anti-bacterial properties, Appidi found that untreated bamboo fabric did not live up to antimicrobial expectations.

“All cellulose fibres allow more moisture to leak in and provide more food for bacteria to eat. That’s why bacteria grow more on natural fibres rather than synthetic fibres,” said Appidi.

Appidi’s goal is to create clothes of medical use that are 100 per cent antibacterial and UV-resistant. This led Appidi to increase the UV-protecting abilities of fabric by colouring pieces of commercially-available bamboo cloth in a dye laced with UV absorbing chemicals. After finding the optimal concentration of absorbing chemicals, he tested UV protection levels.

Furthermore, on the intrinsic antibacterial properties of bamboo, Appidi treated pieces of commercially purchased bamboo fabric with Tinosan - “one of the better antibacterial agents on the market right now,” said the researcher.

These treatments resulted in a significant 75-80 per cent reduction in bacteria and a profound increase in UV protection, he said. In terms of “ultraviolet protection factor” (UPF), any value of over 50 is deemed safe against UV rays. According to Appidi, his treated fabric almost reached 56.

The results were reported at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

For full story, please see: http://www.scenta.co.uk/scenta/news/cit/1719257/bamboo-boom.htm

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2. Bamboo buzz

Source: ENN News, 1 April 2008

Bamboo this, bamboo that - What’s up with the bamboo buzz?

The bamboo plant is strong, renewable and inexpensive. There are nearly 1000 different species of bamboo and it can be grown in almost any moderate climate. Bamboo can grow 20 meters in less than 60 days.

However, extremely fast growth is not bamboo’s only environmentally friendly virtue. Bamboo also helps repair the devastating effects of deforestation and mining to soil and communities. Bamboo actually removes toxins from soil, prevents erosion and provides jobs and food for many people.

It thrives in a diverse landscape up to 12,000 feet and releases 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. Bamboo is the strongest plant known to humankind.

Bamboo is also extremely versatile. It has thousands of uses, from paper to clothing, fences, construction, chop sticks, flooring, musical instruments - the list is endless.

Furthermore, when manufacturing solid hardwood flooring from plantation timber, only 20-25% is used. Bamboo flooring, on the other hand, uses over 90% of the bamboo plant with no wastage.

Its strength-to-weight ratio is better than graphite. The US Navy even used bamboo to reinforce concrete in World War II.

In conclusion, the buzz about bamboo is quite legit. If you have the opportunity to buy things bamboo, we say go for it. Buy bamboo and keep the green going.

For full story, please see: http://www.enn.com/green_building/commentary/33785

Related story, please see: http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/32202

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3. Bamboo kitchen cloth launched

Source: Talking Retail, UK, 2 April 2008

The Scotch-Brite Bamboo Kitchen Cloth is made with natural bamboo fibres and boasts 50 per cent more absorbency than regular dishcloths. Containing 60 per cent bamboo and 40 per cent cotton, this cloth is super absorbent with a silky soft texture.

Sarah Downing, Consumer and Product Marketing for the Scotch-Brite brand says: “As consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally aware, the demand for sustainable products is on the increase. Bamboo is highly sustainable and is already used by half the world’s population for many purposes, including food, shelter and clothing. Scotch-Brite’s Bamboo Kitchen Cloth combines product innovation with an environmental conscience to create a unique cleaning accessory.”

For full story, please see: http://www.talkingretail.com/products/9202/3M-launches-new-bamboo-kitchen.ehtml

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4. Bamboo in Bangladesh: Steps needed to flourish bamboo handicraft sector

Source: The New Nation, Bangladesh, 5 April 2008

Special measures should be taken to flourish the bamboo handicraft industry for protecting the people who are dependent on this sector in the northern region.

According to the sources concerned, traditional bamboo handicrafts have recently been in the doldrums because of a dwindling demand for the environment-friendly products. Talking to BSS, experts, manufacturers and traders said effective steps are essential to create demand for bamboo products in local and regional markets, removing obstacles to its production.

They said around two lakh people are involved in bamboo growing and production of bamboo crafts in northern Bangladesh. Most of the producers are women and aborigines and bamboo products are their main income source. Besides, another 50,000 people are completely dependent on bamboo crafts trading for their livelihoods.

The manufacturers collect bamboo from local markets and sell the processed items locally while the small traders purchase the items from different villages and sell those to various regional markets.

However, manufacturers frequently are deprived of minimum profits due to various reasons, particularly the high price of bamboo, irregular supply of raw materials and lack of communication between different markets. On the other hand, the bamboo products are gradually losing demand due to rapid expansion of the plastic industry.

They said diversified, need-based and effective steps should be taken to boost production and trading of the crafts in the greater interest of promoting the sector. The Bangladesh Forest Research Institute and the Forest Department could be utilised to impart training to nursery owners in bamboo sapling production in branch cutting method to enhance bamboo and cane production.

The bamboo product manufacturers could also be brought under the training programme for sustainable development of the sector through expansion of business at private level besides arranging motivational workshops for the target group people.

In addition to make the local bamboo products familiar with the exporters, survey in different high price markets including Dhaka and linkage between the wholesalers and the producers along with their produced items should be brought under consideration to enhance communication in this field.

Both short and long term measures, experts said, would benefit the bamboo growers, traders, manufacturers and businessmen, and help cut poverty.

For full story, please see: http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/04/05/news0684.htm

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5. Bamboo in India: $2 m bamboo project for N-E launched

Source: Financial Express, India, 9 April 2008

An ambitious and innovative four-year project, which aims at strengthening India's role as a leader in the world cane and bamboo industry, was launched here on Wednesday by the Union minister for the development of northeastern region, Mani Shankar Aiyar, at a function in the presence of the UNIDO director-general Kandeh Yumkella.

The $2 million project will be implemented with effect from May 2008. UNIDO will be the executing agency, with the department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), North Eastern Council and Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) as the coordinating and counterpart agencies. Of the total project cost of $ 2,307,373, the donor contribution of India is $1,868,472 from DIPP, NEC and DC (Handicrafts); and $196,000 as UNIDO's contribution.

Describing bamboo as a promising agro-commodity and an economic lifeline for the people of the region, Yumkella said the project would be an excellent opportunity to further strengthen long-term cooperation between UNIDO and its three Indian partners in this important endeavour, namely DIPP, NEC and DC (Handicrafts), all of whom were convinced that bamboo could be a major vehicle for rural agro-commodity based livelihood development.

For full story, please see: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/-2-m-bamboo-project-for-N-E-launched/294884/

Related story: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/-2-million-bamboo-project-to-benefit-India/294721/

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6. Bamboo in Kenya: Plans to turn bamboo into money maker for farmers

Source: Business Daily Africa, Kenya, 4 April 2008

Kenya Forest Research Institute plans to train farmers on the commercial gains of planting bamboo trees, setting the stage for their entry into a lucrative market.

Under the training programme, artisans will learn how to make chairs, tables, pen holders, sofa sets, coat hangers, baskets using the bamboo tree— products whose demand has increased both locally and internationally.

Most of the ones on sale in Kenya are imported from Asian countries like Japan, Thailand and China. Concerns have been raised over large imports of bamboo products which are thwarting efforts to grow the industry.

The training, which begins later this month in Central Kenya aims to create a vibrant bamboo products industry with expectation that the sector will grow to attract the international market.

Over the past two years, forestry officials have been promoting bamboo as an alternative to wood trees to ease growing pressure on forests.

“The first group of 15 trainees has been selected for a two weeks training session,” said Mr Samson Mogire, a bamboo products expert at Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI). The trainees are expected to help promote product making techniques in their localities.

Experts say the bamboo’s unique qualities enable it to be used in making a wide range of products.

Its lightness and exceptional versatility when dry has made it useful in construction of fences, bridges, canoes, water pipes, furniture, chopsticks, food steamers, toys, martial arts weaponry and musical instruments.

Its fibre is also used in basketry and pulp-making, while the leaves are used in thatching and other forms of shading.

In China, the bamboo has become one of the major drivers of the economy because of its use in the paper manufacturing industry.

The training programme is being funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government.

KEFRI has been training farmers on artificial propagation of bamboo to expand the supply in anticipation of a steep rise in demand.

In Kenya, the bamboo is mainly grown in the Aberdares, Olengurueni, Molo, Kakamega and parts of the coastal region.

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet and has been marketed as humanity’s best weapon against a rapid decline hardwood forests.

It takes about three years to fully mature for harvest unlike the lengthy time which wooded trees take.

With the rapidly declining forest cover, Bamboo is seen as the best alternative to help preserve water catchment areas and increase forest cover.

For full story, please see: http://www.bdafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6807&Itemid=5811

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7. Berries: Indian berries may fight dengue mosquitoes

Source: Reuters India, 3 April 2008

HONG KONG - Berries of a common weed found in India may be effective in fighting mosquitoes that spread dengue fever, a study has found.

Synthetic insecticides are increasingly useless in fighting disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the Stegomyia aegypti that can spread dengue and yellow fever viruses.

In the online open-access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists in India described how they used juice and extracts from the Solanum villosum weed and found it was particularly effective in eliminating S. aegypti larvae.

"The extract ... from the plant could be used in stagnant water bodies which are known to be the breeding grounds for mosquitoes," Nandita Chowdhury, Anupam Ghosh and Goutam Chandra from Burdwan University in West Bengal wrote.

They went on to discover the juices contained certain chemical compounds.

"These act as a repellent which protect(s) against the lethal effects of the larval mosquitoes," they added.

From Africa to Asia to Latin America, around 2.5 billion people live in areas where they are at risk of dengue fever. There is no vaccine or drugs to treat the illness, which killed an estimated 22,000 people last year, most of them children.

For full story, please see: http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-32817520080403

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8. Berries: Studies show goji berries are among the most nutritious foods on the planet

Source: Natural News.com, AZ, USA, 2 April 2008

People in the valleys of Tibet and Mongolia cherish the Goji Berry. In fact, they honour it in celebrations that last two weeks each year. It is believed this berry is what gives them their disease-free lives that often last for more than 100 years. People in the Ninxia region of Northern China have 16 times more centenarians than people in the rest of the country.

Researchers began studying Goji Berries expecting to find similar results to other fruits. However, vitamin, mineral and nutrient analysis revealed that the Goji Berry is one of the most nutritionally rich foods on planet.

In 1988, the Beijing Nutrition Research Institute conducted detailed chemical analysis and nutritional composition studies of the Goji Berry. They discovered that it is packed with an incredible range of vitamins, minerals, protein, amino acids, essential fats, and health enhancing phytonutrients.

The research has shown that the goji berry is loaded with age defying, disease preventing antioxidants. Its ORAC value (the value a food is given for its protective potency) is far higher than blueberries, pomegranates, oranges, or raspberries, all of which are powerful antioxidants themselves.

For full story, please see: http://www.naturalnews.com/022924.html

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9. Cork: Wine makers now prefer aluminium caps over corks

Source: Economic Times, Haryana, India, 10 April 2008

Melbourne/ HOBART: Uncorking the bubbly, the iconic symbol of hi-society celebration honed into a ritual over the decades, is turning into an unintended victim, thanks to the wine industry’s quest for technology upgradation.

A number of winemakers, including global players like Moet & Chandon and Fosters Group, are showing a marked preference for aluminium crown caps over the good-old wine cork. As a result, the pomp associated with opening a bottle of wine could vanish over a period of time and your wine opener could become a museum piece.

More importantly, storage of wine is becoming simpler as the need for laying bottles horizontally would cease to exist. Wine bottles with aluminium crown caps can be stored vertically, as there is no danger of the cork drying out, making the process of opening the bottle clumsy.

Wine in tetra packs and cans may not be ideas whose time has come, but the aluminium crown is gaining increasing acceptance. This could be good news for booming consumer markets like India, where new customers are not accustomed to storage and uncorking techniques.

The change, industry players say, is being driven by supermarkets which do not want to be saddled with wine bottles being returned by customers due to a faulty cork or difficulties in uncorking it. Aluminium crown caps, they say, are 100% reliable, as the chances of a cork going bad are far higher.

“There is a growing preference for aluminium crown caps. They are easy to open and storage is easier,” said Mr Owen Malone, a director with the Foster’s Group which produces significant quantities of wine, though the brand is known for its popular beer.

The shift to aluminium crown caps is catching up more rapidly in countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Argentina, the new age wine producers. Traditional players in Europe are also shifting, albeit at a slower pace.

Stephen Webber, chief winemaker at De Bortoli Wines near Melbourne, is philosophical about the switchover to aluminium crown caps and considers the issue settled. That the aluminium will not interfere with the taste of flavour of the wine is a factor that gives him comfort in aiming for premium quality products that seek to showcase the quality of grapes into fine wine.

Cameron Murphy, business development manager for the Asia-Pacific region at Domaine Chandon, feels that the aluminium crown and cork would co-exist. The Australian winery of Moet & Chandon uses both cork as well as aluminium crowns. “Corks cannot be 100% perfect. Therefore, the innovation,” he added.

Industry representatives are of the view that special editions of aged premium wine would still continue to use corks while the staple varieties would be quick to switch over. The use of aluminium crowns is more prominent now in the case of sparkling wine but other categories are also catching up, they say.

Another factor encouraging phase-out of corks is the smart expansion of the wine market in countries where growing prosperity is resulting in consumers switching over to wine from hard liquor. The hassle-free aluminium crown is also ‘cool’ for new generation consumers with an attitude, it is felt.

For full story, please see: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News_By_Industry/

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10. Ginseng: Major ginseng research program

Source: Edubourse.com (Communiqués de presse), France, 26 February 2008

Avignon, FRANCE - Naturex announces today its participation in the project "New Technologies for Ginseng Agriculture and Product Development", an innovative program oriented to validate several health claims on North American Ginseng. Researches will focus on various medical and health areas, including metabolic syndrome, stress, physical endurance, cardiovascular diseases, immuno-modulation, reproductive health, and neuroprotective and psychiatric disorders.

Ginseng is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in the world. The two best-selling species are North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). The research project is headed by Dr. Edmund Lui from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario. Dr. Lui explained "This is the most extensive project on ginseng ever planned; it involves six Ontario's universities, and key participants from the industry like Naturex, the largest botanical extracts manufacturer in North America. The ultimate objectives of this project are health claims validation and to establish an "umbrella branding" for the Ontario ginseng". The scientific team involved in this project consists of researchers with diverse backgrounds including agriculture, life sciences, biochemistry, social sciences, economics, and marketing.

On January 29th, the Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, Mr. John Wilkinson, announced that his Government will grant 6.9 million Canadian dollars to Ontario Research Fund as a contribution to this five-year project.

Jacques Dikansky, President and C.E.O. of Naturex, declared "We believe in this project because it is a milestone in the dietary supplement business. For the first time all of the participants will join efforts to create an innovative and scientifically-supported range of North American ginseng derivatives. For this reason, Naturex is proud in supporting this ambitious project”. Naturex will provide its expertise in ginseng extraction and pesticides removal as well as its extensive in-house analytical capabilities (including HPLC, HPLC-MS, PPSL, GC, GC-MS, ICP, NMR, pesticides, and microbiology).

For full story, please see: http://www.edubourse.com/finance/actualites.php?actu=37517

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11. Gum Arabic: Pectin replaces gum arabic for better beverage stability: study

Source: FoodNavigator.com, France, 10 April 2008

Replacing gum Arabic with low levels of pectin can lead to more stable orange beverage emulsions, suggests new research from Malaysia.

The study, published in the journal Carbohydrate Polymers, taps into the growing research trend in beverages for producing emulsions with less or no gum Arabic, a gum historically subject to some supply variations.

"The present study demonstrated that the substitution of 20 per cent Arabic gum with high pectin concentration (three or four per cent weight for weight) resulted in a better storage stability, thus ensuring the adequacy of pectin as a potential replacer for Arabic gum in the formulation of orange beverage emulsion," wrote lead author Hamed Mirhosseini from the Faculty of Food Science and Technology at the Universiti Putra Malaysia.

The supply of gum arabic (E414 in the EU), also known as acacia gum because it comes from Acacia trees in the gum belt of Africa, is variable due to political and climatic factors in the primary producing countries like Sudan and Nigeria and this has led to spikes in the price of the ingredient.

Gum arabic, known as the Rolls Royce' of gums, is widely used by the food and beverage industry, and the top producers (mainly Sudan) bring about 50,000 tonnes of the gum to the market each year.

Attempts to find an alternative have lead researchers to study alternatives that could be used as a thickener, adhesive, and stabiliser for food and beverage applications.

Source: Carbohydrate Polymers (Elsevier), Volume 73, Issue 1, Pages 83-91 "Influence of pectin and CMC on physical stability, turbidity loss rate, cloudiness and flavour release of orange beverage emulsion during storage". Authors: Hamed Mirhosseini, C.P. Tan, A. Aghlara, N.S.A. Hamid, S. Yusof, B.H. Chern

For full story, please see: http://www.foodnavigator.com/news/ng.asp?n=84562-pectin-gum-arabic-beverage-emulsions

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12. Medicinal plants in India: Indian herbal market to grow by 20%

Source: Financial Express, India, 4 April 2008

The Indian herbal market is registering an extremely significant growth and is likely to reach Rs.14,500 crore (Rs 145,000 million) by 2012 and exports to Rs.9,000 crore (Rs 90,000 million) with a CAGR of 20% and 25% respectively, according to findings of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

A Chamber Study on `Herbal Industry Biz Potential' has revealed that currently, the Indian herbal market size is estimated at Rs.7000 crore (Rs 70000 mn) and over Rs.3600 crore (Rs 36000 mn) of herbal raw materials and medicines are exported by India.

Assocham has organized an International Herbal Expo in Delhi on Friday in which 50 international buyers are participating

The reasons cited for the herbal industry experimental growth comprises setting up of Herbal farm clusters by the government for improving quality of drugs and promotion of exports, doubling the cultivation of medicinal plants by converting existing farmland, continuous focus for R&D on product and process development and effective marketing of herbal products, the study said.

The study also revealed that out of 700 plant species commonly used in India, only 20% were earlier being cultivated on commercial scale and 90% of medicinal plant used by the industries are collected from the wild.

On the whole, India is stated to have 45,000 plant species (nearly 20% of the global species) occurring in the Indian sub-continent. Out of these, about 4,500 species of both higher and lower plant groups are of medicinal value.

The study, however, said that the major hurdle for cultivating medicinal and aromatic plants as a sustainable agricultural profession was the lack of organized and regulated Markets in India. The regulated production on scientific lines, effective enforcement of licensing system and setting up of Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) in select states will push up exports of herbal material and medicines.

Apart from that, the Indian herbal drug exporters face the stringent quality norms imposed by the EU through the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD), Food Supplement Directive (FSD) and these directives also encouraged the high quality products and subsequently the unorganized sectors sub-standard products are rejected by them.

India followed by China is the largest producer of medicinal plants, having more than 40% of global diversity. The states which are major producer of herbal plants having the highest medicinal value include Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra and the Himalayan Range.

According to Assocham estimates, over 70% of the plant collections involve destructive harvesting because of the use of parts like roots, bark, wood, stem and the whole plant in case of herbs. This poses a definite threat to the genetic stocks and to the diversity of medicinal plants if biodiversity is not sustainably used.

Around 70% of India's medicinal plants are found in tropical areas mostly in the various forest types spread across the Western and Eastern ghats, the Vindhyas, Chotta Nagpur plateau, Aravalis and Himalayas. Although less than 30% of the medicinal plants are found in the temperate and alpine areas and higher altitudes they include species of high medicinal value. Macro studies show that a larger percentage of the known medicinal plant occur in the dry and moist deciduous vegetation as compared to the evergreen or temperate habitats.

"This will be particularly so because in the identified countries, urge for swadeshi (indigenous) herbal medicines has been rising due to their quality ingredients, availability factor and price competitiveness with virtually little side effects. Secondly, swadeshi (indigenous) herbs and medicines meet all the WHO prescribed standards and norms and thus encounter no restrictions in overseas Markets to have instant acceptability from its takers", the study said.

The medicines that have established export demand in economies of scale and produced with international quality norms include psyllium husk, sema leaves & pods, sandalwood chips and dust, Jojoba seeds, psyllium seeds, pyrethrum, basil, hyasop, rosemary safe, svory, galangal rhizonmes and roots. The application of these medicines is multifaceted and cures even serious aliments with little precautions and that's why they are in great demand. India's share in medicinal plant export in global trade is just about 2.5% against 13% of China.

The paper highlights that India has 15 Agroclimatic zones, 4700 different plant species and 15000 medicinal plants The Indian Systems of Medicine have identified 1500 medicinal plants, of which 500 species are mostly used in the preparation of drugs.

For full story, please see: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Indian-herbal-market-to-grow-by-20/292575/0

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13. Medicinal plants: Medicinal knowledge related to Diabetes Type II

From: Pankaj Oudhia, India, pankajoudhia@yahoo.com

I am an India-based researcher engaged in documentation of traditional medicinal knowledge about medicinal herbs and insects. These days I am documenting traditional medicinal knowledge related to Diabetes Type II.

Please visit the Ecoport site ( http://ecoport.org/) for weekly schedules that are important part of my detailed scientific report. At present there are over 62,000 weekly schedules on-line. It is much less than the total number of schedules (i.e. over 200,000). If I work 10-12 hours daily (both off-line and on-line) then it seems the complete work will be online up to April, 2010.

This report is having over 30,000 pictures of herbs and related aspects used in these schedules. Details regarding collection of herbs, methods to enrich it with medicinal properties before collection through Traditional Allelopathic Knowledge, differences in opinion regarding doses, uses and time etc. are main features of this scientific report. This knowledge is collected through interactions with over 6,000 traditional healers, herb collectors, herb traders, herb vendors, farmers, senior natives etc. with much inputs based on my experiences. This work is in progress by self expenses.

This work is on-line only due to Ecoport and especially due to Ecoport supervisor Dr. Tonie Putter and the Ecoport team.

Links for articles/information related to this report:

http://www.pankajoudhia.com/botanical-17.htm

http://ecoport.org/ep?SearchType=earticleView&earticleId=3077&page=-1&checkRequired=Y

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14. Moringa in Kenya: Farmers eye indigenous tree to boost their income

Source: Business Daily Africa, Kenya, 4 April 2008

When food crops failed to do well on her two acre farm, Beldine Anyuka resorted to the renowned moringa herbal tree. Mrs Anyuka started growing the trees on her farm in Bondo district in 1995 and 13 years down the line she is enjoying the fruits of the change.

Her fortunes changed after the Kenya Horticultural Development Program (KHDP) started supporting groups to market the crop with the assistance of the United States International Development Agency (USAID).

She joined the Usigu Bondo Kwach (USIBOKWA) moringa development group in 2003. With the new marketing channel, farmers can make up to Sh13, 000 from an acre of the trees at a production cost of Sh1,395 during the first year. The income grows to Sh60,000 by the fourth year of harvesting.

The trees have become popular because they can be intercropped with other plants, control soil erosion and are drought resistant.

The tree has been approved by KEMRI and can be used for both human and animal consumption. Oil extracted from its seeds is used for manufacture of lotions and perfumes.

Medical practitioners have also recommended the tree to sufferers of HIV/Aids and skin diseases. The products of the tree-powder are found in some shops and markets within Kisumu at relatively low prices. A 500g packet of the powder costs Sh100 and lasts a week. HIV/Aids patients are advised to mix one tea spoon in either tea or porridge three times a day, says Ms Agnes Labala- a herbalist.

The tree attains a height of 2.5 metres after 3 months but with better management it can grow to 5 metres.

Experts in the horticulture industry have said that there is an acute shortage of Moringa seedlings worldwide. The seeds are also processed at Earthoil Company in Athi River for the extraction of oil and powder among other products.

KHDP is presently offering training to several groups of farmers in western Kenya on production techniques that would raise yields and income. It supports the growth of moringa in Nyanza, Western and Coast provinces under that mandate.

For full story, please see: http://www.bdafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6806&Itemid=5811

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15. Moringa in the Philippines: RP biotech firm to sell moringa oil to US

Source: Inquirer.net, Philippines, 13 April 2008

Manila --A local firm has started exporting malunggay seeds and moringa oil, which can be used as biodiesel, according to the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office.

In a statement, DA-BPO said countries like Brazil, South Africa and Australia have already sought malunggay seeds from Secura International, a 100-percent Filipino biotechnology firm.

Secura's business includes extracting oil from malunggay seeds and marketing it as edible oil with multiple pharmaceutical uses.

Danny Manayaga, Secura president and chief executive officer, said in the same statement that moringa oil may also soon find its way into these countries. "Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are interested in malunggay and the appetite for its oil intensified after they learned its use as an alternative biodiesel," he added.

Secura also targets Japan and South Korea as its next biggest markets for moringa oil. "Because these markets are very near to us, we can deal with them and provide their requirements," he explained.

Meanwhile, Manayaga said Secura was seeking to complete the 500,000 hectares of malunggay plantations that can provide the demand for moringa oil as biodiesel feedstock for North American Biofuels Inc.

He said the US firm had junked jatropha oil and opted to use moringa oil as biodiesel after testing a 100-kilo sample sent by Secura.

Malunggay's leaves, flowers and pods are used as cooking ingredients. The oil, which can be extracted from its leaves, is said to be far superior to olive oil and can be a cheaper alternative natural medicine for common illnesses.

For full story, please see: http://business.inquirer.net/money/breakingnews/view/20080413-130137/RP-biotech-firm-to-sell-moringa-oil-to-US

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16. Sandalwood oil deal with Lush (UK)

Source: WA Business News, Australia, 21 February 2008

Perth-based Indian sandalwood grower, TFS Corporation Ltd, has signed a five year deal with UK-based handmade cosmetics company Lush, for the supply of oil produced from TFS' plantations.

Key aspects of the agreement include the commencement of supply upon the availability of the first commercial quantities of oil from TFS's plantations, which is anticipated to occur by FY11, and for Lush to purchase a minimum of 1 tonne of oil and up to a maximum of 15 per cent of TFS's oil production, in each 12-month period.

Lush has agreed to create a new sandalwood-based product range using TFS's oil, for marketing throughout their worldwide retail network of 500 stores in 44 countries.

TFS will issue one million options to Lush, exercisable at $1.80 per share at any time within three years of the first commercial oil delivery.

"This is a landmark deal for TFS, which confirms the quality and appeal of our sandalwood product," said Frank Wilson, executive chairman. "We are particularly pleased to have concluded it with a party of such high standing as Lush, whose ethical and socially responsible standards mirror those of TFS, as reflected in our commitment to the environmentally sustainable development of our plantations."

Since establishing in 1995, Lush Cosmetics has pioneered beauty products such as the fizzing bath ballistic, shower jellies and butter creams and solid shampoo bars. Lush places emphasis on fresh natural ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables and operates a strict policy against animal testing. It supports Fair Trade and Community Trade initiatives and leads the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging by running public awareness campaigns and developing products that can be sold 'naked' to the consumer without any packaging.

"Following on from the collaboration agreement struck with Albert Vieille last year, the supply agreement with Lush demonstrates that we are progressively putting in place the necessary steps to make the transition from pure plantation manager and owner, through to a vertically integrated oil producer with blue chip customers in the global fine fragrance and cosmetics industry," said Mr Wilson.

For full story, please see: http://www.wabusinessnews.com.au/en-story/1/60908/TFS-strikes-sandalwood-oil-deal-with-Lush

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17. Sandalwood: Fresh bid to check sandalwood smuggling in India

Source: Lucknow Newsline, India, 20 March 2008

The state forest department is planning to meet the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to come up with strategies to launch a crackdown on the illegal transportation of red sandalwood across Indo-Nepal border. This is finest and the most expensive variety of sandalwood.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Thursday, a forest official said the department will meet the SSB and the police in April. The decision, which will be made official shortly, comes after the department in February intercepted over 10 tonnes of red sandalwood, bought from Andhra Pradesh, on the bordering Maharajganj district. The truck driver revealed that he was taking the sandalwood to Nepal, from where it will be sold in the international market, particularly in China and Japan. The wood, best of its kind, would have fetched over Rs 100 crore, sources say.

Sources reveal that such variety is in high demand in countries like China and Japan, where it is not just used for decorating doors and windows in religious establishments, but also in houses of the rich and the high-profile.

This is not the first incident. According to RK Singh, Divisional Forest Officer, Maharajganj division, there is no doubt about the fact that the route is being used by smugglers from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on a large scale. An official said: “These are not isolated incidents, but since our intelligence networking is not very strong, we may have missed out on several incidents."

For full story, please see: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Fresh-bid-to-check-sandalwood-smuggling/286866/

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18. Shea butter in Ghana: 312 women train in shea butter production

Source: Joy Online, Ghana, 12 April 2008

Three hundred and twelve members of the Buli Women Sheanut Pickers and Producers Association in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region are being trained in quality shea butter production to meet international market standards to boost their incomes.

The Church of Pentecost at Lassia-Tuolo is organizing the women groups in the communities to undertake the training as part of its social responsibility to enhance the livelihoods of the people.

The Wa West District is endowed with the shea trees and the women had been using traditional methods in processing the butter resulting in its low standards, a situation that had affected the export of the product.

The women are expected to produce 36,000 kilos (36 tonnes) of shea butter in a year using the appropriate production techniques under hygienic conditions.

The lack of credit facilities, equipment and other logistic support could affect production levels.

Pastor Frank Awuah Fordjour, District Overseer of the Church said the United States Embassy had provided the Church with 11,000 Ghana Cedis from its Ambassador Special Help Initiative programme to put up a house and equipped it with a grinding mill for the women to undertake shea butter production.

He said when he came to the community, he realised that the women in the area were handicapped and less endowed even though they were producing shea butter in smaller quantities for the local market.

Pastor Fordjour said this made the church appeal for assistance from JICA, Africa 2000 and Chapter 58 Trust, all non governmental organisations for funds to improve the skills of the women in shea butter production to reduce poverty.

He called on the district assembly and benevolent organisations to support the women with funds to purchase the shea nuts from local markets to sustain production.

Mr. Ross Nytton of the Chapter 58 Trust said his NGO would look for markets for the product at the international world market for the association to export the commodity.

He said shea butter had become a popular commodity at the international market as it was now used by medical and cosmetic industries to make various products.

Madam Safia Alhassan, trainer of the women said Africa 2000 had been building the capacity of women groups that were into shea butter production, providing them appropriate production techniques to produce quality butter for international markets.

Madam Cynthia Tuormah, Secretary of the Buli Women Shea nut Pickers and Producers Association mentioned lack of finances, equipment and market for the product as some of the challenges facing the association.

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19. Shea butter in Nigeria: NSG grants tax relief to investors

Source: Nasarawa State, Nigeria, 31 March 2008

The Nasarawa State Government, in its bid to woo investors, said it would provide a conducive environment for those willing to invest in the state. To this end, the state government said it has packaged some tax relief measures to attract investors to the state.

The state commissioner for commerce, industries and co-operative, Alhaji Abdullahi Yusuf Loko, stated this at a one day awareness workshop on Shea butter for export, organized by the Jos zonal office of Nigerian Export Promotion, Council (NEPC) in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital recently.

He commended NEPC for organizing the workshop which, he said, was "in line with the resolve of the state government to restore agriculture as the main economic activities of the people of the state".

Earlier, the Jos zonal manager of NEPC, Alhaji Tijjani Zakari, said the workshop with the theme "Harnessing the untapped potentials of Sheabutter for export," was aimed at identifying major producers, processors and dealers of Sheabutter as well as sensitize them on the importance of producing the commodity for export. He called on the Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, to encourage small scale industrialists to invest in the agricultural sector of the state.

The technical session of the workshop featured paper presentation on varied topics including "Harnessing the Export Potentials of Shea butter in Nasarawa State".

Some participants said the workshop increased their understanding of the importance of Shea butter, with one saying "before now, I use to see sheabutter as a mere fruit, but I have learnt other uses of this highly economic tree".

For full story, please see: http://www.nasarawastate.org/newsday/news/nasara08/NewArticle264.html

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20. Stevia: Innovation still driving force for additives

Source: FoodNavigator-USA, France, 7 March 2008

Food additive producers are building market value by developing new ingredients and improving existing ones - in turn enabling product manufacturers to improve quality and reduce costs, says Freedonia. The US food additives market is relatively mature. A new report from Freedonia published this month called Food and Beverage Additives values the market at $6,945m in 2007.

The market is expected to continue growing at a rate of 4.4 percent per year to 2012, to be worth some $8.6bn, as ingredients companies seek to deliver on current market trends. They also look to address some of the big factors affecting their customers' margins, like the cost of raw materials used to provide texture and taste.

Amongst the areas of hot interest at the moment, according to Freedonia, are alternative sweeteners, which are valued at $891m. "The quest for the elusive perfect sweetener - a clean sweet taste, no caloric value and no negative health effects - continues unabated, as exhibited by efforts to commercialize stevia and other alternatives to traditional sweeteners," it said.

Cargill and Coca Cola are two heavyweights that have teamed up launch their own stevia ingredient, called Rebiana. Although stevia is not yet approved as sweetener in major markets, the companies have said they will launch first in markets with no regulatory barriers.

One factor that could stymie the development of alternative sweeteners, expected to reach a value of $1085m by 2012, is the "sluggishness of the soft drinks market", however. Moreover, the publication of recent scientific studies suggesting that diet soft drinks could contribute to obesity could impact both the beverage sector and ingredients used in them.

For full story, please see: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?n=83821-freedonia-additives-sweeteners-flavors

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COUNTRY INFORMATION

21. Brazil: Human impacts on primate conservation in central Amazonia

Source: Mongabay.com, 3 March 2008

Deforestation in the Amazon is a serious concern. In the Brazilian Amazon, forests are cleared for cattle ranches, soybean cultivation, and selective logging practices. A new plan to settle approximately 180 families north of Manaus, the capital city of the state of Amazonas, has created widespread controversy. The land plots would be located within the study site of the longest-running study of forest fragmentation, the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP). Therefore, the plan would threaten scientific research at the BDFFP and other nearby research sites operated by the Instituto Nacional da Pesquisas de Amazônia (INPA) and Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), as well as the future of the Central Amazonian Conservation Corridor.

Increased human density in the area would most likely lead to more deforestation, as well as increased rates of hunting on the animals of the area. In fact, the BDFFP has already experienced theft, intentional fires, logging, and hunting in its study area. Six monkey species reside in the BDFFP area, but some species, such as the black spider monkey, have not fared well in the remaining forest fragments, or forest patches, that are left after deforestation. Therefore, there is concern that the plants and animals of the area would be negatively affected by the colonization plan. There is also concern regarding future research at the BDFFP site, which has contributed to science and education for nearly three decades, and produced 600 publications, technical reports and theses. Therefore, the settlement plan could affect the conservation of the local plants and animals, as well as the multitude of research that is currently conducted by numerous institutions and agencies.

The settlement plan was proposed by a Brazilian federal agency, but due to the controversy of the plan in Brazil and abroad, the agency has temporarily suspended further settlement activities related to the plan. In addition, scientists in Brazil have submitted proposals for management plans of the BDFFP and other regional protected areas, as an alternative to the current settlement plan.

(Sarah Boyle's research is published in the inaugural issue of the open access e-journal Tropical Conservation Science: Human impacts on primate conservation in central Amazonia.)

For full story, please see: http://www.amazonia.org.br/english/noticias/noticia.cfm?id=262989

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22. Canada must adapt to climate impact on forests

Source: Reuters UK, 1 April 2008

Vancouver, British Columbia - Canada must prepare for the impact of global warming on its forests, such as increased fires in the west and ice storms in the east, the country's forest ministers said on Tuesday.

Canada's lumber and paper industry must also address its declining competitiveness and use trees for non-timber products such as biochemicals, the provincial and federal officials said in a draft report on the future of the country's forests.

Canada is home to about 10 percent of the world's forests, and more than 90 percent of the country's forest land is government owned.

The report, which was light on specifics, said the forests will feel the impact of global warming even if steps are taken internationally to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses linked to climate change.

For full story, please see: http://uk.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUKN0130868020080401

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23. China: Chinese biofuel 'could endanger biodiversity'

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (17 - 24 March 2008)

[BEIJING] Using China's forests and 'idle land' to produce biofuels could pose a threat to biodiversity, warned experts at an international meeting.

Spike Millington, chief technical advisor to the European Union-China Biodiversity Programme, raised the problem earlier this month (7 March) at the International Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change, held in Beijing, China.

In July 2007, China released its middle- and long-term plan for renewable energy. While shunning corn or soya-based biofuel production to avoid endangering food security, the plan encourages the development of non-grain biofuels, including cassava- and sorghum-based ethanol in northeast and south China, and jatropha-based biodiesel in southwest China's Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.

In line with the national plan, companies and government agencies including PetroChina, the State Forestry Administration and local governments in Sichuan and Yunnan have revealed ambitious plans to develop jatropha-based biodiesel projects.

But Millington said, "The region of southwest China targeted for biofuels coincides with the home of the last remaining intact natural forests in China." He added that the degraded forests in the area also play an important role in biodiversity.

Millington is echoed by Chen Shengliang, a biologist at Chongqing Environmental Protection Bureau in southwest China. "The rapid growth of single species of jatropha trees could inhibit other plants such as grasses," Chen told SciDev.Net.

Liu Xuehua, an associate professor of environment at Tsinghua University, adds that land classed as idle is often not empty land, and can be home to diverse undomesticated species.

To cope with potential risks, Millington recommends that environmental assessment is carried out to distinguish high biodiversity areas from low biodiversity areas that are suitable for jatropha trees or other biofuel plants.

The workshop organiser, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) — which became the Ministry of Environment this week (15 March) at the annual plenary meeting of the National People’s Congress — announced earlier this month (6 March) that it is initiating a major research programme to evaluate the impacts of climate change on national biodiversity.

For full story, please see: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/chinese-biofuel-could-endanger-biodiversity-.html

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24. Ghana: Traditional medicine practitioners meet on HIV/Aids

Source: Accra Mail (Accra), 12 March 2008

The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gladys Ashitey has said Ghana is developing policy guidelines for the handling of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. She said the policy guidelines, which would give special references to their application in health and agriculture, would also focus on the documentation of traditional knowledge and the related genetic resources, conditions of access, benefit sharing arrangements, institutional arrangements for administration and enforcement.

Speaking at the opening of the second Global Summit on HIV and AIDS, Traditional Medicine and Indigenous Knowledge in Accra, the Deputy Minister said the guidelines would help foster research and development, innovations and capacity building for optimal and sustainable use of traditional knowledge and plant genetic resources.

The five-day international workshop would be discussing, among other things, identifying the challenges, successes and failures of indigenous healing in the contemporary world. They will also discuss assessing best practices in establishing the value of any traditional medicine regarding its efficacy, safety and quality and resolving the differences in concepts and methodologies regarding best practices.

Dr. Ashitey explained that the institutional, research and administrative framework as well as regulatory capacities in the country, which were being developed, had a functional Traditional Medicine Practice Council and two pilot centres for the public practice of herbal medicine in health care delivery.

She called for the collaboration of herbal practitioners and the government to move herbal medicine forward.

Dr Ossy M. J. Kasilo, World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa Regional Office Advisor on Traditional Medicine, commended Ghana for being the first in Africa to develop a strategic plan for the development of traditional medicine. She said Ghana was also the first in developing traditional medicine research plant at the Centre for Plant Medicine, developing Code of Ethics in traditional medicine among other achievements and urged other countries participating in the workshop to follow Ghana's example.

Answering a participant's question on whether traditional medicine could cure HIV virus, Dr Kasilo explained that research has disclosed traditional medicine could reduce the viral load to a point where it will be difficult for the CD 4 Count machine to detect the virus. She said there was evidence of some HIV patients who had been on traditional medicine gain weight, but added they "cannot compare ARV to traditional medicine and traditional medicine cannot replace ARV until further research is conducted on that".

Mr Kwame Amezah, Acting Director of Extension of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said the current forests covering about four billion hectares were very important for the promotion of health. "Unfortunately the forests are being converted to other activities such as mining, agriculture and oil production resulting in long term reduction of provision of forest products and services as well as potential of the forest to regenerate itself."

He called for the need for scientists to study the forest ecosystem in order to generate vital information and knowledge necessary for sustaining the forest growth and use.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200803120632.html

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25. India: UP tribals demand forest rights

Source: Times of India, 17 March 2008

Sonebhadra: Around 10,000 tribals in Uttar Pradesh's Sonebhadra District have demanded land and forest rights to sustain themselves. "We have no land to till and are facing hardships. How long this plight will continue?" asked Sursati, a tribal woman.

Eminent social worker Medha Patkar also addressed the rally. Over seven thousand women protesters took part in the event.

Over 40 million people live in the country's resource rich forest areas, which include protected wildlife reserves and dense woodlands, eking out a meagre living from simple farming, picking fruit and collecting honey.

For generations, they have had no legal entitlement over the land or the use of forest resources. They claim they are treated as "encroachers" and "criminals" on their own land and forced to leave it by forestry officials, mining and logging companies.

For full story, please see: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/UP_tribals_seek_forest_rights/articleshow/2875200.cms

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26. Ireland: Felling debate

Source: Irish Independent, Dublin, Ireland, 19 February 2008

It's time to reach a compromise on the negative impact of clearfelling

Over the past few months, sections of mature woodland have been clearfelled near the picturesque Acres Lake area, near Drumshanbo, and this is creating a dramatic change to the landscape. As a result, timber production and its impact on both landscape and tourism are receiving a lot of negative press coverage in Co Leitrim.

However, many of the comments appear to miss the fact that all landowners are entitled to a return on their investment and this highlights the gap in understanding between growers, foresters and the public.

The clearfelling of mature woodland that is at the heart of this controversy is occurring in a scenic spot that is of real importance to the local tourist trade. It also highlights the manner in which people sometimes complain loudly when land is planted and then make even louder protests when the same trees are being felled.

It's a very complex issue and one that needs fresh thinking. The owner of the trees presumably planted them with the intention of harvesting them someday. That is the main reason why we plant trees. But on the other hand clearfelling, especially in areas with a high amenity value, creates such a negative visual impact that some form of compromise seems desirable.

We urgently need to address all of the issues relating to the many non-wood benefits that trees bestow. In most cases where trees are planted, the landscape is improved and there are environmental and recreational benefits. These have a real cash value to the public. The very presence of trees enriches scenic spots all over Ireland and this in turn benefits the tourism industry.

Trees soak up carbon and give us cleaner air and the owners of all woodland should receive payment for these non-wood benefits and a further payment for the loss of income if the trees are left standing. Many areas of forest could, of course, be allowed to grow on and be managed solely for amenity purposes. They could also be managed on a continuous cover basis, harvesting single stems and allowing young trees to grow through to the canopy. This system of management prevents the visual shock of total clearfell and is better for the environment in that the habitat the woodland creates is never lost. But there is a high cost as, clearly, harvesting individual trees is expensive. It is not logical to expect the owner to suffer these extra costs when the benefits of this expensive management are enjoyed by the entire nation. The sensitive management of woodland in areas of high amenity can deliver a real cash return to local communities. We urgently need an imaginative scheme whereby this can be achieved without the owners suffering financial penalties.

Forestry should never be seen as a threat, but rather as an opportunity to provide multiple landscape and recreation benefits with huge habitat enhancement. Up to now, owners of woodland have never been paid for these benefits. It's time to sit down and work out viable schemes whereby woodland owners can plant mixed species and slow maturing broadleaves without incurring the inevitable financial losses that come with growing these trees. We need all the fast-growing conifers we can produce, and clearfelling them on maturity is the most economical way of harvesting them. But we also need to address the impact this has on scenic areas and find a means of rewarding landowners for planting alternative species in sensitive areas, and using harvesting systems that are costly but do not denude hillsides of their attractive trees.

It is now widely accepted that growing slow maturing broadleaves does not pay. The person who plants them is effectively making a cash donation to the nation, yet our Forest Service has never publicly admitted this fact. Our national planting targets are hopelessly off line, yet each year our politicians and the Forest Service hierarchy wonder why farmers are not planting more.

It's a well-known fact that often people cannot see the wood for the trees.

For full story, please see: http://www.independent.ie/farming/felling-debate-1292375.html

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27. Malaysia: Orang Asli couple happy with income from wild plants

Source: New Straits Times, Malaysia, 13 April 2008

PEKAN: The Orang Asli are known for their ability to turn plants grown wild in the jungle into traditional medicines, handicrafts and decorative items.

Budiman Saiman, 48, and his wife, Salmiah Abdullah, also 48, of Kampung Landai here use their expertise to generate a source of income to support their family. The couple has a stall selling homemade handicrafts along the Pekan-Rompin stretch near Kampung Tanjung Batu, Nenasi, and it attracts a large number of passers-by, especially during the weekends.

The couple, who have three children, believe that their exposure to the jungle environment during their younger days is a blessing.

"As Orang Asli kids, we were trained to follow our elders whenever they went into the jungle looking for rattan, unique tree barks and roots.”The roots are used for traditional medicine while the rest of the plant is carved into decorative items," said Budiman.

Salmiah said they normally ventured into the jungle near Tanjung Batu here once a week to search for material for their handicraft items.

"After we have gathered our jungle harvest, we clean the roots and separate the ones with unique shapes which we then paint to make them look more elegant.”But some will also be left with their original colour because some customers prefer the natural look.

The couple earns about RM400 a month from the sales of the jungle roots and rattan.

They also make and sell colourful flower pots for between RM5 and RM20, which are a favourite among the customers.

Budiman expressed concerns that the younger Orang Asli youths were less interested to earn a living like him and instead prefer to work in towns and factories.

"This is an inheritance of the Orang Asli for several generations.”I am worried that one day there will be even less Orang Asli who are self-employed," he said.

Budiman and his wife also weave mengkuang mats and sell them for between RM30 and RM50 at their stall which is opened daily between 8am and 5pm.

For full story, please see: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Sunday/National/20080413113452/Article/index_html

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28. Namibia: San medicine could be hijacked - study

Source: New Era (Windhoek), 12 March 2008

The San people stand to be robbed of their knowledge of traditional medicine because of ignorance about what value their medicines carry, a study has said. The study into the traditional medical usage of the San at Farm Six in Tsumeb found that San traditional medicine, which is referred to as the 'open air pharmacy' is in high demand.

"There is a real danger that San medicine will be hijacked by profiteers," said Vicky Dan, a fourth-year student of Information and Communication Studies at the University of Namibia this week. Her study looked into the San's indigenous medicine knowledge and how it is shared. Dan told New Era yesterday that she found that the level of awareness of what they have is very low, which would be a loophole for profiteers.

She said the danger arising from a situation like this, if it occurs, is that the San themselves would reap a few or no benefits at all from the commercial exploitation of the natural remedies.

The study, specifically done at Farm Six in the Mangetti West, north of Tsumeb, found that the San used traditional medicine to treat all diseases except TB. They use a variety of plants to treat colds and flu, aches and pains, malaria and high blood pressure and not modern medicine because of the long distances they would have to travel to the nearest health facility.

It was found that men, women and children hold considerable knowledge about traditional medicine.

The study recommended that the San be educated about the potential value of their traditional medicine and in particular their intellectual property rights and their right to benefit from any marketing thereof. "Working mechanisms should be put in place to ensure the San benefit from any commercial exploitation of their traditional knowledge of their medicinal use of local plants," she recommended.

Dan said the Government in collaboration with international research institutions should undertake research into the traditional remedies.

In the absence of legislation, the Government last year established an interim bio-prospecting committee to coordinate its approach on biotrade and bio-prospecting.

The committee comprises ministries of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Education, Environment and Tourism, Trade and Industry, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Safety and Security and the Office of the Attorney General.

Director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Teofilus Nghitila, yesterday said the ministry is awaiting the finalisation of the legislation as a priority.

Biotrade and bio-prospecting have the potential to generate significant economic benefits to Namibia, yet given the absence of appropriate and watertight legislation, the country would lose in potential revenue sources if they are exploited without proper benefit sharing agreements, said Ministry of Environment and Tourism Deputy Minister, Leon Jooste, at an access and benefit sharing workshop of several countries last year.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200803120673.html

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29. Netherlands: Mushroom varieties disappear

Source: DutchNews.nl, Netherlands, 1 April 2008

Mushrooms are declining in number in Dutch woods because of the use of fertilisers, increasing acidity and soil disturbance, according to Meetnet which tracks the threats to landscapes for the agriculture ministry.

Nitrogen-sensitive fungi like the Drumstick Truffleclub and the Dappled Webcap are disappearing, despite the reduction in fertiliser use since 1981, says Monday's Trouw.

The Netherlands has 3,500 varieties of mushroom and fungus of which 500 are listed as threatened. Nearly 200 varieties have already disappeared.

For full story, please see: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2008/04/mushroom_varieties_disappear.php

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30. Tanzania: Fruits of the Soil

Source: The East African (Nairobi), 24 March 2008

Conserving indigenous and wild trees is now a viable economic venture in Tanzania.

In Tabora, Uyui and Sikonge districts, women are cashing in on species such as ntonga (Strychnos cocculoides) ntalali (Vitex mombassae) mbula (Parinari curatellifolia) and furu (Vitex doniana), which they have planted on their farms alongside traditional crops.

Other trees popular with the farmers are: mbuguswa (Fracourtia indica), ng'ong'o (Sclerocarya birrea), zambarau (Syzium guineense), mmbuyu or baobab (Adansonia digitata) and ukwaju or tamarind (Tamarindus indica).

The fruit from these trees is processed into jams, juices and wines.

So passionate are the farmers about conservation projects in the area that they have taken to policing the vast woodlands against loggers.

Mwadawa Luziga spends much of her day in the woodlands and she doesn't regret it. She says it is now rare to see anyone destroying wild and indigenous trees because women conservation groups have taught the community at large that it is import to conserve such trees.

"We are creating awareness in our communities about the importance of conservation and our efforts are bearing fruits. It has for instance become unfashionable to log trees for firewood and many farms as you can see are dotted with indigenous and wild trees," she said.

Government institutions have also introduced incentives to encourage private land owners to protect dwindling natural forests from further destruction.

The conservation projects were conceived to address problems facing the Tabora region such as widespread poverty, food shortage, malnutrition, HIV and Aids and the degradation of renewable resources.

The region is dominated by the Miombo woodlands, which have plenty of edible fruit trees.

Production of value-added products such as jams and juices started with the development of a fruit processing technology by the Agricultural Institute in Tumbi (ARI-Tumbi) in April 2004. The project received a grant of £60,000 ($78,000) from Farm Africa's Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund.

David Mayanga, an extension officer at Inara Village, said, "Sustainability of these trees is vital. As you know, most of the world's virgin forests are diminishing at a rapid rate and people must rely more and more on man-made managed forests. That's why we have been encouraging local people to manage the remaining virgin forests."

Apart from preserving acres of indigenous forests, the success of the conservation effort is reflected in the standards of living of the surrounding communities. From processing jam and juice and wine making, many families have seen their incomes increase three-fold.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200803240865.html

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31. Uganda: UK project to boost honey

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 29 January 2008

RURAL bee farmers are to benefit from a four-year pilot project aimed at increasing their output and seeking competitive global markets. "Uganda's bid to reap from the lucrative global and regional honey market is hindered by low supply that cannot even sustain the local market," Janet Lowore, the project coordinator, Bees for Development, a non-governmental organisation based in the UK, said.

If bee-keepers were motivated by the Government, they would at least produce 20,000 tonnes annually for export mainly to Europe and the Middle East."

"We are here to offer technical expertise and guidance to rural bee farmers to boost and increase cash flow into the sector," Lowore said during training of bee-keepers under their associations at the Uganda Export Promotion Board recently.

The project, which has been running for the last 18 months under the theme: "Strengthening trade in honey and other bee products in Uganda," addresses constraints to the sector's growth.

"Trade opportunities for bee products are widening on the local market and outside but there are still some biting challenges. Inefficiencies in the supply chain are caused by weak bee farmers associations, which have failed to organise their members to form one collecting centre at a sub-county level from which packers collect the honey. The packers have limited finances to visit every bee farmer in the village to collect the honey," Robert Ndyabarema, the National Apiculture Development Organisation executive director, said.

Solar Sandra from Bee Natural Products, packers of honey and other bee products for the local market and export added: "Honey does not reach us on time. We also lack enough honey to meet demand. The sector has been disorganised since after 2005 when it last recorded export statistics."

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200801300067.html

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32. Vietnam: Anti-cancer pines virtually wiped out

Source: VietNamNet Bridge, Vietnam, 18 February 2008

Illegal loggers have felled half the remaining stand of Vietnam's unique Thong do trees in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands). Their destruction has so shocked scientists that they have broken a 100-year-old oath to keep the location of the trees - renowned for their medicinal qualities - secret in an effort to save the last 65.

They want people to know about the trees so that they can be protected.

The Thong do, Taxus wallichiana Zucc, pine is treasured for its resin which is used to treat cancer and other diseases.

The perennial trees are believed to have first grown at Nui Voi, elephant mountain, in the Lang Bian highlands, about 2,000-5,000 years ago.

"My colleagues and I have spent more than 15 years trying to protect their original genes," says Tran Van Tien of the Lam Bong Silviculture Research Centre. Our objective in nurturing the young pines was to reproduce the species to help cancer patients.

"But the trees have now been brutally felled for timber. I'm very sad to see them so mercilessly exploited. It's high time for us to act to protect these precious trees and their 'green drug' to treat cancer."

The Lam Dong Silviculture Research Centre is a Vietnam Forestry Science Institute affiliate and its researchers think themselves very lucky to have seen the ancient trees.

Biologist Doan Nam Sinh, who works to replicate species for the pharmaceutical industry at Xuan Truong, about 20 km from Da Lat, says: "When I touched a primitive pine tree I thought I was touching a historical witness of the earth's evolution."

The biologist believes the thong do is confined to the Lang Bian highlands.

Scientists say it takes 100 years for the tree's diameter to grow to the thickness of a human calf. Many of the felled pines were from one to two metres in diameter. But trees just 15 centimetres in diameter were not spared.

The scientists fear that the last pines on Elephant Mountain are close to extinction because their ability to reproduce is very weak and there are no intermediary generations.

For full story, please see: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/tech/2008/02/769141/

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NEWS

33. Call for Nominations: Equator Prize 2008

Source: Eileen De Ravin and the Equator Initiative Team

It is our great pleasure to announce the opening of the call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2008: Celebrating Community Success in Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Reduction.

This marks the fourth round of the internationally renowned Equator Prize. Awarded biennially, the Equator Prize recognizes community-based initiatives that demonstrate extraordinary achievement in reducing poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the equatorial belt. Prize winners receive worldwide recognition for their work as well as an opportunity to help shape national and global policy and practice in the field.

Twenty-five community organizations will be honoured with the Equator Prize 2008 and US$5,000 each. Five of these communities will receive special recognition and an additional US $15,000. Special recognition will be given in the following categories: one for each region of eligibility (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean), one to the initiative that best exemplifies community approaches to adapt to climate change, and one to the initiative that best exemplifies the conservation of agricultural biodiversity. The Equator Prize will be presented in October 2008, in Barcelona, Spain, at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. All winners will have the opportunity to showcase their work in the "Poble" Dialogue Space at the Congress.

The Equator Prize 2008 nomination process will be open through May 31, 2008. Details on the criteria for the Prize, information on the award process, and the online nomination system can be accessed through the Equator Initiative website at www.equatorinitiative.org.

We encourage you to nominate qualified community initiatives that are active in environmental conservation and sustainable development within the equatorial region. Self-nominations are welcome.

Please disseminate this announcement widely to your electronic newsletters and networks! With your help and nominations, we can continue to honour and celebrate exceptional communities around the world, support their invaluable work and grow a stronger network of community best practice in biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

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34. Indigenous peoples of Congo map their forests with GPS in an effort to save them

Source: Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, April 13, 2008

This week over five hundred villagers in the Democratic Republic of Congo's rainforest will employ GPS technology to map their forests in an effort to preserve their territory from logging companies.

This large-scale community initiative is being managed by the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK), which has trained 66 'Master Mappers' to aid the villagers in mapping their territories using motorbike and canoe. The villages are mapping their full territory in the Congo, but are also employing the GPS to mark significant areas including their villages, sacred places, and fishing and hunting areas.

The Congo is the world's second largest rainforest. It has suffered greatly from two civil wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The first lasted from 1996-1997; the second from 1998-2003. The second conflict, sometimes referred to as Africa's World War, holds the dubious distinction of being the deadliest conflict since World War II. During these devastating wars, militias and armies exploited the rainforest and its indigenous peoples with impunity. Since the war's end, the political stabilization of the DRC have meant that its forests are under new pressures, this time by industrial and often international logging companies.

"There is a rush for the trees," according to Rene Ngongo, from the local NGO, Organisation Concertée des Ecologistes et Amis de la Nature (OCEAN), which is working with the RFUK. "What is at stake is enormous. Two-thirds of the people in Congo depend on this forest to provide food, medicines and building materials. It is critical for the survival of the people and animals."

The natives of the forest have largely been left out of forest policy thus far; the hope is that these maps will change that. "It is going to be the first time that anybody in DRC sees on paper that these forest-dependent communities exist," Cath Long, RFUK Project Director said. "Their maps will be a vital tool for the communities to negotiate with the government. It will allow them to demonstrate that they are there, and that they need to be taken into account when decisions are made about the forest they live in."

The maps are to be completed by May 8th, in time for a meeting where the DRC government will decide how various territories of the forest will be used. The meeting could affect forest policy in the DRC for decades. For indigenous villagers, who have already seen portions of their territory handed over to logging companies, this is an opportunity to make their voice heard.

Simon Counsell RFUK Director adds that the preservation of the Congo rainforest, or lack thereof, could no longer be considered purely a regional question. "This is an issue that affects us all because not only are rainforests home to an estimated 50 million indigenous forest peoples and more species of plants and animals than all the earth's other ecosystems combined, but also because protecting the forests is essential in the fight against climate change".

For full story, please see: http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0414-hance_congo.html

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35. International Alliance will unite the forest peoples of the world

Source: ForestNewsWire (press release), Canada, April 2008

The forest peoples of the world are joining forces in order to have access to resources deriving from the thriving green market, based on future mechanisms for the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), to be created through the UN Climate Convention. They want to use this opportunity so that their fundamental rights may be fulfilled: the right to land and to natural resources and respect to their traditional livelihoods.

Gathered in Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, the participants of the Peoples of the Forest and Climate Change workshop have just set the basis for an international alliance, based on a Brazilian model with a 20-year long history that brings together indigenous people, extractive producers and riverine populations, inspired in the efforts of Chico Mendes. The new alliance will function as a network and transnational forum for the exchange of experiences between forest populations and mostly for influencing international discussions on climate, deforestation and mechanisms for the reduction of greenhouse emissions.

The International Alliance of Forest Peoples was unanimously approved this Friday (April 4th) by the 11 countries that signed the Manaus Declaration: Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guyana, French Guyana, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Suriname and Panama and by the members of delegations from Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Asia (Indonesia). The document was approved with the participation of UN observers and observers of non-governmental organizations from Brazil, England and the United States.

In spite of the differences in legislation regarding the use and conservation of forests that exist in these countries still hosting major extensions of rain forests, they share common problems and already feel the negative effects of climate change upon the planet in similar ways: severe draughts, floods, changes in the natural biological cycles, with interferences upon farming and fishing.

“The indigenous people need to understand exactly what is happening to their forests. They have always been forgotten when it is time for decision-making and time has come for them to be taken into account because their ancestral knowledge on nature enables them to provide important inputs for the climate debate”, said Yolanda Hernández, the indigenous representative of the Maya Kakchiquel people, of Guatemala.

The differences that exist both inside as well as in between these countries may be better addressed in their quest for common solutions for ensuring the worthy survival of the people and the conservation of forests, i.e., for maintaining the environmental services required to the planet’s balance. “Therefore, the scenario provided by the REDD mechanisms brings together the interests of forest communities and the interests of scientists, environmentalists and members of social movements throughout the world”, says Paulo Moutinho, from the Institute for Environmental Research of the Amazon (IPAM). According to the coordinator of Instituto Socioambiental, Márcio Santilli, this also is an economic opportunity capable of changing the balance of forces on behalf of the acknowledgement of the territorial rights of the traditional and indigenous peoples.

More information available at www.climaedesmatamento.org.br

For full story, please see: http://forestnewswire.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=122:international-alliance-will-unite-the-forest-peoples-of-the-world&catid=1:latest&Itemid=58

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36. International Fellowships available at the World Forest Institute, USA

From: Angie DiSalvo, adisalvo@worldforestry.org

The World Forest Institute Fellowship Program brings forestry and natural resources professionals from around the world to work at the World Forest Institute (Portland, Oregon) for 6 to 12 months.

Fellows conduct an independent research project developed in conjunction with his/her sponsor. Projects may involve information gathering, interviewing, visiting other organizations, or planning a conference. Fellows typically summarize their projects in a report and poster published by the WFI. In addition, a large component of the program involves travelling and visiting with players in the Pacific Northwest forest sector, and Fellows visit forestlands, research sites, manufacturing facilities, and NGOs. Additionally, Fellows gain valuable cultural experience and English language skills.

Project proposals are now being accepted.

For more information, please contact:

Angie DiSalvo

International Fellowship Program Manager

World Forest Institute, a program of the World Forestry Center

4033 SW Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221 USA

e-mail: adisalvo@worldforestry.org

or visit: http://wfi.worldforestry.org

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37. Putting a value on rainforests

Source: Andrew Mitchell, Telegraph.co.uk, UK, 31 March 2008

Biodiversity doesn't sell! At least that was the frustrated cry of at least one delegate at a conference of corporations, NGO's and financiers who met to explore innovations in biodiversity and business in New York last week.

At present, natural capital remains largely off balance sheet to all but the most innovative companies.

But all that may be about to change with the announcement of a ground breaking deal by a group of London based investors who aim to change the way the economy values the environment, by investing in rainforests as a global life support system and to fight climate change.

The deal, announced by Canopy Capital at the world's first 'Biodiversity and Ecosystem Finance Conference', involves guaranteed payments over five years to the Iwokrama International Centre in Guyana in return for rights to the ecosystem services produced by a rainforest reserve two and a half times the size of London, which the Centre manages on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The funds will be used to provide livelihoods for the 7,000 indigenous people dependent of the reserve and to help support the conservation of the rainforest.

Canopy Capital aims to repackage the rights into novel financial instruments such as a forest backed bonds that will acquire value over time for investors.

Profits will be shared with up to 80 per cent of any upside going to the Iwokrama community.

London law firm Stevenson Harwood drew up the pioneering deal, defining the 'ecosystem services' of the reserve as the proven ability of rainforests to generate rainfall, cool the atmosphere, store carbon, moderate weather conditions and sustain biodiversity.

If it works, the project could create a new paradigm for maintaining life on earth by paying for it - and not just for bugs - but for all of us.

For full story, please see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/03/31/eacanopy131.xml

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38. Tapping biotechnology vs. cancer

Source: Philippine Star, Philippines, April 15, 2008

The search for cures for various types of cancer has led pioneers to look more closely at some common plants.

“There are other ways to cure certain cancers apart from using conventional methods,” said Rolando de la Cruz, a Filipino inventor and entrepreneur who won the top award in the 2005 International Trade Fair-Ideas-Invention New Product for developing an organic cream that treats Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer.

He explained that his invention, DeBBC Cream, was a formulation developed from extracts of cashew nuts and other Filipino herbs.

De la Cruz is the entrepreneur behind RCC Amazing Touch International Inc., a one-stop shop for skin and hair treatment, which specializes in the natural non-surgical removal of warts, moles and other skin growths.

“The failure of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapies in cancer treatment to reverse the disease has led to a new approach – to scrutinize the use of medicinal plants as cancer treatment and boost the body’s immune system,” explained Vicenta Mendoza-Escobar, a renowned researcher of medicinal plants and owner of Sol y Viento Phytotherapy Research Center, a company specializing in herbal formulations for health and wellness.

“Medicinal plants contain a large number of phytochemicals that have healing action by enhancing the immune system response, as well as the body’s detoxification and antioxidant systems activity,” she added.

When “Noni,” a formula derived from a Tahitian plant with medicinal properties, became popular in the late 1990s, she studied it and discovered that it was also endemic in the country. “It was commonly known as apatot,” she said.

After establishing apatot’s medicinal properties, she started producing Noni Juice Wine, fermenting the plant without the use of preservatives. But her continuous research eventually led her to discover that mangosteen, graviola (guyabano) and 15 other herbs also had medicinal properties which can be combined with noni.

“The key is continuous research and monitoring,” she said. Her formula, Noni Synergy Herbaltonic, is now being distributed by multi-level marketing groups.

For full story, please see: http://www.philstar.com/index.php?Headlines&p=49&type=2&sec=24&aid=20080414132

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39. Trade is virtual but the wildlife isn’t

Source: ENN News, 29 February 2008

Chinese conservationists met major internet auction site companies in January, urging action on illegal virtual trade in thousands of products made from threatened wildlife. 4300 advertisements for wildlife products, including elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses and marine turtles, have been found for sale on Chinese-language internet sites.

The meetings with authorities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan follows an eight months survey of popular Chinese language auction sites by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC. The survey included Yahoo, eBay and several independent websites. As a result, several advertisements were removed, deliveries intercepted and those involved convicted.

Once the report World Without Borders was published, TRAFFIC met the China Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Management Authority and the China Internet Information Security Monitoring Bureau to address different standards in physical and virtual trade.

The latest meetings were held with major website companies, eBay, Taobao, Tencent, and other relevant organizations such as the State Forestry Administration and the Customs Bureau to find solutions to control illegal wildlife trade on the internet.

TRAFFIC’s aim is to promote efforts to keep online trade legal and sustainable, because the extent of wildlife being offered for sale in apparent contravention of international and national laws is alarming.

The reports recommends the development of strategies to police virtual markets, to bring web-based markets under the same regulatory structure as physical markets and alert shoppers to the growing use of internet for illegal trade.

(TRAFFIC is a joint programme of WWF and the World Conservation Union (IUCN)

For full story, please see: http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/32039

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EVENTS

40. Revolutionising the Global Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) Supply

13-15 May 2008.

The Kimberley Grande, Kununurra, Western Australia

This conference will showcase the scale, R&D, professionalism and history of Australia’s Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) plantations, which will begin delivering a reliable and significant supply of high quality Santalum album to the market within the next few years.

Held in the sub-tropical town of Kununurra, the conference will provide an excellent opportunity to see the 12km2 of plantation as well as the research and development into plantation-grown Indian Sandalwood that TFS and others are involved in. Samples of TFS oil will also be available to attendees.

Many of the sustainable development initiatives undertaken in the unique Kimberley will also be on show, including social programs, the involvement of the Kimberley’s indigenous people and environmental initiatives such as water recycling and fauna management.

Registration deadline: Friday 18th April

For more information, please contact:

Danae Christensen
Research Officer
Tropical Forestry Services Limited
254 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6000

PO Box 3068, East St George's Terrace, Perth WA 6832

Australia

T: +61 8 9221 9466

F: +61 8 9221 9477

E: danae@tfsltd.com.au

W: www.tfsltd.com.au

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41. 2008 Training Course on BambooTechnologies for Developing Countries

1 June -30 July 2008

Hangzhou, China

This training course is being organized by the China National Bamboo Research Center (CBRC) and sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, P. R. China as a contribution of the Chinese Government to other developing countries within south-south cooperation.

The course is designed to make people who are interested or work in the bamboo/forest sector a good master of basic theories and principles of bamboo cultivation, processing and utilization, to enhance their awareness and capacity of integrated developing of bamboo, and to share China's experiences and expertise of bamboo.

Course contents include not only discussing the present situation of bamboo resources, cultivation, processing, utilization and research in China and in the world, but also the many other aspects of bamboo and its utilization.

For more information, please contact:

International Cooperation Division, China National Bamboo Research Center (CBRC)

Project assistant: Eng. Cai Hanjiang

No. 310, Wenyi Rd., Hangzhou, 310012

Zhejiang Province, P. R. China

Tel: +86 571 88869217, 88863888-7009

Fax: +86 571 88869217, 88860944

E-mail: cbrc@mail.hz.zj.cn or estrellacai@gmail.com

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42. 2008 Global Katoomba Meeting: Developing an Infrastructure Fund for the Planet

9-10 June 2008

Washington, DC, USA

The services provided by our natural infrastructure - forests, aquatic systems, biodiversity, carbon and nutrient cycles - have long gone unnoticed and unpriced. However, ecosystem service payments and markets in carbon, water and biodiversity are quickly becoming a key solution to ensuring nature's services are not overwhelmed by human and economic activity.

This meeting will discuss the latest developments in ecosystem markets, and how they are being created and utilized to help solve some of our most critical environmental challenges.

For more information, please contact:

Forest Trends and the Katoomba Group
Phone: +1(202) 298-3000

e-mail: chesapeake@katoombagroup.org

www.katoombagroup.org/chesapeake

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43. First World Congress of Environmental History 2009

4 to 8 August 2009

Copenhagen, Denmark

The theme of WCEH 2009 is "Local livelihoods and global challenges: understanding human interaction with the environment"

Why hold a World Congress of Environmental History? Worldwide, humans interact with the environment to make their living, create artefacts, recreate, reflect their belief systems, and to survive. Humans have changed the face of the Earth considerably and have experienced both resilience and degradation of natural systems. Environmental historians in many fields study these interactions and aim their explorations toward a sustainable future.

The first World Congress for Environmental History (WCEH) will bring together scholars from all over the globe, giving them a unique opportunity to learn from each other and together create an overarching picture of the historic relationship of people and the environment through time. Interactions are found on many scales, from the local to the global. Resource issues cross national borders and cross ecosystem boundaries. Looking at our challenges from multiple perspectives, multiple spatial and temporal scales, and varied politics, economies, and disciplines is the only way to enlighten the complex challenges of creating a sustainable future.

The World Congress will offer opportunities for all member organizations to meet and present themselves. It will bring a wide range of high-quality research papers to a diverse audience and seeks to discuss the political relevance of environmental history. We hope you come and share your results and questions with those of scholars from all over the world.

It is the goal of the Congress to ensure as wide a representation of participants as possible. The Congress invites organizations, associations, corporations, and governments to provide support to enable students and scholars from under-represented countries to attend. If you come from a low-income or under-represented country, please check out our funding page for possible avenues of support.

Last date for abstract: 20 April 2008

For more information, please contact:

email: wceh2009@ruc.dk

http://www.wceh2009.org/home.htm

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REQUESTS

44. Request for information: foliage

From: Jim Costello, forestfoliage@eircom.net

I was wondering if there is any information available on the environmental impact of Pistache harvesting for foliage in woods along the Med. basin?

As a forester I would not be happy with the very crude way by which I observed foliage being removed,- it is like cutting out Olive tree branches just to get Olives.

However, it is a very good foliage product and would be of interest to U.K. customers, - provided there is traceability and no damage to nature.

Sustainability is rightly becoming a big issue around Non Wood products, especially foliage harvesting. Many of our customers seek a harvesting or sourcing plan that clearly show nature is not diminished. This will need to be supported/signed off by competent experts. The fair trade brand appears to be inadequate

State agencies differ throughout the world in attitude, varying from a total ban which leads to illegal/uncontrolled harvesting to zero control.

I believe the Canadian government has brought it a licensing system whereby contractors engaged in harvesting species like Salal from the forests must undergo a training programme and are allocated specific areas.

This is perhaps the correct way as it enlightens contractors to the fact that sustainable harvesting is in their interests as much as every one else.

We are very interested in aromatic foliages, - both tropical and temperate and would like to make contact with agencies/persons, especially from Africa.

There is huge potential to develop this sector in a sustainable manner provided proper research is carried out in terms of management.

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LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

45. Community-based Ecological Monitoring – Manual for Practitioners

From: Alexander Fröde, alexander.froede@gmx.eu

The Zimbabwe-based NGO SAFIRE (Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources), together with DED (German Development Service), has developed a new approach for community-based ecological monitoring of the extraction of NWFP. After more than two years of developing in a multi-stakeholder process and testing its feasibility, a publication "Community-based Ecological Monitoring – Manual for Practitioners" was now developed.

The manual is aimed at implementing staff of governmental or non-governmental or governmental institutions working in rural zones of developing countries in the context of rural development and sustainable natural resource use initiatives. In a plain and illustrative manner it explains the rationale and recommended steps of supporting local communities in ecological monitoring and summarises lessons learned.

The approach taken for Community-based ecological monitoring is based on local governance structures and traditional knowledge systems. It provides a framework for the communities

    • to easily and effectively track changes in the natural resource base of non-wood forest products as a base for decisions for sustainable use,

    • to detect effects of climate change and negative side effects of resource uses at an early point and to plan for appropriate action,

    • to support long-term maintenance of productivity and yield of NTFP resources and conservation of biodiversity.

The manual is available for download from the Readers’ Research page of FAO’s NWFP home page at www.fao.org/forestry/site/35667/en

For further information please contact the authors:

Alexander Froede, alexander.froede@gmx.eu

or Christopher Masara, chrism@safire-mutare.co.zw

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46. Doctoral thesis on spice-crop agroforestry systems

From: Teija Reyes, teija.reyes@helsinki.fi

My Ph.D. thesis about spice-crop agroforestry systems: “Agroforestry systems for sustainable livelihoods and improved land management in the East Usambara mountains, Tanzania” has been published and is available from: http://www.mm.helsinki.fi/mmeko/VITRI/studies/theses/Reyes_thesis.pdf or from the Readers’ Research page of FAO’s NWFP home page at www.fao.org/forestry/site/35667/en.

For more information, please contact:

Teija Reyes

Researcher, University of Helsinki, VITRI -Viikki Tropical Recourses

Institute, P.O. Box 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, FINLAND

email: teija.reyes@helsinki.fi

http://www.honeybee.helsinki.fi/mmeko/vitri/

or

(Temporary address):

International Potato Center, Natural Resources Management Division,

P.O. Box 1558, Lima 12, PERU

Tel: +51 1 349 6017, Fax: +51 1 317 53 26

email: t.reyes@cgiar.org

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47. Microfinance and forest-based small-scale enterprises – Arabic version

From: Blanca Amado, FAO Forestry Department, blanca.amado@fao.org

As announced in the last issue of the NWFP-Digest, Microfinance and forest-based small-scale enterprises (FAO Forestry Paper 146) is already available online in English, French and Spanish from FAO’s Forestry Department website.

The Arabic version has now been added and is available in either html or pdf at the following address:

http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0226a/a0226a00.htm (HTML)

ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/a0226a (PDF)

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48. Zimbabwe: Book provides vital data on biodiversity

Source: The Herald (Harare), 31 March 2008

A new book co-written by veteran Zimbabwe agronomist Andrew Mushita and United States-based political economist Carol Thompson, titled Biopiracy of Biodiversity -- Global Exchange As Enclosure, is a path-breaking work on one of the most important issues in the near future.

The work by Mushita -- a director of the Community Technology Development Trust, and Thompson, a professor of political economy at Northern Arizona University in the US -- is a timely and critically important contribution that examines biopiracy in Africa, indigenous knowledge systems, biodiversity and international instruments on trade and intellectual property rights.

This book, published recently by Africa World Press, also focuses on sustainable farming, the limitations, successes and dangers of industrial agriculture, US trade relations in Africa, the land issue, food security and international instruments on seed and the need to preserve biodiversity as a policy for food security.

In many ways, the book, persistently works to advance public understanding of complex issues related to biopiracy, biotechnology, indigenous knowledge systems, World Trade Organisation instruments on patenting and strategies to deal with food insecurity and the rampant and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200803311009.html?page=2

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49. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Barlow, J., Overal, W.L., Araujo, I.S., Gardner, T.A., and Peres, C.A. 2007. The value of primary, secondary and plantation forests for fruit-feeding butterflies in the Brazilian Amazon. J. Appl. Ecol. 44(5):1001-1012.

Colfer, Carol J. Pierce. 2008. Human Health and Forests A Global Overview of Issues, Practice and Policy. People and Plants International Conservation. Earthscan.

Hundreds of millions of people live and work in forests across the world. One vital aspect of their lives, yet largely unexamined, is the challenge of protecting and enhancing the unique relationship between the health of forests and the health of people. This book, written for a broad audience, is the first comprehensive introduction to the issues surrounding the health of people living in and around forests, particularly in Asia, South America and Africa.

Eilu, G., Oriekot, J., and Tushabe, H. 2007. Conservation of indigenous plants outside protected areas in Tororo District, eastern Uganda. Afr. J. Ecol. 45:73-78.

Frazier, J. 2007. Sustainable use of wildlife: the view from archaeozoology. J. Nature Conserv. 15(3):163-173.

Hernández-Stefanoni, J.L., and Dupuy, J.M. 2007. Mapping species density of trees, shrubs and vines in a tropical forest, using field measurements, satellite multiespectral imagery and spatial interpolation. Biodivers. Conserv. 16(13):3817-3833.

IUCN-NL, WWF-NL, FoE-NL (Eds). 2007. Good Practices From the natureandpoverty Programme. IUCN-NL, WWF-NL, FoE-NL, Amsterdam.

The report is available to download from: http://www.iucn.nl/sbeos/doc/file.php?nid=4824 or in hard copy from IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands, Plantage Middenlaan 2K, 1018 DD Amsterdam. E-mail: mail@iucn.nl

Kafle, Gandhiv and Karki, Jhamak Bahadur. 2008. Flora and Fauna of Ghodaghodi Lake Area (A Pocket Guide). Institute of Forestry Pokhara Campus and Wetland Friends of Nepal. Nepal.

For copies of the guide, please write to first author at gandhivkafle@gmail.com.

For more information, please visit: www.wetlandfriends.org.

Keith, M., Rehema, W., and Fischer, A. 2007. Conflicts between humans over wildlife management: on the diversity of stakeholder attitudes and implications for conflict management. Biodivers. Conserv. 16(11):3129-3146.

Macqueen, Duncan. 2008. Supporting small forest enterprises: A cross-sectoral review of best practice. IIED. London. ISBN 978-1-84369-684-1

Martín-López, B., Montes, C., and Benayas, J. 2007. The non-economic motives behind the willingness to pay for biodiversity conservation. Biol. Conserv. 139(1-2):67-82.

Midgley, A.C. 2007. The social negotiation of nature conservation policy: conserving pinewoods in the Scottish Highlands. Biodivers. Conserv. 16(12):3317-3332.

Nasi, R., Brown, D., Wilkie, D., Bennett, E., Tutin, C., van Tol, G., and Christophersen, T. (2008). Conservation and use of wildlife-based resources: the bushmeat crisis. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor. Technical Series no. 33, 50 pages.

Nautiyal, S., and Kaechele, H. 2007. Conserving the Himalayan forests: approaches and implications of different conservation regimes. Biodivers. Conserv. 16(13):3737-3754.

Small, R.D.S. 2007. Becoming unsustainable? Recent trends in the formal sector of insect trading in Papua New Guinea. Oryx 41(3):386-389.

Struebig, M.J., Harrison, M.E., Cheyne, S.M., and Limin, S.H. 2007. Intensive hunting of large flying foxes Pteropus vampyrus natunae in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Oryx 41(3):390-393.

Thompson, I. and Christophersen, T., eds. (2008). Cross-Sectoral Toolkit for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Forest Biodiversity, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Technical Series no. 39, Montreal, Canada, 53 pages.

Zerbe, S., Schmidt, I., and Betzin, J. 2007. Indicators for plant species richness in pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests of Germany. Biodivers. Conserv. 16(12):3301-3316.

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50. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Edible insects

http://www.eatbug.com/

International Association for Mediterranean Forests

www.aifm.org

Nepal Foresters’ Association

http://www.nfa.org.np/

Photos

New photos of plants from reader Pankaj Oudhia are available from the Discoverlife database.

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I_PAO/0000

Special Programme for Food Security

The Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) helps governments replicate successful food security practices on a national scale. The SPFS also encourages investment in rural infrastructure, off-farm income generation, urban agriculture and safety nets.

Since 1995, US$770 million from donors and national governments have been invested in FAO-designed food security programmes.

http://www.fao.org/spfs/

What the world eats

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1626519,00.html.

XIIIth World Forestry Congress 2009

http://www.wfc2009.org/800/index_800.html

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MISCELLANEOUS

51. Conservation areas 'neglected' under current efforts

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (10 - 16 March 2008)

The most important areas for biodiversity conservation are neglected under current protection efforts, researchers say. Scientists from the US-based University of California San Diego (UCSD) investigated whether current methods of locating conservation reserves are adequate to deal with future environmental changes.

They found that the need for conservation will shift geographically in the future, towards tropical regions that are high in biodiversity but poor in the resources needed to protect them. "Many reserves are far away from where we know they will be needed: the tropics," Tien Ming Lee, a graduate student at UCSD, told SciDev.Net.

The researchers analysed four models of projected climate and land use change to 2100.

The study found that some tropical regions, such as South-East Asia, have already been heavily impacted by land use changes, and will continue to be so. But it also finds tropical Africa — previously thought to be under smaller risk — now vulnerable.

Conventional methods for choosing conservation areas — some 12 per cent of the Earth's land area — are often based on past threats, says Walter Jetz, assistant professor of biology at UCSD and author of the study. "This approach is not completely wrong in the short-term. However, it becomes a problem in the long run — 50 to 100 years — as the environment is not static and will change."

The researchers advocate a North–South transfer of conservation resources. "Climate change impacts on biodiversity disregard administrative and political boundaries — global coordination of effective biodiversity protection efforts is mandatory," says Jetz.

"We will not be able to make any sensible level of response without unprecedented levels of cooperation among countries and across societies to share resources, skills and knowledge," says Georgina Mace, of the NERC Centre for Population Biology at the UK-based Imperial College London.

William Laurence, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, says, "Clearly, the biggest threat to global biodiversity is the rampant destruction of tropical forests, and it will be crucial for richer countries to help bear the economic burden of conserving these unique ecosystems."

The study was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Link to full paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society

For full story, please see: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/conservation-areas-neglected-under-current-efforts.html

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52. “Mountains and People” Global Digital Photo Contest

Source: Nepalese Foresters Listing, 25 March 2008

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Mountain Forum (MF)/Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN) are jointly organising a Global Digital Photo Contest to mark the 25th Anniversary of ICIMOD, whose slogan is "For Mountains and People".

Not surprisingly, the theme chosen for the Digital Photo Contest is "Mountains and People". It encompasses the following four categories:

1. Mountains - Geo/physical elements (mountain range, massif, mountain landscape, high altitude rangeland, bodies of water, waterfalls, rivers, etc)

2. Mountains - Hazards/Disasters (landslides, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, potentially dangerous glacial lakes, mud-slides, dangerous roads, trails & river crossings, etc)

3. People - Livelihoods (farming, shifting cultivation, grazing, hunting, fishing, transhumance, trade, porterage, tourism, etc)

4. People - Culture (festivals, shamanism, rites of passage, dance, etc)

The top two entries will receive the ICIMOD Hindu Kush-Himalayan Prize and the Mountain Forum Global Prize. In addition, four Special Mentions will be awarded, one for each category. The "top 50" entries may be exhibited in select Hindu-Kush Himalayan countries.

This contest is open to anybody.

Deadline for submission of entries: 9 May 2008.

For more information, please visit: http://www.icimod.org/photocontest/ .

For queries or clarifications, write to: photocontest@icimod.org

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53. Swedish tree may be world's oldest

Source: United Press International, USA, 12 April 2008

DALARNA, Sweden -- Swedish researchers said a stand of spruce trees in Dalarna dates back 8,000 years, making it one of the oldest in the world.

Svergies Television's local news program "Gavledala" said tests on three spruce tree root samples showed the roots were 5,000-, 6,000-, and 8,000-years-old. Researcher Leif Kullman of Umea University told The Local the individual trees would not be more than a few hundred years old but were generated from the same genetic root system.

"There is constant turnover in what is actually growing above ground," he said. "But genetically, the trees growing today are the same as those from thousands of years ago."

The oldest living individual tree -- a bristlecone pine in California's White Mountains -- is estimated to be 4,733-years-old, the report said.

For full story, please see: http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Science/2008/04/12/swedish_tree_may_be_worlds_oldest/6804/

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last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009