No. 07/07

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.


PRODUCTS

COUNTRY INFORMATION

NEWS

EVENTS

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

MISCELLANEOUS

QUICK TIPS AND INFORMATION FOR NWFP-DIGEST-L


PRODUCTS

1. Bamboo: New technology for mass multiplication of bamboo

Source: The Hindu, India, 25 June 2007

Coimbatore, June 24 (PTI): The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University here has come out with effective technology for rooting of bamboo with a high success rate without the need for costly and advanced infrastructure like mist chambers, making it the simplest technology available to multiply bamboo on a commercial scale.

Being a very simple technique, it can be easily followed by farmers, without any help of technical experts, a TNAU press release said here on Sunday.

The technology, developed using the entire culm without rooting hormone treatment and achieving 90 per cent rooting, was released for the benefit of bamboo growers yesterday.

Bamboos are versatile trees, which flower only once in its life cycle (40-60 years) and the death is popularly known as parthenogenesis, the release said. Hence seed availability is slight. At the same time the seeds are less viable. This difficulty promoted bamboo propagation through two nodal culm cutting with rooting hormone treatment. This conventional technique accounts only for less than 25 per cent success rate.

On comparison of economics, the TNAU claimed that while existing technology would cost Rs 15,756 for 100 seedlings, including a fixed cost of Rs 8089 and a variable cost of Rs 7667, the improved technology would cost Rs 10,679, with Rs 2704 as fixed cost and Rs 7975 as variable cost.

The total revenue with the improved technology would be Rs 14,000 as against Rs 8750 with existing technology, with added returns of 200 seedlings at the rate of Rs.35, reducing the cost by Rs 5077. The net gain using improved technology would be Rs 12,077, it claimed.

Since the technology does not involve chemical treatment, it is not only cost effective, but also environmentally friendly. It can be safely used for large-scale multiplication of bamboo for a 90 per cent success rate, the release claimed.

For full story, please see: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/015200706250321.htm

BACK TO TOP

2. Bamboo bicycles in Ghana

Source: Joy Online, Ghana, 26 June 2007

The Bamboo and Rattan Development Program under the President’s Special Initiative Program (PSI) has introduced bamboo in the manufacture of bicycles for the rural communities.

The program is aimed at raising awareness on the use of bamboo and rattan as well as their benefits in poverty alleviation and socio-economic development of rural communities.

This was made known during an exposition on Tuesday organized by Forestry Service Division in collaboration with the Earth Institute (EI) at Columbia University in the United States on how to use bamboo in the manufacture bicycles in the country.

Three research scientists from the USA – Dr. David T. Ho, Dr. John Mutter and Dr Craig Calfee - are to spend 10 days in the country to demonstrate how to use bamboo in making a bicycle.

Dr. Ho said the bicycle, made to carry a load of 100 kg, was designed for farmers in the rural communities for sustainable transportation.

He said finance was the main problem facing the project, adding that there should be a fund that would take up two-thirds of the cost of production so that the local people could afford the product.

For full story, please see: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/200706/6082.asp

BACK TO TOP

3. Bamboo socks

Source: Scotsman, United Kingdom, 30 June 2007

SOCKS made from bamboo which claim to make smelly feet a thing of the past are set to go on sale in Britain's high street.

It is the first eco-friendly sock to go on general sale - and experts predict it heralds one of the biggest revolutions to occur in the world of clothing.

The absorbent socks are to be launched by supermarket chain Asda and the makers say that they are softer and more durable than cotton, and contain a natural odour-eating ingredient.

Already, Asda is considering using bamboo to make underpants, knickers, sweaters, T-shirts, dressing gowns, bed sheets and towels.

The fabric is made from cellulose produced by boiling or steaming mature bamboo poles. It has a similar drape to silk but is more durable, with a natural sheen, and, unlike man-made fibre, is biodegradable.

One the world's most sustainable crops, bamboo absorbs up to five times more carbon dioxide - a major contributor to global warming - than an equivalent plantation of trees.

It also contains Bamboo-kin, an anti-microbial agent, killing organisms which create smelly feet - even after 50 washes.

For full story, please see: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1022262007

BACK TO TOP

4. Bushmeat: Kenyans unwittingly eating zebra, wildebeest

Source: AP (in International Herald Tribune, France), 11 July 2007

NAIROBI, Kenya: James Akedi's plate is piled with fragrant strips of nyama choma, the entree of choice in much of East Africa whose name means, quite simply, roasted meat.

Akedi can only hope he's getting what he paid for: 1kg (2.2 pounds) of government-inspected, disease-free beef. Kenyan authorities say wild animals such as zebra and wildebeest are illegally slaughtered and passed off as beef — posing grave threats from diseases such as Ebola and anthrax linked to eating the flesh of infected animals.

Over the weekend, police recovered more than 200 kg (450 pounds) of "bushmeat" in an unrefrigerated minibus traveling from a wildlife dispersal area outside Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto said. The driver said he was going to pass off the meat as beef at Nairobi markets.

Similar shipments have been entering Nairobi nearly every day for the past two months, the wildlife service said. Three people have been arrested and are charged with poaching and illegal trade in wildlife meat.

"This is a big threat to human consumption," Udoto said. "It has not been inspected by veterinary officials."

Human outbreaks of Ebola, a deadly virus that causes massive hemorrhaging, have been linked to handling carcasses and eating the flesh of wild animals infected with the disease. Anthrax and the hemorrhagic disease Rift Valley fever are also risks to people who are exposed to dead infected animals or eat tissue from infected animals.

The problem isn't limited to Africa, either: In southern China, authorities have cracked down on a burgeoning illegal civet cat trade to prevent an outbreak of SARS. Civet cats, mongoose-like animals, are considered a delicacy in China and are suspected of spreading severe acute respiratory syndrome to humans.

In many West and Central African countries, bushmeat — particularly from primates and elephants — is considered a delicacy. But in Kenya, the main reason is the lower cost. While beef sells for around US$1 (74 euro cents) per pound, a pound of bushmeat may cost 20 U.S. cents (15 euro cents).

The problem of bushmeat making its way onto Kenyans' dinner plates is not new. In 2004, a conservation group analyzed the meat from 202 butchers in Nairobi, finding that 25 percent of the products surveyed were bushmeat and 19 percent a mixture of game and meat from domestic animals.

Saturday's haul and the KWS investigation suggest that the trade is still thriving — something that Milton Njoroge, the officer in charge of Nairobi's popular Burma Market, freely acknowledges. The market houses independently run stalls where small hotels, kiosks and individual customers can buy meat.

Veterinary and City Council officials are there during the day but at night, private guards patrol against theft. Njoroge said there are concerns that criminals could be paying off private guards.

Stall managers interviewed by the AP denied trading in illegal meat, saying they only deal with meat that is still on the bone so they know exactly what kind of animal it comes from. The problem arises from boneless meat, like that from zebra and wildebeest found last weekend.

Slaughtering wildlife is illegal in Kenya. The government banned sport hunting in 1977, but allowed limited hunting to cull animals and harvest game meat until 2003, when animal rights groups managed to shut it down.

For full story, please see: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/11/africa/AF-GEN-Africa-Bushmeat.php

BACK TO TOP

5. Cork oak forests management project

Source: IAMFnewsletter n°16, 9 July 2007

The General Direction of Forests (DGRF) in Portugal just commissioned the International Association of Mediterranean Forests (IAMF) to prepare a project on cork oak: “Innovations in the cork oak forests management for improving their economical performance". It will be presented to the first European call for proposals MED for territorial cooperation.

The official partners on this project are: the DGRF and the C.E. liège (Portugal); the Andalusia Region (Spain); the Mediterranean Institute for Cork (IML) and the IAMF (France); the WWF MedPo and the experimental station of cork and / or the Sardinia Region (Italy).

If possible, the project will also be associated with the INRGREF (Tunisia), HCEFLCD (Morocco) and IPROCOR (Spain), which all are outside the MED geographical zone.

For more information, please contact:

Denys Poulet from the IAMF executive secretariat

e-mail: denys.poulet@aifm.org

BACK TO TOP

6. Ginseng: Korean chilli paste, ginseng products receive recognition as distinct food

Source: Yonhap New, SEOUL, 15 July 2007

South Korea's traditional chilli paste and ginseng-derived products have received initial recognition as distinct foods by an international standard-setting commission, the government said Sunday.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) approved food standards forwarded by South Korea on chilli paste or "gochujang," and dried and liquid extracts of ginseng.

The ministry said that the decision made by a gathering of food experts in Rome to pass the food standards for ginseng is positive for exports. South Korea considers the root a health food but some countries classify it as a medicinal substance. Medicinal substances operate under different import rules than ordinary food, which makes trading them more difficult.

The latest decision by Codex will be forwarded to member countries of the organization for feedback. That feedback and the initial review will then be examined in detail by a sub-committee board before it becomes an international standard.

The commission, created in 1963 by both the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, is tasked with developing food standards.

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_business/222672.html

BACK TO TOP

7. Ginseng: Regional ginseng regulation should focus on just one species

Source: IADSA, (NPIcenter press release, Canada) 13 July 2007

Only one species of ginseng should be regulated under the regional Codex Standard for Ginseng Products, the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) has said.

Commenting on the draft standard prepared by the Codex Coordinating Committee for Asia (CCASIA) which Codex this month endorsed and agreed to finalise as a regional standard for Asia, IADSA said that integrating all species of ginseng within this one standard would require scientific expertise which it believes is currently not within Codex’s resources.

The alliance suggested removing the species P. quinquefolius L. from the Standard, and leaving only Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer to be regulated. Earlier this year P. notoginseng Burk and derived products were deleted from the draft.

“IADSA’s comments should be integrated into the draft standard, in particular, our suggestion that it should cover only one species – Panax ginseng,” said David Pineda, IADSA’s Manager of Regulatory Affairs. “Panax ginseng is the main species in Asia, and as the regional standard will apply to the Asian members of Codex only, it is logical that it should cover only this species.”

The decision to endorse the standard as regional is currently at Step 5 of the 8-step Codex decision-making procedure, and the Commission agreed that once the regional standard has been adopted at the final step, a discussion would be necessary on whether or not to convert it into an international standard.

There is, however, currently no official procedure in Codex for the conversion of regional standards into international standards, so the Commission has agreed that a guidelines document should be developed.

For full story, please see: http://www.npicenter.com/anm/templates/newsATemp.aspx?articleid=18993&zoneid=18

BACK TO TOP

8. Honey: NZ honey science co, German uni to set manuka standards

Source: Press Release: Manuka Health NZ, 2 July 2007

A New Zealand honey health science company and a German university have joined forces in a bid to set industry standards for the use of manuka honey products to heal wounds, overcome stomach and skin problems, and potentially in the fight against cancer. The move comes in the wake of the discovery by the university’s researchers of the compound responsible for manuka honey’s anti- bacterial activity.

Te Awamutu-based Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd and the Technical University of Dresden have formed a partnership to establish a process to certify levels of the compound in manuka honey.

Announcing the partnership today, Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul said the university’s Institute of Food Chemistry was the first to identify the compound methylglyoxal (MGO) and prove its high levels in some New Zealand manuka honeys.

Mr Paul said the discovery that honey’s anti-bacterial ability was directly related to MGO levels, was highly significant for the industry. “We have known for some time that manuka honey has this property. The term Unique Manuka Factor is used to describe this honey’s consistently reliable anti-bacterial effect and UMF has been trademarked by the Active Manuka Honey Association. But we haven’t known until the German discovery what the compound is that is responsible. The next step is to put a standards process in place with the industry which independently certifies MGO levels in honey-based health products,” he said.

Mr Paul said manuka honey was already well known for its reliable anti-bacterial activity, making it highly effective for overcoming gastro-intestinal and skin health problems and improving wound healing.

However, with the identification of MGO, further applications for manuka honey were possible, including use as a potential tumorcidal agent to fight cancer.

A research team led by Professor Thomas Henle, head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at Dresden, tested more than 80 honeys from around the world and found MGO levels as high as 700 mg/kg in some New Zealand manuka honeys, more than 70 times higher than ordinary honey. Previous research had shown the highest concentrations in any food or drink were about 100 mg/kg in cocoa and coffee.

Mr Paul said during their research, Professor Henle’s team had developed assays for measuring MGO in honey.

Mr Paul said medical researchers had found MGO had the potential to act specifically against malignant cells in the body and has a significant curative effect on a wide range of cancers in animals.

Current research on humans shows MGO results in complete remission in about 40% of malignancies, with partial remission in another 40%. Further studies are underway to improve treatment techniques.

A Japanese cancer researcher at a German university hospital last month announced the results of a study showing Manuka Health’s Bio30 propolis extract suppressed NF1 neurofibromatosis, a type of tumour affecting one in 3000 people.

For full story, please see: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC0707/S00002.htm

BACK TO TOP

9. Honey exports from Pakistan reach $3.7m

Source: Daily Times, Pakistan, 8 July 2007

The country exported around $3.7 million worth of honey during July-June 2007, a trader of honey and dates said on Saturday. He said Pakistan has achieved self-sufficiency in honey production and was now able to export prime quality produce at competitive prices in the global market.

A senior member of the trading body, Jawed A Khan urged the government to help the industry so that it could further invest in the latest technology. He said an increase in the average yield of honey per colony from 5 kg to 21.5 kg had been achieved. He said buyers from India, China, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have shown great interest in making deals for honey. More than 240,000 colonies of honeybee in all four provinces and Azad Kashmir were working with advanced technology. He said the European bees were first introduced some 21 years ago and after consistent efforts now it has more than 152,000 colonies being managed by 11,300 beekeepers.

The best time for beekeeping is from October to November and the spring season, however, honey could be produced throughout the year by planting some special plants. He said development of new bee management techniques, production and distribution of genetically superior honeybee queens are vital to achieve significant progress. An official of the Honeybee Research Institute said the institute provided training to people in beekeeping through different courses.

For full story, please see: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C07%5C08%5Cstory_8-7-2007_pg5_11

BACK TO TOP

10. Honey exports from Brazil totalled US$ 3.2 million in May

Source: ANBA, Brazil, 3 July 2007

Brasília – The international scenario remains favourable to Brazilian honey. Despite the obstacles, such as the European embargo, figures are still positive. In May this year, the country exported approximately US$ 3.208 million and 1.987 million kilograms. This result represents a 62.9% increase in terms of value, and a 68.9% increase in terms of weight, compared with the same period of 2006.

The value of honey exports in May was also the highest recorded in the last 31 months, an increase of 25.4% in value and 18.8% in weight, compared with April this year (US$ 2.559 million and 1.673 million kilograms). Furthermore, the revenues (US$ 8.891 million) and volume (5.695 million kilograms) of honey exports in the first five months this year has surpassed total shipments in the same period of 2006.

These figures appear in a survey conducted by the consultants at the Agribusiness Unit at the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) and by national managers at the Sustainable Integrated Beekeeping Network (Rede Apis), Alzira Vieira and Reginaldo Resende.

According to the survey, from January to May this year, the six largest Brazilian exporter states were: São Paulo (SE) - US$ 3.051 million, Rio Grande do Sul (S) - US$ 2.039 million, Ceará (NE) - US$ 1.216 million, Santa Catarina (US$ 1.037 million), Piauí (NE) - US$ 736,443 and Paraná (S) - US$ 465,292. In the first five months this year, the average price for honey was US$ 1.56 per kilogram, lower than the US$ 1.59 per kilogram recorded in the same period last year. Nevertheless, the average cost of honey has been increasing over the last two months.

More than 90% of total Brazilian honey exports during the last five months were to the United States market (US$ 8.017 million). Sebrae consultant Reginaldo Resende points out that from 2005 to 2006, Brazil rose from the 7th to the 4th position in the ranking of largest exporters to the United States.

In the first five months this year, the export value of other beeswaxes totalled US$ 2.247 million. The figure represents a decrease of 12.5% over the same period in 2006. Out of the total exports, 77.6% went to Japan, and 17% to China. The leading exporter state was São Paulo, followed by Minas Gerais.

Up until May 2007, propolis exports yielded only US$ 22,895. In the same period last year, exports totalled US$ 43,329. In the first five months this year, compared with the same period last year, the average price dropped from US$ 98 per kilogram to US$ 31 per kilogram.

For full story, please see: http://www.anba.com.br/ingles/noticia.php?id=15188

BACK TO TOP

11. Medicinal plants: Echinacea 'halves risk of catching cold'

Source: Turkish Press, 25 June 2007

Echinacea, a medicinal herb that came to prominence thanks to its use by Sioux Indians, can more than halve the risk of catching a cold, a wide-scale study has confirmed.

Taking echinacea supplements can reduce the risk of a cold by 58 percent and may also shorten the duration of a cold almost one and a half days, according to the paper, published on Sunday in the July issue of the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The study is a "meta-analysis" comparing the outcome of 14 published trials using echinacea.

One of the trials combined with echinacea with vitamin C, which showed the two together reduced the incidence of a cold by 86 percent.

The analysis was led by University of Connecticut pharmacist Craig Coleman.

Echinacea is a term for nine related daisy-like plant species that are native to North America and feature in the traditional medicine of the Sioux and other Plains Indians as remedies for infection, snakebites and rabies. Other names for the plant are black sampson, Kansas snakeroot and purple coneflower.

Coleman's team said they had counted more than 800 products containing echinacea, which come in the form of tablets, extracts, fresh juice, tincture and tea.

Three of the nine species are commonly used (Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida), and different parts of the plant are used for different products.

The authors say it is still unclear how echinacea appears to stimulate the immune system against the cold virus.

Its three major ingredients are alkamides, chicoric acid and polysaccharides, but it is unclear whether these work by acting separately or together, or with the help of other constituents.

And the authors sound a word of caution, saying more work needs to be done on the plant's safety before doctors can recommend echinacea as a standard option for preventing or treating the common cold.

For full story, please see: http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=182507

BACK TO TOP

12. Medicinal plants – Devil’s claw: botanical extract process

Source: NutraIngredients.com, France, 29 June 2007

Burgundy has secured a patent for its botanical extract products IridoForce and UTIrose which will help it to extend its presence in the joint health and urinary health markets. The company based in Reyssouze, France, launched the two products at the Vitafoods conference in Geneva this May.

It uses a pioneering method to extract Harpagophytum procumbes, known commonly as devil's claw, for IridoForce. The method was developed to boost the normal extraction process allowing for measurements of 40 per cent when tested by a UV meter, opposed to the industry standard of just 5 per cent.

Whereas standard extracts would require 40mg contained in 10 soft gels per day to have an action, the same amount of IridoForce can be put in just one. If it is combined with other joint health ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, just two capsules are needed.

Harpagophytum procumbes has been linked to alleviating the systems of arthritis and rheumatism and Burgundy has been carrying out a series of clinical studies on the effectiveness of IridoForce in pain relief.

The patent for UTIRose covers for the use of extracts from the Hibiscus plant against urinary tract infection. Both patents are European, but Burgundy is working on a global patent.

For full story, please see: http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?n=77797-burgundy-iridoforce-utirose

BACK TO TOP

13. Medicinal plants: More drug herbs found in Mabira, Uganda

Source: The Monitor, Uganda, 8 July 2007

A group of scientists have discovered 28 herbs of significant medicinal value in Mabira Forest and other forested areas in Uganda. Some of the herbs were found with potential to treat impotence among men.

The findings are a result of an ongoing research by international and local scientists. The research was done on the most sought medicinal plants which exist only in forests.

The scientists will announce their findings during the international medicinal plants conference from July 22-26 at Hotel Africana in Kampala. The conference will discuss the relationship between indigenous knowledge and medicinal plants, product development, value addition, biotrade and ethics of drug development.

Natural Products Research Network for Eastern and Central Africa (Napreca) organised the conference with funding from International Foundation for Science, Ministry of Health and Makerere University.

Napreca is a non-governmental science body devoted to the study of natural products, their economic exploitation and conservation. Dr Mauda Kamatenesi Mugisha, the chairman of Napreca Uganda, told journalists that several plants, with diverse medicinal values had been discovered in Mabira Forest and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

“Their findings will only be revealed that day,” she said. She cited a rare mushroom that exists only in Mabira forest reserve and the lemon tree, which she says, treats impotence in men

For full story, please see: http://www.monitor.co.ug/sunday/news/news07083.php

BACK TO TOP

14. Moringa oleifera: Philippine health office promotes malunggay

Source: Sun.Star, Philippines, 10 July 2007

IN CELEBRATION of the nutrition month this July, the Department of Health (DOH) is launching its campaign promoting the common household plant Kamunggay (scientific name - Moringa oleifera Lamk) as a "super vegetable."

The Mindanao-wide campaign dubbed as "Kamunggay sa Kada Balay" is aimed at promoting the kamunggay or malunggay as one of the most nutritious and useful vegetables that could be easily found in our own backyards.

Kamunggay leaves are excellent sources of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, amino acids, cystiene and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium.

Kamunggay helps in strengthening the immune system, control blood pressure, restores skin condition, relieves headache and migraine, reduces inflammation and arthritis pains, manage the sugar level thereby preventing diabetes, restrict growth of tumours and heal ulcers.

Lactating mothers are also advised to consume kamunggay because of its high calcium content. It also promotes digestion and facilitates bowel movement. Its leaves are also traditionally used as antiseptic for wounds.

Most importantly, kamunggay is a well known recipe for many delicious and nutritious viands. Its leaves are for soups with either chicken, fish, sautéed with beef, mongo and sardines; blanched as salads; tasty for bola-bola, torta and others.

Its fruit pods and pulp are cooked as dinengdeng or lao-uy and can also be sauteed.

For full story, please see: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/dav/2007/07/10/news/health.office.promotes.malunggay.html

BACK TO TOP

15. Silk: India’s Central Silk Board and its’10th five-year plan

Source: Financial Express, India, 15 July 2007

BANGALORE: The Central Silk Board (CSB), apex body of the Indian sericulture industry, has almost met its targets in releasing new sericulture products during the 10th five-year Plan. The CSB’s inventions were primarily aimed at improving the productivity in a bid to reduce silk imports from China.

Of the total 297 research projects targeted during the 10th Plan period, the research institutes attached to the CSB have completed 281 projects. The remaining 16 projects would be completed during the current 11th five-year Plan.

As the research mainly involves the biological materials like mulberry and the silk insects, the results of the products could not be ascertained in short-term. The benefits of these products could be felt during the 11th Plan period.

However, a few products have already started yielding results during field trials. To highlight a few, officials said mulberry leaf productivity has doubled to 60 tonnes per hectare per year when compared to 30 tonnes during the 9th Plan period.

Cocoon productivity has also increased to 60 kg per 100 dfls (Disease free layings) from 40 kg, pushing up the cocoon production to 698 kg per hectare from 627.5 kg. Input cost per kg of cocoon produced has been brought down to Rs 75 from Rs 100.

Primarily, raw silk production per hectare has increased to 82.9 kg from 68.3 kg. The CSB has also filed 40 technologies for patenting, of which 16 have been commercialised.

During the 10th Plan, the fiscal year 2002-03 witnessed 16,319 tonne of silk output but the production declined to 15,742 tonne during 2003-04 due to drought and again surged to 16,500 tonne in the next financial year of 2004-05 and further increased to 17,305 tonne in 2005-06 and now in the financial year 2006-07 it touched 18,760 tonne. Despite increase in production, India still imports around 8,000 tonne of silk from China.

With new inventions, the CSB anticipates to increase its production to match the local demand and reduce imports from China as much as possible during the 11th Plan period, when the country would witness the benefits of newly invented sericulture products.

For full story, please see: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=170153

BACK TO TOP

16. Silk: China posing threat to Indian silk industry

Source: Assam Tribune, India, 8 July 2007

 GUWAHATI – The Indian silk industry is facing a big challenge from the Chinese silk industry. China is pumping in its mulberry and tassar silk products to India at rates much below their production costs. This is aimed at destroying the Indian indigenous products, which have the potential to throw veritable challenge to Chinese silk sector. China is thus trying to pave the way for its future monopoly in the world sericulture market, said Scientist-C of the Central Silk Board (CSB) S N Mishra.

At present, India is producing over 15,000 metric tonne (MT) of silk goods per year, against China’s 45,000 MT. In this respect, India is second to China. Brazil is following it with an annual production of 7,500 MT.

The three countries have their own distinctive styles of production in this sector. China has small farms and large factories for yarn production and cloth making, while India’s farms and industries for yarn and cloth production are small. Brazil is hosting Japanese farms and industries. They are using the latest technologies.

The Japanese silk industry has shifted its farms and factories to Brazil, as, big plots of land and cheap labour are easily available in this Latin American country. Brazil is not a competitor to China in the silk market since it is sending virtually its entire production to Japan. But for centuries, India is sending its products mainly to Western countries, its main buyers being the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. Of the total Indian silk export worth over Rs 1,100 crore per annum, 50 per cent go to the USA and Canada.

China is pursuing a very aggressive marketing strategy to eliminate India from the race. Earlier, China was not able to export its goods to any country other than the South East Asian countries. But by learning production and marketing strategies from India, it is now exporting silk goods that outmanoeuvre India.

Again, China is making its creppe fabrics available at Bangalore, Benaras and Kolkata Srirampur at Rs 120 per metre. At these places the Indian silk fabric painting units are located.

However, the redeeming feature is that the silk printing industry has only ten per cent share in the total Indian silk products. Hence, Chinese intrusion in this area is not successful so far to stifle the Indian silk industry. China is also eyeing the Indian silk embroidery sector. But here also, the sector has a share of around 5 percent in the entire Indian silk industry, said Mishra.

China is also making its raw silk yarn available at cheaper rates at places like Sualkuchi, Kanjivaram (Tamil Nadu), Dharmavaram (Andhra Pradesh), Benaras and even at Bangalore. These are the places where Indian designed silk fabric products are woven.

It is estimated that of the over 500 MT of mulberry silk yarn annually used in Assam, 100 MT are Chinese mulberry silk yarn. These yarns are mostly used as warp threads. Since the Chinese yarns cannot be dyed in bright colours for their poor colour absorbance, hence, in Assam the Indian weft yarns will remain in use, said Mishra.

But, it now appears that on an average, India is using around 5,000 MT of Chinese raw silk yarn annually. This amount was around 2,500 MT in 1990 and now it has doubled. The post-World Trade Organization (WTO) developments have kept this trend rising particularly in the weaving sector, said the CSB scientist.

For full story, please see: http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/details.asp?id=jul1007/at07

BACK TO TOP

17. Truffles in Australia: Truffle growers meet for first AGM

Source: ABC Online, Australia, 15 July 2007

About 75 truffle growers have met in Canberra this weekend for the first annual general meeting of the Australian Truffle Growers Association. The group was formed a year ago, but it is the first time growers have met.

Association president Wayne Haslam says discussions this weekend are highlighting weaknesses in the industry, which include the need for national regulatory standards.

"As you'd appreciate with any sort of a market, they need quality of product, and they need reliability of supply," he said. "So once we're into the season, and people start buying our product from offshore they've got to have to know that if they're buying Australian truffles they're getting good quality truffles."

For full story, please see: http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/07/15/1978812.htm?section=business

BACK TO TOP

COUNTRY INFORMATION

18. Australia: Double gain for tea tree oil industry

Source: North Queensland Register, Queensland, Australia, 10 July 2007

A nine-year breeding program has resulted in a new 'breed' of tea tree which could increase the Australian industry's competitiveness by dramatically increasing production volumes of high-quality tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is a significant part of Australia's essential oil industry - it is incorporated into many personal care and household products and is also used in a variety of agriculture and veterinary applications.

The Australian industry is slowly recovering from several years of decline when the prices of this oil, fell below the cost of production for many producers. Recent increases in demand and higher prices have seen renewed interest in growing the tea tree. Other challenges face the industry, however, such as the threat of increasing overseas competition.

The breeding program forms part of an industry strategy developed by Ensis scientist, Dr John Doran. He says that, if Australian producers are to maintain their commercial viability, they need to give serious consideration to replanting with the best material the breeding program can provide. "The improved seed will be able to produce plants that are capable of producing 270kg of oil/hectare from paddocks that would otherwise yield 148kg/hectare, if established with unimproved seed," he says. "

This is a greater than 80pc genetic gain."

The principle source of oil is Melaleuca alternifolia, a medium-sized tree from the coastal plains of NSW.

Craig Chapman of Melaleuca Plantations of Bungawalbyn, NSW says without a successful and ongoing breeding program, Australian producers are at risk of losing their competitive advantage to overseas producers.

* Ensis is the joint-venture in forestry and forest products research between Australia's CSIRO and New Zealand's Scion.

SOURCE: Breaking news from Queensland County Life weekly newspaper, updated daily on FarmOnline.

For full story, please see: http://nqr.farmonline.com.au/news_daily.asp?ag_id=43692

Related story: http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/2007/s1978012.htm

BACK TO TOP

19. Australia: WA sandalwood oil crop will be processed early

Source: ABC Online, Australia, 4 July 2007

The skyrocketing price of sandalwood oil means Australia could have its first processing plant three years ahead of schedule.

The world's only commercial Indian sandalwood crop is being grown in Kununurra in Western Australia.

It was due to be harvested and processed by 2012 but Tropical Forestry Services is jumping in early to take advantage of the higher prices being driven by a drop in global supply.

Chairman Frank Wilson says they plan to have the oil extraction plant in production by late next year. "But mind you, when you're selling something which is trading at US$2,000/kg, if you produce a tonne which is 10,000kg, you're talking $2 million for a tonne of oil," he said. "So it's a very, very valuable product and you don't have to be producing large volumes to have a fairly significant turnover."

For full story, please see: http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/2007/s1969759.htm

BACK TO TOP

20. Bhutan: Grow bamboos, save trees

Source: Kuensel, Bhutan, 28 June 2007

As one of nature’s fastest-growing plants bamboo is a favourite in the renewable resource ratings because it helps to conserve soil and water and thus protect the environment.

For Bhutan, bamboo is seen as a possible alternative to wood to reduce the pressure on forests. The Forestry Development Corporation Limited (FDCL) office in Phuentsholing distributed 10,000 seedlings on June 2 to government agencies and interested private individuals in Samtse and Chukha dzongkhags to start large-scale cultivation of bamboo. The bamboo seedlings were raised last year mainly in Samtse.

More than 866 acres of degraded land under Samtse and Chukha dzongkhags were identified last year for plantation of various bamboo species and other valuable tree species that were of commercial value according to the divisional manager of FDCL, Tashi Peljore.

“So far 57 acres of bamboo and 17 acres of commercially valuable tree species have been planted in Samtse and Phuentsholing area,” he said.

Bamboo helped to conserve soil and water in catchment areas like Balujora in Pasakha and Dam Dum in Samtse by minimising the downstream flow of silt.

“We still have about 80,000 bamboo seedlings of four different species which are of plantable sizes and ready for supply,” said the divisional manager.

Bamboo products such as flag posts with reti and khorlo supplied by FDCL had been really effective in being a substitute to wood.

Since the start of bamboo plantations in mid last year 1,500 flag posts had been supplied to the public at reasonable rates, said Tashi Peljore. Now, bamboo is also used by architects and designers for construction of airy summer houses as well as for furniture and design accents.

Gardeners in the southern region grow bamboo for screening and greening, and to be used as flagpoles and scaffoldings.

Phuentsholing is the second highest consumer of timber after Thimphu according to FDCL officials.

For full story, please see: www.kuenselonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8674

BACK TO TOP

21. Bolivian biodiversity potential high

Source: Prensa Latina, Cuba, 29 June 2007

Sales of Bolivian products from biodiversity has yielded $155 million income this year, yet this potential needs more investment.

Karin Columba, director of Amigos de la Naturaleza Fundation (FAN), said that among over 80 identified items so far are lumber, Brazil nut tree (highly valuable ecologically), leather, llama wool, cocoa, honey, amaranth and native fish.

Gary Rodriguez, manager of the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE), reports that Bolivia ranks eighth in world biodiversity and said it was important to now increase research for greater aggregated value and to manage biodiversity in a sustainable manner, to transform and market it.

For full story, please see: http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7B3DDA35E6-00DC-490F-A0B9-669FE1FFA81C%7D&language=EN

BACK TO TOP

22. Guyana scrutinizes alternative healers

Source: Associated Press (in Forbes, USA) 6 July 2007

Guyana announced Friday it was drafting regulations for alternative healers who promise cures for cancer, AIDS and other diseases with potions and herbs found in the Amazon.

The growing ranks of herbalists peddling their cures nightly on TV have raised safety concerns for the South American country's government, which said it was seeking to demand a minimum of training for practitioners.

"It is a wild, wild west out there that must be regulated," said Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy, who noted that some claim a "divine right" to heal as their only medical qualification.

Herbs from the rainforest near the English-speaking country's borders with Venezuela and Brazil have been used to treat ailments ranging from snakebites to arthritis. Some specialists market their concoctions by claiming the ingredients are popular among the Amerindian communities in the interior.

Harold Peters, the chief executive of Guyana Rainforest Herbs, said he believes oversight will validate alternative practices and lead to integration with conventional medicine. He dismissed fears elsewhere that the government aims to squash the industry.

About a third of the dozen local television channels in Guyana broadcast evening call-in programs promoting a range of medicines. Many show videotaped testimony from patients praising miracle cures for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

The proposal to require licenses for specialists making such claims will likely be introduced to Guyana's parliament within a few months, the health minister said.

"I do believe that there is a place for alternative medicine in Guyana but not in the form in which we have it at the moment," Ramsammy said. "No one has offered any credible evidence of proper academic training."

For full story, please see: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/06/ap3890515.html

BACK TO TOP

23. India: Continuation of the National Mission on Bamboo applications

Source: Press Information Bureau (press release), India, 5 July 2007

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave its approval for continuation of the National Mission on Bamboo Applications till November 2009 in the Eleventh Plan, with in the approved outlay of Rs.100 crore. The scheme was approved by the CCEA in November 2004, with an outlay of Rs.100 crore.

The Mission, which was initially structured as a five year programme, has been operational for 29 months, beginning November 2004. The Mission has achieved significant successes and in several critical areas the targets assigned have been exceeded. The Mission has created a base for economic activities with an annual turnover of more than Rs.270 crore, and has generated employment for 25.2 million man days in extraction, processing and value addition in bamboo growing areas across the country. The Mission has developed and commercialized technologies and applications in segments of wood substitutes, bamboo based gasification, bamboo based charcoal making, edible bamboo shoot processing, bamboo fiber based hygiene products, bamboo fiber reinforced thermoplastics for critical and non-critical segments.

Effective intervention in provision of infrastructure is one of the major and significant achievements of the Mission. Over 8000 bamboo composite based pre-fabricated structures for schools, hospitals, sanitation and housing in the areas where construction is difficult and which are earthquake prone and Tsunami affected, have been installed. These structures have wide acceptability for their being cost effective, fire retardant, disaster proof and easy to install.

For full story, please see: http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=29001

BACK TO TOP

24. India: Jharkhand to become a herbal hub

Source: The Hindu, 26 June 2007

Hazaribag (Jharkhand): The Jharkhand government is planning to develop the state into a herbal hub by planting medicinal plants here, state Industry and Forest minister Sudhir Kumar Mahto said.

Besides medicinal plants, fruit orchards would be set up to foster the economy of the state, Mahto told reporters on Sunday.

The presence of abundant forest spots has led to development of a project to boost forest tourism along with starting an afforestation policy in the state, he said. "A plan to set up an elephant park in Hazaribag is also in progress," he added.

Meanwhile, the forest department was trying to firmly adhere to the Environment (protection) Act, department sources said. According to the Act, a 10-km radius around sanctuaries and national parks would be turned into an eco-fragile zone in order to restrict and regulate activities contrary to wildlife.

The state is home to Palamau Tiger reserve, Hazaribag national park, Dalma and Palkot sanctuaries.

For full story, please see: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200706260340.htm

BACK TO TOP

25. India: Stakeholders meet on prospects of medicinal plants

Source: Kashmir Observer, India, 18 June 2007

The new trend of switching over to herbal treatments the world over has necessitated systematic growth and conservation of medicinal plants and herbs in J&K State which is blessed with rich diversity of flora owing to its favourable agro-climatic zonation.

This was stated by Minister of State for Health and Power Peer Mohammad Hussain while inaugurating "Stakeholders Conference on Prospects of Medicinal Plant Production in Jammu & Kashmir".

A large number of scientists drawn from all over India are participating in the conference to deliberate on harnessing potential of herbal plants in the state on commercial lines for making it a profitable and viable sector of economy.

Peer Hussain urged scientists to come out with a comprehensive plan for identifying priority species with high market demand so that farmers are motivated to voluntarily adopt cultivation of medicinal herbs for supplementing their family income.

The Minister said that financial constraints notwithstanding, the state Medicinal Plant Board has sanctioned 65 Medicinal and Aromatic Plant (MAP) projects to various government institutions, NGO's and individuals. As much as 1400 hectares of land has also been brought under in-situ conservation and ex-situ development under Vanaspati Van Scheme, he added.

For full story, please see: http://www.kashmirobserver.com/index.php?id=2690

BACK TO TOP

26. Lebanon: Illegal imports undercut local pine nuts

Source: Daily Star, Lebanon, 5 July 2007

CHOUF: Lebanon's pine-nut cultivators denounced the government's lack of interest in putting an end to the illegal importing of pine nuts, saying they face threats to their businesses as a result of the invasion of Turkish and Chinese pine seeds into the local market. The problems of cultivators have eased over the last three years following the government's decision - in an attempt to cultivate the local market - to halt the importing of pine seeds. The Syndicate of Pine Nuts Cultivators, however, recently discovered that several dealers were illegally given licenses to import the nuts.

Cultivators in the Chouf, Jezzine, Metn, and Aley are facing a problem thought solved just a few years back, with traders illegally importing pine nuts from China and Turkey.

"The cultivation of pine trees is a really costly business," said cultivator Abdullah Hassan to the The Daily Star. "The cost of the harvest is very high and therefore the price of pine seeds is relatively high. However, with the market flooded with imported pine seeds, our business might collapse at any moment."

Pine trees are abundant across Lebanon, with the Lebanese considering them the "lungs of Beirut" because of the oxygen and fresh air they provide. The coniferous trees have also long been considered as a tourist attraction and an economic resource for Lebanon.

However, cultivators fear pine trees will not be cared-for as much as before because of the smuggling, endangering pine tree woods in Lebanon.

"We need to find a solution to the current situation by forbidding the illegal importing of pine seeds, especially since pine seeds are a basic ingredient of Arab sweets," said Ahmad Awar, a cultivator. "But unfortunately the owners of such sweets shops do not care about quality and prefer using imported seeds, which are cheaper, instead of finely harvested Lebanese pine seeds."

For full story, please see: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=83554

BACK TO TOP

27. Madagascar's Atsinanana rainforest is world heritage

Source: afrol News, 27 June 2007

Six national parks along the eastern part of Madagascar have been found so unique that they were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List today. The Atsinanana site represents almost all the remaining rainforest on the Great Island, and almost 90 percent of all species in the forest live no other place on earth.

The mini-continent of Madagascar completed its separation from all other land masses more than 60 million years ago and has since that lived in splendid isolation. During these years, the Malagasy flora and fauna has become unique, diversifying in the island's desert, savannah and rainforest climate regions.

Especially the Malagasy rainforests, mostly located in the east and north, have a high degree of biodiversity. But deforestation has left just 8.5 percent of Madagascar's original forests and the new World Heritage site - the Rainforests of the Atsinanana - is now to protect the remaining habitat.

The Atsinanana site comprises six national parks of the eastern part of the island.

The UNECO committee applauded what it called "the tremendous efforts of Madagascar in protecting its remaining eastern rainforests," after most has been lost to deforestation. President Ravalomanana has strongly increased efforts to stop deforestation, protect remaining valuable natural sites and boost ecotourism to Madagascar.

For Malagasy authorities, the inscription is welcome news to the country's great effort to promote ecotourism. Several of the parks that are now World Heritage are already developed as tourist destinations. The professionally managed Ranomafana National Park has significant tourism infrastructure and the park shares the income from entrance permits with local communities living adjacent to the park.

Also Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Aires Protégées (ANGAP) - the managing authority of all the parks - gets a great part of its revenues from tourism taxes and fees. In all parks, ANGAP shares revenues from fees with communities neighbouring the parks on a 50-50 basis.

The growing tourism market in Madagascar therefore is increasingly important to both the management of the island's unique nature and to fighting widespread poverty in the Malagasy countryside. It is a win-win situation and the publicity given by the prestigious World Heritage List may become an important drive for ecotourism in Madagascar.

For full story, please see: http://www.afrol.com/articles/25915

BACK TO TOP

28. Namibia: Legal loopholes on bio-trade must be closed

Source: The Namibian (Windhoek), 29 June 2007

NAMIBIA could lose considerable revenue if the lack of laws regulating trade in indigenous plants like hoodia, devil's claw or the Kalahari melon is exploited by international pharmaceutical companies without sound benefit-sharing arrangements, a top Government official has said.

"The trade in biological resources, called bio-trade, requires a balance to be struck [between] providing incentives to interest groups to use these resources while at the same time maximising benefits to Namibia from its utilisation," says Deputy Environment and Tourism Minister Leon Jooste. "Benefits could include capability building, technological transfer and creating a gateway to integrate Namibia dynamically into the international bio-trade market."

To achieve this aim, Namibia required a conducive policy and legal framework, he said.

Jooste spoke to local and international experts who gathered in Windhoek last week for a conference to discuss the issue. "Traditional knowledge in Africa is a significant source of important information for biodiversity conservation, but it also raises the issue of intellectual property rights."

The main international instrument on benefit sharing is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Jooste added.

The initiative to help Africa share in the benefits of bio-trade is supported by Germany and The Netherlands under a programme called Dutch-German Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Capacity Development for Africa.

In Namibia, an ABS working group was formed in 1998 under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and supported by Germany.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200706290638.html

BACK TO TOP

29. Nigeria: Civil Servant processes shea butter into quality products

Source: Daily Trust (Abuja), 9 July 2007

A Civil Servant, Mrs Esther Jatau, who extracted Shea Butter and processed it into quality products, realised N1.3million from launching the products in Birnin Kebbi, on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the products, 'Jehasleen Body and Hair Creams,' were launched by Alhaji Abubakar Gwandu, General Manager, Kebbi State Community Poverty Reduction Agency.

In a speech at the ceremony, Gwandu lauded Mrs Jatau for the initiative, and described her as a "very hard working woman." He challenged other women to emulate her vision, saying that such would assist government's quest to improve the living standard of the people.

In a message to the occasion, Governor Sa'idu Dakingari, expressed his administration's readiness to partner with progressive individuals and organizations to develop the state. Dakingari, who was represented by Alhaji Umar Mungadi, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, said that government had deliberately chosen the promotion of Shea Butter production to aid women's empowerment.

In her remarks, Jatau thanked all those who assisted her toward a successful launch, and assured that her company, Jehasleen Enterprises, would continue to contribute to the growth of kebbi state and Nigeria.

NAN reports that Jatau was instantly nominated by the State Government to train 20 women from each of the Shea Butter producing communities in the state.

She is expected to partner with IFAD and the Technology Business Incubation Centre of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in Birnin Kebbi, for the training exercise. (NAN)

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200707091025.html

BACK TO TOP

30. Republic of Congo: Traditional medicine will become part of a public health strategy

Source: IRIN, 14 June 2007 (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 11-18 June 2007)

Costly, modern health services are out of reach of most people in the Republic of Congo, so many rural dwellers consult traditional healers and use medicinal plants for health problems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2003, 80 per cent of Africans were using traditional medicine for their primary healthcare.

The government of the Republic of Congo is planning to tap into this vast resource by implementing a public health strategy in which traditional cures complement Western medicine, according to this article by IRIN News.

Plans are underway to improve research into traditional medicine with the support of the WHO, which has a regional strategy to promote collaboration between traditional and conventional medicine practitioners. But obstacles include the reputation of traditional medicine as a practice of 'quacks' who use dubious concoctions as remedies, and a lack of knowledge about basics, such as proper storage methods for plants.

Commentators say that with proper legislation and clear criteria to determine the efficacy of traditional medicines, as well as the people who sell them, the Congolese will gain affordable treatments.

For full story, please see: www.scidev.net/Features/index.cfm?fuseaction=readFeatures&itemid=619&language=1

BACK TO TOP

31. Rwanda: Turning the nation into land of silk

Source: New Times (Kigali), 9 July 2007

Samples of Rwanda's silk were ranked the best in India. With the positive results, planners of this country are positioning the country to produce silk to feed both the local and international markets.

Business Times' Gertrude Majyambere talked to Peter Muvara the chairman Silkworm project about the potential of silk production. He says returns from silk are two times higher than that of coffee and three times than tea. Having a local silk industry processing cocoons to silk yarn and finished fabrics would develop markets for other rural products and Rwanda can be turned into a land of silk.

Government has allocated about Frw154 million for training 30 farmers from the four provinces in the country. They will be trained in mulberry farming, silkworm rearing and weaving to ensure that they produce quality silk products.

Jointly run by farmers' cooperatives, the private sector with the Ministry of Defence playing a leading role, about 600,000 hectares of mulberry trees are targeted to be planted in three years. And at least 60,000 families are targeted to benefit. Each household will plant 0.1 hectares.

Already Rwanda Investment Group (RIG), an investment arm of Rwandans has opened 20 hectares of silkworm production in Rusizi-Western Province.

The government has also interested UTEXRWA, a local textile company to upgrade the factory to start processing silk products.

Some money has been invested in the Institute of Science and Agricultural Research (ISAR), to build capacity of staffs in silkworm eggs production. Already 5 hectares of mulberry trees plantation has been opened at the institute to kick-start silkworm egg production.

The country has been importing the eggs from South Korea, but stakeholders in the silkworm production complain that they are expensive. To cut costs and losses, eggs will be produced locally in Rwanda. It is estimated, one hectare of land needs 20 boxes of silkworm eggs.

These worms feed on mulberry trees. The cuttings were imported from Uganda and planted on 10 hectares, at four sites in the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Provinces.

To boost silk production, government plans to give out free mulberry cuttings, however when the project takes off, the farmers will have to pay back. The farmers will also be trained in rearing, reeling silk for production. Government will also install weaving facilities that will be managed by cooperatives.

If the project fully takes off, planners look at it as an engine that will trigger off economic growth. Besides, it's expected to increase the balance of payment and foreign currency earnings.

Muvara says having a local silk industry processing cocoons to silk yarn and then to finished fabrics, would also develop markets for other rural products. He is optimistic, "We can decide to turn Rwanda into a silk land." To him, the silk industry is well-suited for Rwanda because of the excellent agro-climatic conditions which favour all year round silk production. He cited some countries in Europe that are not competitive in silk production. Some producing as little as 600kgs, yet Rwanda can produce twice as much.

Rwanda has the opportunity to exploit the silk market through the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) because currently the world supply is about 45 per cent.

When the country goes to full production, about 19,000 tonnes of cocoons worth $64 million will be produced on the 10,000 hectares of land planned to be opened for silk production.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200707091411.html

BACK TO TOP

32. Suriname: Gold Mining vs. Biodiversity

Source: Ethical Travel News, CA, USA, July 2007

Many would be hard pressed to find Suriname on a world map. Surely, the estimated 12,000 working in illegal, wildcat gold mining in the isolated Amazonian rainforest of the northern South American nation would probably prefer to keep it that way.

However, anonymity became more difficult last month.

Researchers from Conservation International put the country in the spotlight by presenting findings from a 2005 wildlife expedition and 2006 follow-up survey that underscored an incredible degree of biodiversity in Suriname's pristine hinterland.

Highlights from the expedition include the discovery of a gorgeous, lavender-patterned frog that has never before been seen by scientists, as well as the rediscovery of the dwarf suckermouth catfish (Harttiella crassicauda). The catfish was previously thought to have been driven to extinction a half century ago by mercury contamination from local gold mining.

All in all, the expedition documented 467 species, over twenty of which have been tagged as new species. It is believed that many other new species are still waiting to be found.

According to Conservation International, Suriname and its neighbouring countries in the Guyana Shield region of South America are home to the largest expanse of undisturbed tropical rainforest on Earth.

The Guyana Shield also hosts rich mineral deposits. With the continued bull market in gold that has pushed prices beyond US$650 an ounce, there has been a proliferation of illegal mining in Suriname. Operating beyond the reach of government influence and regulation, the practices of these small-scale mining operations threaten to harm the delicate balance of this vulnerable ecosystem.

Conservation International's expedition was co-sponsored by subsidiaries of international mining giants BHP Billiton and Alcoa. Both have agreed to fund follow-up research to help make future decisions on whether to pursue mining projects in Suriname's rainforests.

For full story, please see: http://www.ethicaltraveler.org/news_story.php?id=172

BACK TO TOP

33. Uganda: Bees make wonder drug

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 26 June 2007

BEES have given mankind unique products that scientists have failed to copy. Apart from honey and wax, bees also give something useful to health but human beings have ignored it. It is called propolis. Sometimes called bee glue, propolis is a sticky resin that seeps from the buds of some trees.

The project manager of Malaika Honey, Simon Turner, says bees gather propolis, carry it to their hives in their pollen baskets and blend it with wax flakes secreted from special glands on their abdomens to deposit it on the interior of their hives. "Bees use propolis, which has antiseptic properties to neutralise any bacteria, fungi or virus that enters the hive," Turner says. "Propolis ensures a clean environment for the bees."

Turner, however, regrets that people simply destroy it when they harvest honey. Even those who do organised bee rearing, never harvest propolis mainly because of ignorance. Turner started a project, Malaika Honey, to teach bee farmers the importance of all bee products. The project also harvests propolis and processes it into medicinal products.

Turner says propolis contains about 55% resinous compounds and balms, 30% beeswax, 10% aromatic essential oils and 5% bee pollen. He said the composition of propolis varies depending on the environment, adding: "In most parts of Uganda, it is normally dark-brown. It can also be green, red, black and white depending on the sources found in the hive area."

"Propolis is a medicinal product that can work as an antibiotic, soothe inflammations, speed up healing of wounds, ease rheumatic pains, combat fungal infections and strengthen the body's immune system," Turner says. According to www.jonesbee.com propolis is one of the most powerful antibiotics found in nature. It is rich in amino acids and trace elements, has high vitamin content, including at least 38 valuable bioflavanoids which give it a high antioxidant value.

Propolis is available in different forms. As a tincture, it is used for disinfecting and protecting cuts and abrasions. In capsule form, it works as a supplement against bacterial infections. Propolis in chewing gum form is used to cure sore throat and swollen gum. "It is a non-toxic substance with no harmful side-effects," says Turner. "However, people who are allergic to bee-stings can also have an allergy to propolis. Should you feel nausea or develop a rash discontinue its use."

Malaika Honey has filed an application to the National Drug Authority (NDA) for permission to dispense propolis as a drug. A letter signed by the NDA executive secretary, Apollo Muhairwe, says propolis has been placed on the list of notified local herbal medicines.

However, Dr Charles Mukisa, a medical officer of Kinyara Sugar Works, has a lot of doubts. "It is difficult to quantify the drug content in propolis," he said. "Since it is a herbal medicine, the side-effects are not known and you cannot tell whether you are taking an over-dose or under-dose. In any case, I do not even know whether it works."

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200706270025.html

BACK TO TOP

34. Uganda: Honey exporters turn to regional markets

Source: The Monitor, Uganda, 10 July 2007

THE inability to conform to stringent and expensive packaging requirements is barring Uganda's honey industry from breaking into the European market despite its famed distinct high quality smoky flavour.

After five years of bad luck since the first samples were exported to the Middle East, UK, Germany and France, Uganda's honey is now finding new markets in the neighbouring regions following failed efforts frustrated by supply constraints.

"Uganda's export potential is limited because of constraints in delivering the qualities and quantities needed," Uganda's Ambassador to Belgium Ms Mirjam Blaak said on July 5. "In Europe, you need to have a lot more. You need to add value. Rather than use big packaging containers, in Europe you need things like glass jars that are sealed and levelled according to the regulations. But all this come with a cost," she said.

Early this year, a Dutch company - Bruynzeel - ordered 60 metric tonnes of honey from Uganda. However, Uganda has since failed to deliver illustrating the inability of the local honey industry to deliver in huge volumes to profitable markets.

Rather than battle with the stringent conditions, Uganda's honey exporters have now turned to the cost effective regional market and are now exporting to the East and Central African region. Most of it goes to the Great lakes states of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya Tanzania and Sudan.

Although figures vary, the Uganda Honey Bee Producers Association estimates that some 50,000 metric tonnes of quality honey is produced in Uganda annually by its members.

The President Uganda Honey Exporters Association, Mr Ramsey Owot, agrees that Uganda does not yet have the capacity to supply the quantity and quality of honey needed in the EU and American markets but despite that, the Ugandan market is very vibrant and offers good prices.

A kilogramme of refined and packed honey goes for between Shs10,000 to Shs15,000 within the region. At the EU open market, honey goes for between $1,000 and $1,200 (Shs1.9 million) per tonne. In the trade fair market also referred to as niche, specialised or organic market, a jar of 500 grammes can fetch up to 7 pounds (Shs22,400). But while the price could be good, the production can not satisfy the demand.

In Uganda, most of the honey comes from traditional hives, which costs about $9 (Shs15,400). Ordinarily, a hive can produce 20 to 30 kg over four months and the hives can produce this amount of honey up to four years.

Despite the lucrative potential, with honey prices at Shs15,000, a farmer with 30 hives can in theory earn up to Shs5.4 million per year. Unfortunately, beekeeping - practised in Uganda for 200 years - is still largely an uncommercial practice.

The top exporting countries in Africa are Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa. The price for beeswax per metric tonne is estimated at $4,600 while that of honey is estimated at $2,900 per metric tonne.

While bee farming remains an important seasonal activity, it has predominantly remained rudimentary and unexploited yet it has tremendous potential for widening Uganda's export base. Uganda may be blessed with the best quality. But unless constraints affecting the sector at all levels of value chain are addressed it may not be now that Uganda's honey can compete in the world market.

For full story, please see: http://www.monitor.co.ug/bizpower/bp07105.php

BACK TO TOP

35. Vietnam: Businesswoman brings Sa Pa medical plants to the world

Source: Vietnam net, 3 July 2007

A 31-year-old woman has helped change the lives of ethnic minorities in Sa Pa with her company, trading medical plants after many years of living in the mountainous area. Born into a normal family in Ha Noi, Do Thi Thu Ha graduated from Ha Noi General University majoring in botanical conservation and was employed by a British non-governmental organization.

In 2002, she was assigned as coordinate officer to a project on developing medical plants in Sa Pa sponsored by the New Zealand Agency for International Development and the EU. The project aimed to encourage the conservation of endangered medical herbs and improve the livelihoods of ethnic minorities in the Sa Pa district of Lao Cai province.

After three years’ implementation, the project saw some fruitful results. Some overexploited and endangered plants which used to be seen as weeds had become medical plants with high prices.

The most successful thing, according to scientific researchers, is that those plants could help cure common diseases of a developing society like depression or Alzheimer’s.

The project also discovered a kind of root containing an anti-cancer active element, which could lead to a turning point for the inhabitants of Sa Pa once verified by researchers. Later, intellectual property rights for the project’s products will be granted for the benefits of the Sa Pa ethnic community.

After that, Ha came across the idea of establishing a company to sell the products. In 2005, her idea came true. The company is now busy seeking partners to sell medical plants to Australia and New Zealand. Some foreign pharmaceutical firms asked to buy the company’s registered patent for mass production.

Her company’s medical plants preservation project was awarded one of five 2007 Global Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development (SEED) Awards.

Bridging the Gap, as the project is called, uses sustainable cultivation of traditional medicinal plants to develop high value-added products, the manufacturing and proceeds of which improve the livelihoods of ethnic minority communities, according to the UN.

Vietnam’s initiative was jointly awarded with four other initiatives from Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Sierra Leone.

Recipients of the award went through a 10-month review process that included more than 230 applications from some 70 countries worldwide.

Over the next 12 months, each of the five SEED Award recipients will receive targeted support services designed to expand their initial ideas and projects into a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable enterprise.

With SEED support, the exports of medical plants in Sa Pa into foreign markets are quite likely in the near future.

For full story, please see: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/social/2007/07/713209/

BACK TO TOP

36. Vietnam: Forest management receives sizable state financial support

Source: Viet Nam News, Vietnam, 17 July 2007

A forest management and protection programme for 2006-10 that aims to plant five million more hectares of forest nationwide will receive funding of VND5 trillion ($312.5 million) from the State budget and VND10 trillion ($625 million) from other sources.

Funds will be spent on growing seedlings and replanting forests, forest protection stations, and building and upgrading of forest roads, as well as training in technology and forest management skills for forestry personnel.

The funding dedicated to forest preservation represents five per cent of the State budget.

The programme will pay VND100,000 per hectare for forests planted for special purposes and protective forests planted in vulnerable locations but with low profit potential. It will provide food and allowance for ethnic minority residents who replace their fields with forests.

Other policies would encourage the combination of forest plantation and exploitation of non-timber forest products

For full story, please see: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?num=07SOC170707

BACK TO TOP

NEWS

37. Afrique de L'ouest: La médecine traditionnelle veut jouer son rôle

Source : Irinnews, 4 July 2007

DAKAR, - Des idées pour mieux intégrer la médecine traditionnelle aux efforts de lutte contre le sida, les tradithérapeutes en Afrique de l’Ouest n’en manquent pas. Ce qui leur fait défaut, en revanche, ce sont des moyens financiers et un cadre légal pour les mettre en oeuvre.

For full story, please see: http://www.irinnews.org/fr/ReportFrench.aspx?ReportID=73087

BACK TO TOP

38. APFED Showcase Programme

Source: APFED (on Forest Policy Info Mailing List), 12 July 2007

APFED Showcase Programme is now calling for proposals for showcase projects which support the development, implementation, monitoring, and information dissemination of innovative policies, measures and actions for promoting sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. A grant of up to US$30,000 will be provided to each selected project.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 20 July 2007.

For more information, please contact:

APFED Secretariat

c/o Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) 2108-11, Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama Kanagawa 240-0115 JAPAN

e-mail: apfed@iges.or.jp

http://www.apfed.net/showcase/

BACK TO TOP

39. “Authentic and Sustainable” certification standard

Source: Jörg Volkmann, kontakt@authentic-sustainable.org

The German Amber Foundation has presented its new certification standard Authentic & Sustainable, a unique instrument for ensuring the authenticity and quality of speciality products as well as the sustainability of their supply chains.

The standard can be applied to producers, processors and/or traders of unique and high value vegetable and animal products, which stand either for

- a particularly emphasized geographic origin,

- the use of a genetic trait / genetic resource to be particularly emphasized

- a production method which is particularly worth protecting.

In addition their production, processing and trade of products are carried out in supply chains organized on partnership and oriented towards sustainability.

For more information, please contact:

Jörg Volkmann
Programme Coordinator Authentic & Sustainable
The Amber Foundation
Goethestr. 20
D-79100 Freiburg, Germany
e-mail: kontakt@authentic-sustainable.org
www.authentic-sustainable.org

BACK TO TOP

40. Cosmetics from Brazil in Kuwaiti supermarket

Source: ANBA (Brazil-Arab News Agency), Brazil, 6 July 2007

São Paulo – Cosmetics by company Amazônia Natural, based in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, should soon start being sold by a large supermarket chain in Kuwait. The contact between representatives of the two companies was established in April this year at the world's premier fair for cosmetics, the Cosmoprof Bologna, in Italy.

"I am sending some samples to Kuwait this week, and I believe that within 60 days we will start exporting," said the managing director at Amazônia Natural, Eduardo das Neves Rauen. The products to be sold in Kuwait are body oils made of typical fruits of the Amazon, such as Brazilian cherry, buriti palm, and cupuassu.

According to Rauen, the products are not going to be exported under the Brazilian brand name. "It is a private label project. The product will be manufactured and packed here, and will receive the Kuwaiti supermarket brand," he said. The labels on the packaging will be written in English and in Arabic. The volume to be shipped to the Arab country has not yet been defined. During the Cosmoprof, contacts were also made with businessmen from Saudi Arabia, as well as from other non-Arab countries.

"Products made using Amazonian raw material enjoy wide acceptance in both the domestic and foreign markets. I believe that these products have a lot of growing to do in the market," Rauen claimed. According to him, there are already many Brazilian companies working with fruit, seeds, and leaves from the Amazon.

The company's exports are still sporadic. Countries such as Bolivia, Chile, and France have already imported the products from Paraná. Recently, the company obtained a distributor for Portugal and Spain. "Our goal is to export 20% of our production within approximately three years," said Rauen.

The company's eight major product lines include oils of guaraná, Brazilian cherry, passion fruit, cupuassu, Brazil nut, buriti palm, assai, and andiroba.

For full story, please see: http://www.anba.com.br/ingles/noticia.php?id=15228

BACK TO TOP

41. Forest disturbance reduces biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest

Source: Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com, July 2, 2007

Two new studies in the Amazon rainforest show that plantation forests and second-growth forests have lower species counts for butterflies, reptiles, and amphibians than adjacent primary forest areas. The research has important implications for conservation of tropical biodiversity in a world where old-growth forest is increasingly replaced by secondary forests, industrial plantations, and agricultural landscapes.

Both studies were conducted in the Jari River border region between the states of Pará and Amapá, an area of the Brazilian Amazon where large tracts of forest were cleared and converted for cellulose pulp production plantations in the 1960s. Today some of these plantations have been abandoned and secondary forest has subsequently regrown, while other plantations are still active. Surrounding these lands are undisturbed rainforests. The matrix of forest types serves as a prime area for studying differences in biodiversity between undisturbed, regenerating, and plantation forests.

CITATIONS:

Toby A. Gardner, Marco Antonio Ribeiro-Junior, Jos Barlow, Teresa Cristina Sauer Avila-Pires, Marinus S. Hoogmoed, and Carlos A. Peres (2007). The Value of Primary, Secondary, and Plantation Forests for a Neotropical Herpetofauna. Conservation Biology Volume 21, No. 3, 775-787

Jos Barlow, William L. Overal, Ivanei S. Araujo, Toby A. Gardner and Carlos A. Peres (2007). The value of primary, secondary and plantation forests for fruit-feeding butterflies in the Brazilian Amazon. Journal of Applied Ecology 2007

For full story, please see: http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0702-gardner.html

BACK TO TOP

42. IFAD and ICARDA – Medicinal Plants Workshop

Source: SANA - Syrian Arab News Agency, Syria, 10 July 2007

Aleppo, (SANA) – Agricultural research committees from 23 countries participated on Tuesday in a workshop on medicinal plants organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in cooperation with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Participants pointed out to the importance of medicinal plants in providing income for rural families, stressing the necessity of implementing a general strategy in Syria and semi-dry areas for farming these plants for use in the medical industry and other developmental projects.

The two-day long workshop included several lectures and scientific researches on medical plants and their applications.

For full story, please see: http://www.sana.org/eng/21/2007/07/10/128282.htm

BACK TO TOP

43. Primeval beech forests in Slovakia and Ukraine listed as world heritage site

Source: Slovak Spectator, Slovakia

The World Heritage Committee put the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathian, in Slovakia and the Ukraine, onto UNESCO's world heritage list on June 28 along with other six sites.

The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathian, in Slovakia and the Ukraine, are ten sites representing an outstanding example of undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibit the most complete and comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions, UNESCO wrote on its website. They contain an invaluable genetic reservoir of beech and many species associated with, and dependent on, these forest habitats.

For full story, please see: http://www.slovakspectator.sk/clanok.asp?cl=28305

BACK TO TOP

44. Putting a monetary value on biodiversity

Source: New Straits Times, Malaysia, 28 June 2007

Placing monetary value on biodiversity is no easy task, say experts from the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM). But this is what they want to do.

They are working to come up with a predictive model that will help calculate the opportunity cost of logging forest areas by placing a quantitative value on the biodiversity.

As such, flora and fauna will be calculated in terms of ringgit and sen to enable a comparison between the cost of timber produce and the cost of non-timber produce of a specific jungle site. To calculate the value of the bats, one could use the cost of durians as the basis, since bats were the main pollinators of durians, said project director Dr Shamsudin Ibrahim. "No bats, no durians," he said, adding that monetary value for bats could equal the current cost of durians.

The US$5.67 million (RM19.6 million) project, the first of its kind in the world, was aimed at helping those involved, especially contractors, make more "informed decisions" about cutting down forests, he said.

Shamsudin said the success of the "Conservation of Biological Diversity through Improved Forest Planning Tools in Operation" project would showcase Malaysia as a leader in sustainable tropical forest management. "Should we succeed in coming up with a practical, easy and cost-effective tool to calculate the monetary cost of biodiversity within a targeted production forest area, we will be the pioneers in this sector."

One criteria is that the tool can be replicated to be used in other tropical forests around the world.

The project was mooted by former FRIM scientist Dr S. Appanah and American forest scientist Dr Peter Ashton. It took them six years to get the project off the ground and obtain funding from the Global Environment Facility.

Project manager Dr Woon Weng-Chuen said one of the easier methods to calculate the value of the biodiversity of a specific forest area was to consider the amount of eco-tourism the area could attract.

The amount of non-timber forest produce collected from the area and sold by the indigenous people could also assist in the value calculation. "This will give us an idea of the opportunity cost of logging that area."

The bigger elements to consider in terms of opportunity cost would be how the forest area contributes towards flood mitigation or acts as water catchment areas with natural filtering systems. "By having cleaner water upstream, less needs to be done to filter water downstream before they reach households. The amount of money saved in this case can be considered as opportunity cost as well," said Woon.

The Perak Integrated Timber Complex has been chosen as the project site.

For full story, please see: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Thursday/National/20070628082404/Article/index_html

BACK TO TOP

45. Revolutionary Global Environment Fund Announces $50 Million Expansion

Source: CEPF E-News Special Edition, July 11, 2007

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) announced today that a financial institution at the heart of France’s development assistance has joined the partnership.

The French Development Agency (l’Agence Française de Développement – AFD) becomes the sixth partner to commit $25 million. In addition, Conservation International (CI), a founding partner, agreed to match the AFD commitment dollar-for-dollar, which doubles CI’s total contribution to date to $50 million.

“Millions of people are directly dependent on biodiversity for their livelihoods, so saving it is a condition for their development,” said Jean-Michel Severino, the AFD director general. “In CEPF, we are joining an alliance of donors who pool their resources and expertise to have a greater impact on the preservation of poor countries’ most precious capital – their natural environment.”

The other CEPF partners are the World Bank, the Government of Japan, the Global Environment Facility, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Since its inception in 2000, CEPF has helped protect nearly 10 million hectares – an area larger than Portugal – of Earth’s richest biodiversity while influencing government policies in dozens of countries.

With the new funding, CEPF will first expand to the Indochina region of Indo-Burma; the remote Pacific island nations of Micronesia, tropical Polynesia, and Fiji in Polynesia-Micronesia; and the Western Ghats region of southern India.

These biodiversity hotspots are among 34 regions containing a high percentage of species found nowhere else and facing extreme risk, with at least 70 percent of their natural vegetation already lost. In Indo-Burma, only 5 percent remains in pristine condition.

The new funding is part of an ambitious fund-raising plan for CEPF, with a goal of $150 million to expand its work to 11 more hotspots in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Read the full press release: English / Français

Get more information about the CEPF strategies for the new regions: Indo-Burma Hotspot / Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot / Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Hotspot

BACK TO TOP

46. Tribe of honey-hunters fights extinction

Source: Independent Online, South Africa, 10 July 2007

Kiangwe, Kenya - The marginalisation of Kenya's Boni tribe, known for their unique tradition of whistling to birds that guide them to honey, has raised fears that their mellifluous song will soon be silenced.

With little or no access to health care and other resources, the Boni's ranks have steadily dwindled and the tribe is now on the verge of extinction.

The semi-nomadic Hamitic tribe nestled between the Indian Ocean and the Somali border in northeastern Kenya's Lamu district numbers barely 4 000, compared to 25 000 half a century ago, according to the Organisation for the Development of Lamu Communities (ODLC).

We depend entirely on nature for food and medicine," said Nur Mohamed, a Boni.

The central ingredient in the Boni's diet is honey, which they track down with the help of birds - known by locals as "Mirsi" and commonly described as honey guides - who feed on wax and bee larvae.

The peculiar species has been scientifically proved to lead animals and humans to bee nests. "But sometimes, the birds don't co-operate when they are not hungry," Mohamed explained, speaking in his native Boni dialect.

On a good day, the Mirsi will noisily alert Boni by landing on a tree concealing honey. The Boni then hack at the tree trunk and smoke it up to numb the bees before retrieving the bounty.

Members of the hunter-gatherer tribe also eat wild fruits, roots and a variety of game - which they say has put them at odds with wildlife officials. "They hunt antelopes, buffalos, even giraffes," said Mohamed Ali Baddi, who heads a local development organisation.

"Nowadays, I hunt secretly and I eat secretly. Otherwise, the Kenya Wildlife Service will beat us and arrest us," said Sadi Jumaa, who wears a belt made of baobab bark. "Hunting is a way of life. For them, it is not poaching. But for the KWS, they are poachers," says Baddi.

Some of the Boni's other traditional practices are a far cry from modern life, for better or worse. "We know the herbs to treat malaria, stomach aches, snake bites. But some of the herbs are too strong for children. Sometimes they die," Mohamed says. The nearest hospital to his village of Kiangwe is several hours' walk away.

While they are keen to preserve their ancestral way of life, the Boni feel ignored by the Kenyan government, as do other tribes of honey-hunters across the country. Kiangwe is a small village of 360 inhabitants living in mud huts with no dispensary, no road, no running water and no shops. Residents say travelling vendors pass through on average twice yearly.

"Maybe the government should come up with a policy for a Boni reserve so that they can preserve their culture," said Omar Aliyoo, one of two Boni tribesmen to sit in the local municipal council.

"Our way of life is disappearing. There is a danger that the Boni people will disappear."

For full story, please see: http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=nw20070710084335464C574438

BACK TO TOP

EVENTS

47. The Roundtable on Sustainable Forests workshop

5-7 September 2007

Wisconsin, USA.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Forests will convene a national workshop on two new Montreal Process indicators: The Resilience of Forest-Dependent Communities and The Importance of Forests to People. The goal of the workshop is to engage a broad array of individuals and organizations in discussions about approaches to reporting on these two new indicators in the next edition of the National Report on Sustainable Forests, currently scheduled for 2010, and beyond.

The workshop will take place at the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.

The September workshop is an important opportunity for you to learn about and contribute to the understanding of the two new Montreal Process indicators.

Deadline: COB Friday, July 20, 2007

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Walen at 970-513-8340 x221 with any questions. Or email jwest@merid.org

BACK TO TOP

48. International Bamboo and Rattan Expo. & Online Exhibition 2007

22-24 September 2007

Guangzhou, China

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Guangzhou International Bamboo and Rattan Expo (IBRE) 2007, jointly sponsored by INBAR and the China Bamboo Industry Association, will be held to promote the sustainable development of bamboo and rattan industries and develop the booming international trade in bamboo and rattan products.

IBRE 2007 will stress interactions between producers and traders to produce desirable impacts of the Expo. Participants will include producers, trading companies, research institutions and industrial associations from all around the world. Government officials and experts will also be invited to speak on issues related to sectoral policies, innovations, technology updates, international trade, environmentally sustainable development of the sector, and others.

The Expo will consist of exhibitions in five halls: Hall for Chinese Bamboo Hometowns, Hall for Fine Bamboo and Rattan Products, Hall for Bamboo and Rattan Construction and Decoration Materials, Hall for Bamboo Charcoal Products and Hall for Diversified Uses.

Main Activities

1. Trade exposition for bamboo and rattan industries;

2. International online exhibition of bamboo and rattan industries; (Note: Further information is available.)

3. Seminars on sustainable development of bamboo and rattan industries; (Note: Further information is available.)

4. Introductions to “bamboo hometowns” in China; (Note: Further information is available.)

5. Awards for high quality products; (Note: Further information is available.)

The online exhibition will last until December31, 2007

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Zeng Jie
Guangzhou Struggle Exhibition Co., Ltd.
Room 409 HengKangGe, 121 Linhe Xiheng Road, Guangzhou, China
http://wz.semhoo.com

or

Fu Jinhe Ph. D.
Senior Program Officer, International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)
Coordinator of IUFRO 5.11.05 Bamboo and Rattan
International Director of ABS Board of Directors
Beijing 100102, P.R. China

Tel: +86-10-6470 6161 ext.208
Fax: +86-10-6470 2166
Email: jfu@inbar.int
http://www.inbar.int

BACK TO TOP

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

49. New working documents from FAO’s NWFP programme

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

The following two publications have been added to our NWFP working documents series:

    • NWFP Working Paper No. 4: Les perspectives de la certification des produits forestiers non ligneux en Afrique Centrale

    • NWFP Working Paper No. 5: Gestion des ressources naturelles fournissant les produits forestiers non ligneux alimentaires en Afrique Centrale »

Both documents have been produced by FAO’s NWFP regional project GCP/RAF/398/GER “Enhancing the contribution of non-wood forest products to food security in Central Africa”.

Electronic versions of these documents will be available shortly from our NWFP home page www.fao.org/forestry/site/40716/en. A limited number of hard copies are available and can be requested from non-wood-news@fao.org.

BACK TO TOP

50. Forest Harvesting Case Study on NWFP in the Congo Basin

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

FAO’s Forest Products Service has just published the following new case study in its Forest Harvesting Case Study series: The Impact of Timber Harvesting on the availability of Non-Wood Forest Products in the Congo Basin.

An electronic version of this document will be available shortly from: http://www.fao.org/forestry/site/harvesting/en/.

BACK TO TOP

51. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Andel, T. van. 2006. A company-community partnership for FSC-certified non-timber forest product harvesting in Brazilian Amazonia: requirements for sustainable exploitation. Partnerships in sustainable forest resource management: learning from Latin America.169-185

Bridgewater, S.G.M; Pickles, P; Garwood, N.C; Penn, M; Bateman, R.M; Morgan, H.P; Wicks, N; Bol, N. 2006. Chamaedorea (xate) in the Greater Maya Mountains and the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize: an economic assessment of a non-timber forest product. Economic Botany. 60(3): 265-283

Carson, C.F; Hammer, K.A; Riley, T.V. 2006. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clinical-Microbiology-Reviews.19(1): 50-62

Chomel, B.B; Belotto, A; Meslin, F.X. 2007. Wildlife, exotic pets, and emerging zoonoses. Emerging Infectious Diseases.13(1): 6-11

Crookes, D.J; Milner-Gulland, E J. 2006. Wildlife and economic policies affecting the bushmeat trade: a framework for analysis. South African Journal of Wildlife Research. 36(2): 159-165

Fuller, T., Sánchez-Cordero, V., Illoldi-Rangel, P., Linaje, M., and Sarkar, S. 2007. The cost of postponing biodiversity conservation in Mexico. Biol. Conserv. 134(4):593-600.

Fusari, A; Carpaneto, G.M. 2006. Subsistence hunting and conservation issues in the game reserve of Gile, Mozambique. Biodiversity and Conservation.15(8): 2477-2495

Jones, M J; Orr, B. 2006. Resin tapping and forest cooperatives in Honduras. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 22(3/4): 135-169

Kanmegne, J; Belinga, J.M.O; Degrande, A; Tchoundjeu, Z; Manga, T.T. 2007. Gender analysis in the commercialization of Gnetum africanum/buchholzianum in the Lekie division in Cameroon. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment. 5(1): 243-247

Lindsey, P.A., Roulet, P.A., and Romañach, S.S. 2007. Economic and conservation significance of the trophy hunting industry in sub-Saharan Africa. Biol. Conserv. 134(4):455-469

Loveridge, A.J., Searle, A.W., Murindagomo, F., and Macdonald, D.W. 2007. The impact of sport-hunting on the population dynamics of an African lion population in a protected area. Biol. Conserv. 134(4):548-558.

McManis, Charles (ed). 2007. Biodiversity and the Law. Intellectual Property, Biotechnology & Traditional Knowledge. Earthscan. ISBN 1844073491

Muhammad Hamayun; Ambara Khan; Sumera Afzal; Khan, M A. 2006. Study on traditional knowledge and utility of medicinal herbs of district Buner, NWFP, Pakistan. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 2006; 5(3): 407-412

Quennoz, M; Simonnet, X; Vergeres, C; Hausammann. 2006. L'argousier, une espece pour l'industrie cosmetique. (Sea buckthorn [Hippophae rhamnoides L.], a species for cosmetics industry.) Revue Suisse de Viticulture, Arboriculture et Horticulture. 38(4): 215-217

Roman, M de; Boa, E. 2006. The marketing of Lactarius deliciosus in Northern Spain. Economic Botany.60(3): 284-290

Shah, N.C. 2006. Nardostachys jatamans i- An ancient efficacious Aromatic drug which could not find its place in modern medicine- Part I and Part II Herbal Tech Industry vol. 2 (7 & 8) pp.29-32& pp.19-21.

Shah, N.C. 2006. The Himalayan Podophyllum (Podophyllum hexandrum), the cancer curing herb: The present status in India. Herbal Tech Industry. vol 2 (9) pp.16-22,

Shah, N.C. 2006. Conservation aspects of Aconitum species in the Himalayas with special reference to Uttaranchal (India) – Medicinal Plant Conservation (Germany) Vol.11 Aug. pp 9-15.

Shah, N.C. 2005. Ethnobotany and Indigenous Knowledge in Indian context- Ethnotany (Silver Jubilee) vol.17 pp.64-70.

Shah, N.C. 2006. Black Soybean: An ignored Nutritious and Medicinal food Crop from the Kumaon region of India. Asian Agri History vol. 10(1) pp.33-42.

Shah, N.C. 2006. The Chocolate or Cacao tree- Herbal Tech Industry vol. 2 (10) pp.18-22, 2006

Shah, N.C. 2006. Walnut- An important nutritional, medicinal, and industrial tree crop of the Himalayas. Herbal Tech Industry vol. 2 (12) pp.9-12.

Shah, N.C. 2006. Kutki or Picrorhiza: A hepatoprotective bitter from the Alpine Himalayas. Herbal Tech Industry vol. 3 (1) pp.11-15.

Shah, N.C. 2006. Important Western Culinary Herbs of International trade: An Introduction. Herbal Tech Industry vol.3 (2) pp 13-17.

Shah, N.C. 2006. A historical and ethnobotanical study of Nardostachys jatamansi: An ancient incense & aromatic medicinal herb from Uttaranchal, India. Ethnotany vol. 18(1&2) pp.37-45. .2006

Shah, N.C. 2006. Podophyllum hexandrum and its conservation status in India. Medicinal Plant Conservation (Germany) Vol.12 Nov. pp 42-47.

Shah, N.C. 2007. Digitalis cultivation in India which could not be established with especial reference to Kashmir &Kumaon. Herbal Tech Industry vol. 3 (3) pp 14-18.

Shah, N.C. 2007.'Kuth' Saussurea costus (Saussurea lappa): A herbal drug of antiquity and its present status in India. Herbal Tech Industry vol.3 (4) pp 14-18. 2007

Shah, N.C. 2007.Sweet Flag (vaca) Acorus calamus L.: The oldest medicinal plant ever known to man kind with especial reference to Uttarakhand. Herbal Tech Industry vol.3 (6) 16-23.

Shah, N.C. 2007.Curcuma longa (Turmeric): A condiment of great therapeutic value tested with the times. Herbal Tech Industry vol.3 (7) 12-18

Willcox, A.S; Nambu, D.M. 2007. Wildlife hunting practices and bushmeat dynamics of the Banyangi and Mbo people of Southwestern Cameroon. Biological Conservation. 134(2): 251-261

WWF. 2007. Half way to the Millennium Development Goals, An assessment of the progress made on MDGs and the environment.

http://www.wwf.org.uk/filelibrary/pdf/mdg7.pdf

BACK TO TOP

52. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

FAO’s NWFP Home page

Our Web site is gradually being updated and new features added. We invite you to visit:

Please help us make this a rich resource by sending us (non-wood-news@fao.org) your NWFP web sites, citations of any publications that we are missing, as well as any research that you would like to share.

www.fao.org/forestry/site/6367/en

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

The new GBIF Data Portal is an Internet gateway to more than 130 million data records provided by 200+ institutions scattered over 30+ countries around the world.

http://data.gbif.org.

BACK TO TOP

MISCELLANEOUS

53. Australia: Farmers fell thousands of trees in mass protest over land-clearing laws

Source: Times Online, UK, 4 July 2007

Australian farmers are chopping down thousands of trees every day in a dramatic protest against laws intended to curb the country’s fast-rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Fed up with government restrictions on the use of their land, farmers began a civil disobedience campaign by cutting down one tree on each property, with a threat to increase the rate of felling each day until the dispute is resolved. By the end of this week more than 128,000 trees could be lost in a single day.

The farmers claim that the nation’s vegetation management laws, under which the clearing of trees has been made an offence, are leaving farmers bankrupt or rendering their farms marginal because trees are taking over open grasslands.

But the Government says that the strict land-clearing laws are necessary to preserve forests to soak up carbon dioxide. Without legislation, the Government claims, vast areas would be cleared to increase acreage of arable land.

Australia has the highest per-capita greenhouse gas emissions and has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, claiming that the climate change pact favours Europe and puts other countries at a disadvantage.

Alistair McRoberts, a farmer in Cobar, New South Wales, who has joined the protest, said: “How would you feel if the Government regulated to turn the third and fourth bedrooms . . . into accommodation for homeless people, and they didn’t pay you any compensation for doing so?

“You still pay the mortgage, you still pay the rent, but that’s just bad luck. We are being hoodwinked to the highest order by the Government and we need to talk about it.”

Brad Bellinger, the chairman of the Australian Beef Association, said that he supported the campaign. On Monday he cut down two trees at his property in New South Wales. He said that, as the fell rate increased, farmers would turn to mechanisation to keep the protest up.

Steve Trueman, a Queensland agricultural marketer, who has helped to form a loose coalition of farming groups to take part in the protest, said that desperate farmers who had campaigned for five years to have the land-clearing laws changed were behind the tree-felling campaign. “We are losing tens of thousands of hectares of formerly productive land [because of] these laws,” he said. He added that one large western Queensland property of 56,000 hectares (138,000 acres) was now overrun by hop bush, a tree-like weed that is protected by law. The property once supported up to 15,000 merino sheep but now has only six head of cattle.

Illegal land clearing has been an acute problem in the large states of New South Wales and Queensland. A WWF study in New South Wales estimated that in the seven years to 2005, 80 million reptiles and 13 million birds had been wiped out because of loss of habitat. About 340,000 hectares of land were cleared in Australia in 2005.

Mr Trueman said that farmers would end their tree-felling only when the environment ministers of each state agreed to meet them and discuss the issues behind the protests. “Farmers don’t want to be taking this action,” he said. “Farmers need trees on their properties as wind breaks and for soil conservation.”

He said that if land-clearing laws were not relaxed, there would be consequences for urban dwellers in Australia. “If we don’t get better outcomes for farmers Australia will face food shortages in future. It won’t be because of climate change. It will be because of land-clearing laws.”

John Howard, the Prime Minister, has called for a “New Kyoto” that will not harm the country’s oil, coal and gas exports and bring in developing nations, such as India and China.

For full story, please see: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article2023041.ece

BACK TO TOP

54. Brazil, Peru to cooperate on Amazon rainforest protection

Source: Mathaba.Net, UK, 4 July 2007

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Brazil and Peru will make joint efforts to protect the Amazon forest, said a statement issued by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's office on Wednesday.

As part of their joint efforts, Peru will allow Brazil's aircraft to fly over its territory to produce high-definition images which will be used in the studies of the Protection System of the Amazon Forest (SIPAM), a Brazilian project for the Amazon's protection.

The Brazilian side will also offer technical courses for Peru, in preparation for the analysis of the data obtained.

Their cooperation was a fruit of a visit in June to Peru by a Brazilian committee. The committee, coordinated by SIPAM's Managing and Operation Center, expressed Brazil's interests in developing a bilateral plan to protest the Amazon, an interest echoed by Peru.

Brazil and Peru will also cooperate in a project to measure the hydrological parameter in the Acre River basin, a region shared by the two, said the statement.

The two countries share 2,995 km of border.

For full story, please see: http://mathaba.net/news/?x=557204

BACK TO TOP

QUICK TIPS AND INFORMATION FOR NWFP-DIGEST-L

This list is for information related to any aspect of non-wood forest products.

Cross-postings related to non-wood forest products are welcome.

Information on this mailing list can be reproduced and distributed freely as long as they are cited.

Contributions are edited primarily for formatting purposes. Diverse views and materials relevant to NWFPs are encouraged. Submissions usually appear in the next issue. Issues are bi-monthly on average.

To join the list, please send an e-mail to: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org with the message: subscribe NWFP-Digest-L

To make a contribution once on the list, please send an e-mail to the following address: NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org

To unsubscribe, please send an e-mail to:mailserv@mailserv.fao.org with the message: unsubscribe NWFP-Digest-L

For technical help or questions contact NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org

Your information is secure--We will never sell, give or distribute your address or subscription information to any third party.

The designations employed and the presentation of materials in the NWFP-Digest-L do not necessarily imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

NWFP-Digest-L Sponsor:

Non-Wood Forest Products Programme
Forestry Department
FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Fax: +39-06-570-55618
Web site NWFP programme: www.fao.org/forestry/foris/webview/fop/index.jsp?siteId=2301&langId=1

last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009