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Source: O Estado de S.Paulo, 21 February 2007
Açaí once again belongs to Brazil. The typical fruit from Amazonia had been registered in Japan in 2003 as a trademark of the company, K.K. Eyela Corporation. Early this month, the Genetic Heritage Department of the Ministry of the Environment informed that the "açaí" trademark had been cancelled by order of the Japan Patent Office, the agency responsible for trademarks in Japan.
The decision is not final - the company still has 30 days in which it can file an appeal. If the company fails to counterclaim the trademark, the case is closed. "This created a moral and economic problem for Brazil. If a farmer wanted to export açaí to Japan, he would have to find another name or pay royalties to the trademark bearer, explains Eduardo Veléz, Director of Genetic Heritage of the Ministry of the Environment. According to Veléz, this was being used "in a perverse manner" as a non-tariff trade barrier.
The government has produced a long list of 3,000 scientific names of plants from Brazilian biodiversity, along with their common names, which swells the list to 5,000 names, and has distributed it to trademark registrars throughout the world. "This is a preventative measure that will strengthen our defence, if another case like this one appears", says Otávio Brandelli, head of the Intellectual Property Division of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
For full story, please see: http://www.amazonia.org.br/english/noticias/noticia.cfm?id=235363
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Source: Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica, 15 February 2007
Pimento, or allspice, as it is known internationally, is currently impacting the culinary world. It is one of the main ingredients in jerk seasonings and mixed spices.
The growing demand for the product, not only for local consumption, but for use overseas and in the hospitality industry, has opened up a niche market that is expected to be very profitable for local farmers.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is reporting that the pimento industry is earning an estimated US$5 million annually from exports of whole berries, leaf, berry oils, liqueurs and other value-added products.
There is also an increasing demand for pimento berries to satisfy the expansion of the jerk market. With the sudden interest in the product, there are certain guidelines and procedures that must be followed to get the product from its natural state to acceptable standards for export.
For full story, please see: www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070215/farm/farm3.html
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Source: NDTV.com, India, 23 February 2007
Hong Kong's skyscrapers proudly dot its shores, giving the island its glossy, modern image. Yet the structures, which are being built higher and faster everyday, owe their identities to one of the oldest construction materials in history - bamboo.
Advances in engineering and construction have not been able to outdate bamboo, a tried and successful material used to construct buildings in China for more than a thousand years now.
Till this day, light and cheap bamboo, mostly from southern China, helps Hong Kong's builders sheathe entire buildings in a matter of weeks and is constantly in high demand.
For full story, please see: http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?id=101298
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Source: Ahmedabad Newsline, India, 23 February 2007
WHEN Sebastian Philips, a student of the Post-Graduate Diploma programme in Product Design at the National Institute of Design (NID), hit upon the idea of building bamboo architecture along the coastal areas, he did not think that he would be developing a prototype bamboo shelter for tourists. The fully developed product will be ready in four weeks, says Sebastian, who came to NID as part of a foreign exchange programme shared with the Pforzheim University in Germany.
Sebastian came up with ‘Concept Wrap’, a bamboo shelter which offers comfort for tourists on the beaches of India. A person can easily build the shelter with a mere Rs 20 and it is easily adaptable to the size of the person. He says, ‘’The idea is to develop a simple shelter-like-structure with the help of bamboo, which is easy to work with, as it’s flexible. The only thing one needs to do is to clip together two parts of the bamboo shelter and one can relax in it.”
Sebastian says that he conducted surveys on at least three beaches near Goa to develop the prototype, observing bamboo huts built by local craftsmen on the beach.
He says that the whole idea has been borrowed from beaches in Germany where the concept of, ‘Roof we could share’ has been implemented. He adds, ‘’Features like a locker, to keep valuables, can also be added to the ‘wrap’ after the product is developed completely.”
For full story, please see: http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=223808
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Source: Newsday, NY, USA, 27 February 2007
During a search of a Staten Island garage last year, federal agents made a disturbing find: Among packages of smoked fish and clothing they discovered 33 pieces of African bushmeat, including the arm of a primate and pieces of a small rodent known as a cane rat.
Now the garage owner, a 39-year-old Liberian immigrant named Mamie Jefferson, finds herself a defendant in what her attorney believes is one of the first cases in New York, and perhaps the country, that involve charges of bushmeat smuggling.
The case pits federal officials who believe bushmeat poses health concerns against some West African immigrants here who say the eating of cooked flesh of wild animals is a sacred act that is worthy of protection under federal religious-protection law.
U.S. officials say the importation of bushmeat, particularly the cane rat, could expose the public to diseases such as monkeypox, a viral infection that causes symptoms similar to smallpox.
Globally, the trade in bushmeat is an environmental concern: Conservationists believe the trade is endangering many African animals -- especially monkeys and other primates -- that already are viewed as threatened.
Federal officials aren't sure how large the market is for bushmeat in New York or elsewhere. During an interview with federal agents, according to court records, Jefferson said she had heard that the meat, which is usually smoked, had been sold in a local African market on Staten Island.
Popular types of bushmeat include the flesh of monkeys, apes, bats, as well as the cane rats.
Recent statistics provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show occasional seizures of suspected bushmeat in the New York area and at other ports of entry such as Hawaii and Los Angeles.
Since 2000, agents have made sporadic seizures of what they term "possible" bushmeat in New York. Usually the items have been identified as primates, antelope, goat and cane rat -- from Ghana -- according to the data.
Biologist Justin Brashares, of the University of California, Berkeley, has developed a network of sources on bushmeat. Their reports indicate that about 1,000 pounds of bushmeat, which is usually smoked before it is shipped from Africa, makes its way each month into the West African ethnic markets in New York City. Nationwide, about 15,000 pounds of bushmeat come into the country each month, he said.
For full story, please see: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/am-bush0227,0,7847064.story?page=2&coll=ny-nycnews-headlines
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Source: The Namibian (Windhoek), 15 February 2007
THE concept of sustainable development seems to be taking root among some Namibians, including traditional authorities.
In an effort to ensure that mopane worms in the Uukwaluudhi Conservancy are not over-harvested but utilised in a sustainable manner, the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority (UTA) has set up regulations governing the harvesting of mopane worms in their forests.
Before people start harvesting mopane worms (Imbrassia belina), says the Headman of Iikokola District in Uukwaluudhi area Veikko Iishila, a meeting is held to inform the people that mopane worms are mature and can be harvested.
Each harvester has to get written permission from the UTA or from other relevant authorities at a fee.
Mopane harvesting time, Iishila says, is usually from March to April. This helps to make sure that forests are not over-harvested and that immature worms are not collected.
Iishila said money levied from mopane collectors is put into the Omugulu gwOmbashe gwOmagungu Trust Fund of the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority under the chairmanship of King Taapopi.
Recently, the fund gave N$20 000 to the Omusati Education and Training Trust, which grants study bursaries to students from the Omusati Region.
"Our conservancy is there to benefit our people," King Taapopi told The Namibian this week.
Mopane worms are large caterpillars that feed on the leaves of the mopane tree in southern Africa. The worms are high in fat and protein, have a gritty texture and slightly meaty taste when fried and are considered a delicacy by many people in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.
King Taapopi said they also have game species such gemsbok, zebra and the rare red-faced black impala in their conservancy. He believes that reintroducing wildlife helps bring tourists to the area.
King Taapopi said the community also benefits from wildlife by selling some of the animals and depositing the proceeds into the community fund, which is used in solving community problems.
The Uukwaluudhi Conservancy was established through the Community-Based Natural Resource Management programme of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, which enables people to manage and benefit from the natural resources in their environment in a sustainable way.
For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200702150639.html
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Source: HealthDay News, Washington Post, USA
According to a new study of Spanish varieties, honeydew honey has even higher levels of disease-fighting antioxidants than the honey that bees make from nectar.
But all honey, regardless of its origins, is good for you, the experts said. "Besides its value as a great sweetening agent, honey has proved that it also has effective antioxidant and antibacterial activities," said study co-author Rosa Ana Perez, a researcher with the Instituto Madrileno de Investigacion y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario in Madrid.
In recent years, honey has gained a reputation as a health food, especially in light of research suggesting that it has germ-fighting powers and is high in antioxidants, chemicals that appear to block certain types of cell damage caused by molecules called free radicals.
In 2004, U.S. researchers found that antioxidant levels rose in people who ate between four and 10 tablespoons of honey per day, depending on their weight. It wasn't clear at the time, however, which varieties of honey might harbour the most antioxidants.
In the new study, researchers looked at 36 varieties of Spanish honey in two groups -- clover honey, made by bees from the nectar of flower blossoms, and honeydew honey, made by bees from a sweet, sticky substance secreted by insects such as aphids that live off plants.
Honeydew honey is only produced in a few parts of the world and is considered a delicacy in certain regions.
The researchers performed tests on the honeys and reported their findings in the February issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
According to the results, honeydew honeys had higher levels of antioxidants in general. The researchers also report that Spanish honeydew honeys tend to be darker and more acidic than clover varieties.
Perez said honeydew honey from outside of Spain should also show similar signs of higher levels of antioxidants. Honeydew honey is relatively rare in the United States.
Should people eat a lot more honey? "An adequate diet rich in natural antioxidants: fruit, vegetables, olive oil, wine, honey, among others, could prevent some disease," according to Perez. But she added that consumers should be careful, because honey is also full of carbohydrates -- it's about 80 percent sugar -- and it "must be incorporated into diet in a balanced manner, both quantitatively and in relation to the other foodstuffs."
Finally, she said, honey is not a miracle food. "I don't think that a foodstuff on its own could allow the improvement of the health of anyone, or even prevent some disease," Perez said.
For full story, please see: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/22/AR2007022201148.html
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Source: Ninemsn, Australia, 27 February 2007
A British hospital is using honey from Australian bees to combat superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacteria which is resistant to conventional antibiotics.
The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough has been using honey from a colony of bees only found in Queensland to clean infected wounds, along with dressings that contain gum extracted from seaweed.
The honey seals the injury and the seaweed extract draws and absorbs the harmful bacteria, The Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.
For full story, please see: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=229717
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Source: Environment News Service, USA, 20 February 2007
NUREMBERG, Germany. A new standard to promote sustainable management and trade of wild medicinal and aromatic plants was launched Friday in Nuremberg at Biofach, the World Organic Trade Fair. The standard is needed to ensure plants used in medicine and cosmetics are not over-exploited.
About 15,000 species, or 21 percent of all medicinal and aromatic plant species are at risk, according to the report by the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group of the IUCN's Species Survival Commission that sets forth the new standard.
More than 400,000 metric tons of medicinal and aromatic plants are traded every year, and about 80 percent of these species are harvested from the wild.
Almost 70,000 species are involved, many of them in danger of over-exploitation or extinction through over-harvesting and habitat loss. In India, for instance, 319 medicinal plants are listed as Threatened by IUCN-the World Conservation Union.
Following extensive consultation with plant experts and the herbal products industry, the International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, ISSC-MAP, was drawn up by the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group.
The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation was involved in the consultation along with WWF-Germany, and the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, plus industry associations, companies, certifiers and community-based nongovernmental organizations.
The standard is based on six principles - maintaining medicinal and aromatic plant resources in the wild, preventing negative environmental impacts, legal compliance, respecting customary rights, applying responsible management practices, and applying responsible business practices.
Traditional Medicinals, a California herbal medicine company, is testing the application of the new standard to the collection of bearberry, a shrub whose leaves are used to treat the kidney, bladder and urinary tract.
"I welcome the launch of this new standard, which presents an important step in ensuring the sustainable use of natural pharmaceutical products," said Professor Detlev Drenckhahn, president of WWF-Germany. "We’d like to see other companies use the standard and see how it works in practice for their benefit."
One of the many challenges in applying a sustainable standard to the collection of wild medicinal and aromatic plants, MAP, is that the dependence of local communities on these resources for health and livelihood security is rarely assessed or recorded.
Little research on harvesting techniques has been done on how to collect wild MAP species sustainably.
Maximum quotas for wild collection of medicinal and aromatic plant species are often based on "overly simple and untested assumptions about the relationship between available supply and regeneration" of these plants, according to the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group.
Products, uses, and markets based on medicinal and aromatic plant species are numerous and diverse, and there is a wide proliferation of labels and claims - such as organic and fair trade - which imply but do not provide a means of verifying sustainable wild collection.
Finally, long and complex source-to-market supply chains make tracing a product back to its source extremely difficult, the specialist group says.
Still, the new standard provides a benchmark to work with.
Monitoring is an important part of the new standard. Collection and management practices must be based on adequate identification, inventory, assessment, and monitoring of the target species and collection impacts.
To view that Medicinal Plant Specialist Group paper that sets forth the complete standard, click here.
For full story, please see: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2007/2007-02-20-01.asp
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Source: The Daily Evergreen, WA, USA, 26 February 2007
The Maasai of Eastern Africa are a nomadic tribe of cattle-herders who rely on access to dependable water sources to survive. However, the Maasai, like many residents of the Third World, are facing a growing global problem – a lack of safe drinking water. More than 8,000 miles away, a small group of students from the University of Idaho is trying to make a difference.
Five UI students departed to Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday to begin testing months’ worth of work of designing and redesigning methods of water filtration and storage. For the past six months, the students, along with seven others, worked on the project for the Maasai people. The projects, Clearwater-Aid and H2Oasis, are a part of a senior engineering requirement at UI.
“The basic idea is to remove what’s hazardous in the water so it’s fit for human consumption,” said Donald Elger, a UI mechanical engineering professor and adviser for Clearwater-Aid and H2Oasis. According to a report by the United Nation’s Global Environmental Monitoring System, 5 million people, mostly children and infants, die annually from water-borne diseases.
The two teams will test a variety of water treatment methods in Kenya, all of which the students engineered from conception to design.
The Clearwater-Aid project is in its second phase. This year’s team expanded on previous designs that were tested in Kenya during the project’s first phase in February 2006.
The purpose of the new prototypes is to reduce turbidity, or muddiness, in the water and remove the harmful biological material that can lead to illness.
The designs use modern technology and local native materials to make the filters portable and easy to use for the nomadic Maasai tribe.
In one prototype the team uses a car battery to power ultraviolet lights to remove biological agents in the water.
Another design uses layers of sand to kill harmful bacteria in water that seeps through it. The Maasai will be able to install these sand filters into gourds – a fruit available locally – to make portable filters.
The team also uses a local Maasai resource that is not made, but grown. Seeds from the plentiful Moringa oleifera tree cause a natural charge that kills bacteria in water, Contreras said. The Maasai can use the seeds to help purify drinking water.
For full story, please see: http://www.dailyevergreen.com/story/21423
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Source: Financial Express, India, 25 February 2007
KOCHI, India: From mere extraction, the Rs 500-crore oleoresin industry has now gone beyond diversifying into nutraceuticals and cosmaceuticals to enter the dietary supplement area, becoming a producer of food ingredients in savoury and sweet flavour items. The industry is now turning into a one-stop food and flavour solution.
India accounts for 70 percent of the world oleoresin production with competition coming from China, the US, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Latin American countries. Brazil, India and China were the market leaders, with South Africa catching up. India leverages on its proximity to the spice farms, making Kochi the hub of oleoresin activity, according to George Paul, director of Synthite Industry Chemicals which accounts for nearly half of the Indian oleoresin and spice oil extract exports.
During the last fiscal, India exported 6,225 tonnes of oleoresins and spice oils earning Rs 500 crore. As per Spices Board figures, during the three quarters of this fiscal, 5010 tonnes worth Rs 402 crore have been shipped out and the industry is sure of improving further.
The high cost in the West has forced the industry there to outsource from India and flavour houses across the globe look to India for sourcing of their products. The industry’s major breakthrough came in the mid-80 with the development of oleoresin paprika; followed by oleoresin chilli, said Geroge Paul. The list of oleoresins from spices includes turmeric, celery, ginger, nutmeg, mace, cumin, fennel, mustard, garlic, coriander, cassia/cinnamon, clove and Mediterranean spices like rosemary.
Some of the materials like light berries of pepper, not available in India, have forced the industry to import it from Vietnam. While earlier, Sri Lanka was the main sources for such pepper, the shift to Vietnam was due to the price advantage. In most of the spices it is normally the not accepted variety that goes to the oleoresin industry, said George Paul, giving the case of the broken vermi, punky nutmeg rejected by the trade.
Vanilla was the latest entrant to the industry with the development of a nature identical vanillin oleoresin. Oleoresin from cassia/cinnamon was being consumed by the beverage industry and mustard oleoresin was another item that was making big inroads into the global market.
The process of isolating the active principle has helped in the manufacture of lutin from marigold flowers used as a colouring agent.
For full story, please see: www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=155989
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Source: Pharmaceutical Business Review, USA, 19th February 2007
Tea tree oil, an ingredient found in many beauty products, has been named unsafe by the European Union and could be banned by the institution after research discovered it could cause skin irritation and reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.
Regular usage of tea tree oil, which is sometimes used undiluted to help get rid of spots, acne and insect bites, could increase the user's risk of contracting superbug infections like MRSA, according to research claims. Tea tree oil makes these infections more resistant to antibiotics.
In addition, the EU has warned against using tea tree oil undiluted, as even small doses can cause skin rashes. However, it said beauty products such as shampoo, which use the oil in minute quantities, are safe.
Young males have also been warned about the dangers of tea tree oil after reports that three boys developed breasts when using the oil. The breasts disappeared after they stopped using tea tree oil.
The EU said it may ban the oil from being used in the undiluted form later this year if manufacturers fail to convince EU scientists that’s its safe for human use.
For full story, please see: http://www.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/article_news.asp?guid=33542668-A173-4CC4-B48C-58498F1BE7F3
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Source: ABC Online, Australia, 19 February 2007
The chairman of a truffle business in Manjimup, in southern Western Australia, says the Federal Government's decision to cut tax concessions for investment in horticultural ventures will stop future development of the potentially thriving industry.
Under the proposal, investors will be denied up front 100 per cent tax deductions for new projects other than forestry schemes.
The chairman of Oak Valley Truffles, Geoff Barrett, says it will now be difficult to attract investors, given they will not get any tax deductions for at least six years which is how long it takes for the truffles to grow.
Mr Barrett says a lack of investors will affect the truffle industry and could affect the development of a hazelnut project.
"We plant a combination of oak and hazelnut trees in equal proportion and incidentally just a by-product of the truffle development, we're also going to become the biggest producers of hazelnuts in Australia - most people aren't aware that 99 per cent of all hazelnuts consumed in this country are imported," he said.
For full story, please see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1850935.htm
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Source: AngolaPress, Angola, 26 February 2007
Luanda. The NGO "German Agrarian Action" has suggested the practice and dissemination of natural medicine in Angola with a view to facilitating people’s access to primary medical assistance.
According to the NGO`s representative based in the country, Peter Hinn, the natural medicine is a good alternative for countries like Angola, mainly in the rural areas, where many people have no access to primary health care and there is shortage of medicines and infrastructures.
Speaking to Angop alongside a seminar on natural medicine, Hinn explained that the access to health assistance includes access to drugs that are often costly and unattainable by many. He said the natural medicine is advantageous, because the medicine can be manufactured in all communities, is cheaper and everyone can produce a garden for medicinal plants. He added that many confuse natural medicine with traditional medicine, a reason why there is much scepticism when people talk about its.
"The natural medicine based on natural products combines positive aspects of the modern and traditional medicines. It focuses on nutrition, hygiene and prevention, is cheaper and available," he said.
In his turn, Angolan physician, Joao Baptista Nsende, seconded the German officials and said the Health Ministry should set up a department dealing with the natural medicine.
João Baptista explained that the African Union has an interministerial commission that addresses the continent’s pharmocopy and Angola, as a member country, must adopt a position on the matter and regulate the use of medicinal plants. He explained that in Angola there are about 30,000 medicinal plants with which a large variety of diseases can be treated, mainly those most frequent like malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
The seminar was sponsored by the German Agrarian Action and aimed at the dissemination of the natural medicine and an exchange of experience among health professionals, students and technicians.
The participants analysed about 60 medicinal plants from the tropics, their therapeutic effects, dosage and learned how to prepare some medicines and ointments from plants.
For full story, please see: http://www.angolapress-angop.ao/noticia-e.asp?ID=512482
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Source: Scientific American, 12 February 2007 (in Community Forestry E-news)
Those who used to illegally benefit from a rainforest reserve in northeastern Bangladesh are now the forest’s guards. The government, with help from USAID and other local NGOs, had decided that the best people to protect the forest were the former poachers, whose past experience was hoped to be helpful in keeping other poachers at bay. Illegal felling of trees is said to have diminished by nearly 90 percent since the ex-poachers started their patrolling. But with USAID ending funding in May 2008, some officials fear the government will be unable to sustain the guards’ wages and that the guards will team up with other poachers and return to their former activities. Some guards are reportedly already complaining that the police harass them because of their criminal record and that their salaries are not enough to keep up with rising prices.
For full story, please see: http://www.sciam.com
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Source: Reuters, 27 February 2007 (in Scientific American, USA)
BRASILIA. A number of animal and plant species in Brazil could die out as rising world temperatures cause more droughts, disease and rainstorms in areas like the Pantanal wetlands and Amazon rainforest, according to studies released on Tuesday.
"All our efforts to protect our biodiversity could be lost," Environment Minister Marina Silva said at an event to publicize the new research coordinated by the ministry and carried out by university, private and government scientists.
Brazil is believed to be home to roughly a fifth of all plant and animal species and the government has invested $142 million (300 million reais) since 2003 to preserve vast swathes of land in areas like the Amazon, Environmental Secretary Joao Capobianco said.
But rising global temperatures could undermine conservation efforts.
The broadest study, conducted by Brazilian space agency INPE, found that temperatures in the Amazon -- the world's largest remaining tropical rainforest -- could rise as much 8oC (14oF) this century.
For full story, please see: www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=8CB3B004D0EB6F2FC1CF8E345E2F1349
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Source: Brazzil Magazine, USA, 27 February 2007
The Atlantic rainforest known in Brazil as Mata Atlântica once spanned a million square kilometers (around 400,000 square miles). It barely covers 7% of that today. The deforestation has left farmers and wildlife with failing springs, receding groundwater and destroyed habitats.
But an ambitious project in Brazil's most crowded state, São Paulo, aims to bring the rainforest and its ecosystem back.
In an article published in Science magazine, Bernice Wuethrich reveals how the Riparian Forest Restoration Project aims to restore a million hectares of rainforest through experiments with different restoration methods in five pilot projects.
Some emphasize replanting trees alone while others aim to return a variety of plants and animals simultaneously. Their tactics include moving squares of topsoil from intact forest to deliver soil microbes, earthworms and fungi, and planting groundcover to attract butterflies.
Species diversity is seen as key to success, along with participation from locals. Farmers, for instance, volunteer land for replanting, while their children may work as environmental monitors.
The São Paulo government, looking to set up a fund for ecosystem services, says the project could become a model for all Brazil.
For full story, please see: http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/7947/54/
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Source: Bru Direct, Brunei Darussalam, 15 February 2007
Bandar Seri Begawan - Private companies and groups are welcome to propose to the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and its Forestry Department projects to develop pharmaceutical and even cosmetic products derived from the country's rich rainforest resources.
The government is calling on private companies to identify business ventures related to natural medicine that will be developed from out of the sultanate's rich biodiversity, he said, noting that 78 per cent of Brunei is covered in thick rainforest teeming with valuable plants that can be used for medicine.
"Tropical rainforests in Brunei are very rich, we want to explore the ways to make use of the richness of our resources, not only for timber but we also want to explore non-timber resources," Mahmud Yussof, Acting Deputy Director of the department said in an interview
"Brunei definitely has the potential to create a market in this area, of course. We have very rich forests here where there are local medicinal plants and herbal plants. One such type of tree is called gaharu. It is one local species that can produce fragrance. Thailand and the Middle East have already ventured into this."
"Interested private sector organisations wishing to invest in this area will be allowed to do so through proper procedures that would,-be handled by our department.”
The ministry also aims to develop ecotourism, catering both to scientific researchers and nature lovers. "Minimal development would be made to facilitate nature-loving tourists who come to Brunei to, visit our rainforests. We won't be developing infrastructure which are on the resort level, we want the tourists to experience the richness of Brunei's rainforests," said Mahmud.
"We have had researchers from the Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom studying our local species. Collaboration between our ministry and the Kew Gardens has been ongoing for decades now," he added.
Conservation of the rainforest to develop these types of economic activities is apparent through Brunei's involvement in the Heart of Borneo Project during the signing of the Heart of Borneo Declaration earlier this week.
Though the main aim of the project is conservation, the ministry though is not condemning development. "We are not discouraging any development; of course we have to cut the trees for timber but it should be in a sustainable manner; economic development should be balanced with the natural resources. The future generation will also appreciate this," he added.
For full story, please see: http://www.brudirect.com/DailyInfo/News/Archive/Feb07/150207/nite27.htm
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Source: Eco-Index Monthly Update, February 2007
The Children’s Eternal Rainforest protects 22,500 hectares (more than 54,000 acres) of tropical forest in Costa Rica’s Tilarán mountain range. To accomplish this, the Asociación Conservacionista de Monteverde (Monteverde Conservation League) works with local communities in and around our forest through environmental education, reforestation, and research programs. Within our reserve, we carry out a forest protection program.
• To conserve, preserve and rehabilitate tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity.
• Conduct research, protection, environmental education and habitat rehabilitation (reforestation) activities in and around the Children’s Rainforest, which is Costa Rica’s largest private reserve.
For more information, please contact:
Carlos L. Muñoz B., Julia Matamoros
Asociación Conservacionista de Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Monte Verde, Puntarenas
Tel: +506/645-5003; +506/645-5200
Web site: www.acmcr.org
Web site 2: www.mclus.org
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Source: BBC News, 20 February 2007
An indigenous tribe from one of the most remote parts of the Amazon rainforest is taking over a unique eco-tourism project as a way to protect their ancestral lands from oil extraction.
The project in south-eastern Ecuador is being seen as a blueprint for other indigenous communities facing similar challenges around the world.
One of those who hope to benefit from the venture is 20-year-old Angel Etsaa of the Achuar tribe. He has just become a guide at the Kapawi Eco-lodge. He earns $150 (£75) a month and wants to study management to help run the business in the future.
The commercial venture is being handed over piece-by-piece - by 2011, the Achuar people should be the sole owners.
It is a 20-day walk from Kapawi to the nearest town. Its 20 cabins sit on stilts on a lagoon where special plants which prevent mosquito larva breeding in the water have been planted to make visits by tourists more enjoyable.
Sixty-five percent of the lodge's employees are from the Achuar tribe. The business is supporting a local economy in a community which is only just getting used to using money.
But it is not just about providing work beyond living off the land.
This place is the gateway to the Amazon Basin rainforest, one of the largest biodiversities anywhere in the world. The Achuar want to protect it along with their own culture. The lodge is financing the Achuar's political struggle. Money is given to the Nationality of Achuar Ecuador (NAE) federation.
Cristobal Callera runs the NAE office in Puyo, the provincial capital, a 45-minute flight north-west from Kapawi. The federation is using its funds to help protect its people and to campaign to prevent oil extraction in the territory. They are well aware that oil extraction from the 1970s in northern Ecuador has created problems which some environmentalists have compared in both size and impact to the Chernobyl disaster. "We are optimistic we can run the eco-lodge. The Achuar do not want the rainforest destroyed and this is the best way to protect the environment and ourselves," Mr Callera says.
The NAE and other indigenous organisations are lobbying the government to protect and support local communities. So far, it seems that the campaign is working.
ConocoPhillips, a large US-based oil producer, has oil rights in the Achuar territory. But a spokesman for the company, Charlie Rowson, says Ecuador is "no longer part of our strategy. The Achuar tribe is not on board and we don't want to go ahead without their support."
The Achuar are not complacent.
The Ecuadorean government believes it can find the money to pay for its social reforms without exploring for new oil wells which could destroy both the rainforest's fragile ecosystem and the territories belonging to the indigenous communities.
The Secretary for Communication, Monica Chijua, herself a Sarayaku Indian, has promised the communities they are safe. "We are going to manage the oil wells we already have and to send oil to Venezuela to be refined before being returned to Ecuador.”We don't have to find new oil in pristine rainforests to pay for the social reforms. Human rights and the rights of the indigenous people are a key concern," she says.
As the new government tries to satisfy the expectations of a nation where more than two-thirds live in poverty Angel is determined to make a go of his new career at the Kapawi lodge.
"It's not just about a job for me. The eco-lodge protects the forest and also our culture. That is the most important thing."
For full story, please see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6354887.stm
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From: Dr Fu Jinhe, INBAR, email@example.com
Many Ethiopia decision makers met to discuss Africa as one of the richest countries in bamboo resources. Bamboo is "magic" with "unexploited investment potential", The Ethiopian Herald described, after visiting the workshop for "Unleashing the Economic importance of Bamboo in Ethiopia" organized by INBAR on 19 December, 2006, in Addis Ababa. It was supported by Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Chinese Embassy to Ethiopia.
Over 100 people participated, including H. E. Mr. Tadesse Haile, the State Minister of Ministry of Trade and Industry, who in his opening speech called upon the private sector to actively contribute to the venture of bamboo utilization. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce also expressed interest for the cooperation to be continued.
Other participants included H. E. Mr. Ahmed Nasir, the State Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Wang Chao, the Assistant Minister of Ministry of Commerce of China, and high officials and experts from INBAR, the Chinese Embassy to Ethiopia, GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), EU, Irish Aid, CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), USAID (United State Agency of International Development), as well as bamboo professionals, entrepreneurs, journalists, etc.
The presentation on "The Potential of Ethiopian Bamboo Development and Future Cooperation" by Dr. Fu Jinhe, expert from INBAR, inspired the Ethiopian attendants on the untapped potentials of bamboo in livelihood, environment and economic development. At the same time, Dr. Coosje Hoogendoorn, Director General of INBAR gave an update on INBAR's new strategy in the next five to ten years with four major goals focusing on networking, livelihood generation (poverty alleviation), environment conservation and trade development; while Ms. Song Shuang demonstrated the significance of bamboo in poverty alleviation and rural development by presenting the experience and the production model of a bamboo based handicraft making company in China.
The workshop participants were also impressed by the hands-on training course on advanced technologies and skills on bamboo weaving and furniture making, carried out by INBAR with 23 trainees from Ethiopia, funded by Chinese Ministry of Commerce and implemented by INBAR in Federal Micro and Small Enterprises Development Agency (FeMSEDA).
Dr. Hoogendoorn, who chaired the discussions about the future development, cooperation and priority area of Ethiopian bamboo sector, considered that the result of the workshop was initiative and substantive. Mr. Nasir commented at the closing speech that the technical assistance from INBAR has greatly contributed the sustainable development of Ethiopian bamboo resources, he strongly urge this effort to be strengthen in the future.
The Ethiopian News Agency, The Ethiopian Herald and ETV the Ethiopian TV station made substantial reports after the workshop about the potential of bamboo development and calls for investment in the relative sectors.
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Fuente: Renán Mairena, FNPP Honduras, firstname.lastname@example.org
El Programa de Cooperación entre la FAO y los Países Bajos (FNPP por sus siglas en inglés), brinda la oportunidad de que diversos actores, especialmente a nivel local, participen en la validación del marco jurídico forestal y del PRONAFOR (Programa Nacional forestal), llevando a cabo procesos locales de carácter piloto de los cuales surjan propuestas para su mejoramiento y dinámicas participativas para su implementación. El FNPP, Apoyo a la Operacionalización del Marco Jurídico Forestal y del Programa Nacional Forestal trabaja en Honduras desde enero de 2005 en tres áreas pilotos: Villa San Antonio, MAMUCA y Gualaco.
En la comunidad de Protección, Villa de San Antonio, unos 50 Km. al oeste de la capital, Tegucigalpa, a través del Proyecto FNPP, un grupo de mujeres fueron capacitadas para elaborar artesanías con acículas de pino. La Villa de San Antonio, es una comunidad forestal, enclavada en un bosque de pino que tiene organizada una cooperativa que se dedica al aprovechamiento de la madera, la extracción de resina de pino , tienen un pequeño aserradero y una carpintería, estas labores son realizadas por los hombres.
Alrededor de 20 mujeres de la comunidad se capacitaron en noviembre pasado para elaborar artesanías utilizando las hojas de pino, estas son “cosechadas” después que los árboles son derribados para aprovechar la madera, la capacitación dura un par de semanas al final de las cuales el ingenio humano y la imaginación se ponen a prueba, porque las personas comienzan a elaborar diferentes objetos, para adorno o para uso practico de los hogares. Esta es una actividad innovadora en la zona, y en las áreas que trabaja el FNPP, por el uso de productos no madereros las acículas, que por años han sido quemadas en la época de incendios forestales, además, la actividad es realizada por mujeres de todas las edades que han estado al margen de las actividades productivas que genera el bosque, por la generación de ingresos para los hogares y por la metodología de capacitación, la cual fue realizada por otras mujeres de otra comunidad no atendida por el proyecto,,evidenciando la solidaridad entre grupos marginados.
Además de los beneficios indirectos que se aportan para la protección del bosque, el beneficio directo es que los ingresos monetarios aumentaron sustancialmente en las familias que se dedican a esta labor, ya que una pieza en promedio la venden en alrededor de unos $15, producto de dos días de trabajo. Esta es una actividad de temporada, ya que el grupo necesita apoyo en el proceso de mercadeo.
En Honduras a pesar de que se tienen mas de dos millones de ha de bosques de pino, son muy pocas las comunidades que tienen esta experiencia de aprovechar este recurso de las acículas del pino.
Más información en http://www.agendaforestalhn.org/noticias207.htm
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Source: Israel 21C, 19 February 2007
The Bedouin town of Tel Sheva in the Negev desert was founded in 1968 as part of a government project to settle Bedouins in permanent communities. The town is poor, run-down and neglected. Unemployment among the town's 30,000 inhabitants is running high, crime is indigenous, and there is little urban or industrial infrastructure.
So why has this dusty underprivileged settlement been attracting so many visitors? The reason is a new project to help Bedouin women turn native plants and flowers into remedies for the skin.
Set up two years ago, Asala Desert Nature is nearing its commercial launch, with a range of unique skin care products based on traditional Bedouin herbal lore due to reach the Israeli market in the next four to six months. Sales to Europe will begin next year, or the year after.
The Asala project was founded when the local community center in Tel Sheva approached the Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development (CJAED), a non-profit organization founded in 1988 to promote economic cooperation between Israel's Jews and Arabs, with the idea of setting up a training program for women using desert plants found in the Negev.
Initially 48 Bedouin women passed the first selection process, but the number has now been whittled down to 10. The CJAED's Women's Empowerment Unit undertook to train the women from scratch, teaching them everything they might need to run a successful business in this field.
To learn more about the plants and their role in Bedouin life, the women interviewed their mothers, grandmothers, and other elderly female relatives. "We discovered that many of the women have a great love for the desert, and they appreciate the knowledge their ancestors have of desert plants and life," Kiram Baloum, the director of the Women's Unit, told ISRAEL21c.
To strengthen this folk knowledge, the women underwent a training program in medicinal plants.
Though the group plans eventually to create a line of medicinal, nutritional and skin care products, they decided to focus at first on skin care. "If you live in the Negev desert, the conditions are very harsh on your skin, and you have to look after it," explains Baloum. "That's their niche."
Originally the women of Asala planned to build their own laboratory, but they discovered it was going to be too expensive. Instead they contacted Hlavin, an international cosmetics manufacturer and exporter, which agreed to let Asala use its laboratories in Ra'anana. Hlavin carried out a feasibility study of its own, which showed a promising market for Asala products in Europe.
The goal now is for the women to grow the plants, and condense them into a formula of either olive oil or alcohol. Hlavin will take these formulas and turn them into a range of products that Asala will then market under its own name.
While each of the women at Asala comes from a different extended family in Tel Sheva, they are united by a common goal. "The main motivation of these women is that they want to work, and to earn their own living," says Baloum. "These women are different from their mothers and grandmothers. They want to influence family life. They have a dream that they want to fulfil."
Most of the women involved in the project are married with children, and all have the support of their husbands.
For full story, please see: http://www.israel21c.org/bin/en.jsp
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Source: Conservation International Frontlines, USA, 21 February 2007
Entering her second year in office, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received international accolades for restoring peace and implementing sustainable environmental policies to rebuild a war-torn nation. With a new conservation fund under development, Africa’s first female president appears intent on creating a legacy that will extend far beyond her term.
If adopted, the Liberia Protected Areas Trust Fund will guarantee a long-term source of financing for an ambitious conservation plan to set aside at least 30 percent of the country’s remaining forests in national parks and reserves. Once administered on the ground, the plan will link multiple smaller protected areas to form a single network encompassing 3.7 million acres.
“Our biodiversity is a resource of global importance, and we need help in maintaining this invaluable asset,” Liberian Minister of Agriculture Christopher Toe told U.S. lawmakers and conservationists at last week’s launch of an annual conservation budget in Washington, D.C. “Preventing a return to regional conflict funded by timber is a must for our government, and is in the best interest of our people, our neighbours in West Africa, and the international community.”
In a country where logging contracts were once traded for weapons, the trust fund legislation will amend a forestry law passed last October, which was unprecedented in its sweeping reforms. Beyond forest protection, it transformed Liberia’s natural resource policies and introduced ways to monitor timber concessions more effectively. After the law went into effect, the United Nations Security Council permanently lifted sanctions on Liberian timber exports imposed in 2003.
Since then, the West African nation has advanced dramatically in its conservation efforts, with growing support from the world community. The United States government’s announcement last week to forgive Liberia’s $391 million debt will free up more funds for reconstruction and development. A program organized recently by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employs former soldiers to help rebuild the country’s devastated infrastructure.
In November 2006, CI started a similar project with USAID involving six communities near Sapo National Park, one of Liberia’s only two protected areas and among the best-preserved in the entire Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot. The two-year program is designed to create jobs and cultivate economic opportunities in agriculture and livestock rearing for its surrounding communities, while improving the park’s management and establishing good governance of natural resources.
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, administered by CI, provided early support for management of the Sapo National Park that was later interrupted due to civil instability. After a grant extension, the project continued through 2005. Now, equipped with a complete biological survey and a newly restructured Forestry Development Authority, Liberia is well on its way to setting an example for biodiversity conservation that could eventually be replicated elsewhere.
For full story, please see: http://www.conservation.org/xp/frontlines/2007/02210702.xml
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Source: Survival International (press release), UK, 21 February 2007
Members of a nomadic tribe who had been preventing loggers from bulldozing their rainforest home for two years have had their blockade dismantled by Malaysian police.
The Penan nomads had blockaded a logging road in an effort to stop one of the last remaining areas of virgin rainforest in the province of Sarawak from being logged.
The Penan are entirely dependent on the forest for all their food and shelter. The Samling logging company whose concession covers the Penan’s territory have already cut down much of the tribe’s rainforest.
In June 2006 the Malaysian authorities announced that they would remove the blockade, near the community of Long Benali, and arrest four Penan leaders. However, after protests by Survival supporters and others around the world, they took no action.
Despite the destruction of their blockade, the Penan will continue to resist Samling’s activities. According to one Penan, ‘If we don't defy the loggers now, all the remaining forest in the Upper Baram area will be gone within two years’.
The blockade site is in an area certified by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) for ‘sustainable logging’. However, the certification fails to acknowledge that this ‘sustainable logging’ is on the Native Customary Land of the Penan people, who have never given their consent for logging to take place.
For full story, please see: http://www.survival-international.org/press_room.php?id=2228
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Source: New Era (Windhoek), 23 February 2007
Namibia stands to earn millions of dollars due to the rising demand for the indigenous Hoodia plant as a potential miracle cure for obesity, which is a global problem particularly in the industrialized countries in the Western Hemisphere. This became clear yesterday morning during a speech in which Namibians were passionately called upon to develop a sustainable Hoodia industry by the minister of Environment and Tourism, Willem Konjore.
More than 200 commercial and communal farmers, traditional and church leaders and senior government officials are attending a two-day workshop to start a formal Hoodia plant industry that ends today.
"It is important to recognize that bio-trade has the potential of generating significant economic benefits to Namibia if properly controlled and could become an important potential component of an integrated sustainable development strategy. On the other hand, the country can lose its share of the potential millions of dollars in revenue from renewable plants exploited by international pharmaceutical, medical and agro-chemical interests," Konjore said.
In his view, rural communities, individuals and institutions stand to lose considerably as a result of the uncontrolled exploitation of intellectual property rights and products related to such resources. "That is why my ministry is engaged in a process of drafting legislation for access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge to provide a legal framework under which bio-trade and bio-prospecting can occur.
The minister urged that an innovative strategy be put in place to protect Hoodia and other plants as they become important for pharmaceutical and other sectors.
"Hoodia is a rare plant only found in Namibia, South Africa and, to a limited extent, in Botswana. We in the southern part of Namibia have known for generations that the Hoodia Gordini has medicinal and appetite suppressant substances and have used it sustainably over the centuries. "This knowledge has now been passed on to pharmaceutical companies in the western world which view it as a potential miracle cure for obesity, with potential negative consequences for the survival of the species in its natural range," the minister warned.
Populations of this natural resource are being negatively impacted by the high international demand. "There have already been numerous incidents of illegal harvesting and attempts to illegally export large amounts of Hoodia materials from Namibia.
Unscrupulous buyers continue to exploit the local people by unfairly offering low prices which, in the absence of other options, appear highly attractive.
The result is encouragement for them to harvest indiscriminately and without regard for the sustainability or survival of the populations," Konjore asserted.
Because of the enormity of the international market demands, Hoodia has the potential of contributing to Namibia's economic development in general and rural development in particular.
"Hoodia can positively contribute to the livelihood of rural households through cultivation and marketing of the plant. It is also very important that the process of deriving benefits from Hoodia remains sustainable. As co-owners and custodians of this valuable national heritage, we must ensure that this plant is not lost to our children and grandchildren,” the minister said.
For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200702230637.html
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Source: Daily Times, Pakistan, 17 February 2007
ISLAMABAD: To make up for the excessive number of trees brought down because of road projects, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is set to embark on a massive tree-plantation drive next week.
Environment Director Dr Sheikh Suleman told Daily Times that a week-long campaign to plant as many as 300,000 trees is to begin on Monday.
Banners highlighting the importance of trees were put up at certain points as the CDA prepared to involve citizens in the drive.
For full story, please see: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C02%5C17%5Cstory_17-2-2007_pg11_10
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Source: Sun Star, The Philippines, 15 February 2007
Did you know that the country's forests are home to 22 million Filipinos?
Among the Philippines' poorest, these upland dwellers have been partly blamed for the depletion of our forest resources.
Lately, however, several government and non-government groups, including the Department of Science and Technology's Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), have begun to look at these communities, no longer as an ecological nuisance but as a potent force in forest rehabilitation and protection.
A step towards this direction was the project funded by the Japan-based International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) where FPRDI researchers surveyed and trained forest dwellers in the provinces of Aurora, Western Samar, Surigao del Sur, and Palawan.
They documented the communities' economic activities, especially how they collect, process, and market NWFP such as rattan, vines, bamboo, erect palms, honey and almaciga resin.
"We wanted to better understand upland people because we want to help them take better care of the abundant resources within their reach," says Project Leader Arnaldo Mosteiro.
"After surveying 10 settlements in these provinces, we found that forest communities, many of which consist of indigenous people, depended on forest products as a major source of income," Mosteiro disclosed. "They were diligent and creative, producing all sorts of handicrafts - mats, hats, fans, bags, brooms, house decors - from every available raw material. Ignorance, however, stifles their productivity and jeopardizes their raw material base." "For instance, because they did not know any better, farmers used very crude methods to tap resin, a raw material for varnish, from almaciga trees. In the process, the trees are maimed and ultimately killed," he added.
Mosteiro explained that the uplanders surveyed need to be trained on market support and transport facilities. In some cases, their needs were as basic as literacy and recognition of their tenurial rights.
"Over the years, FPRDI has trained upland dwellers on the wise use of non-wood forest resources. We have shared technologies that would improve their product quality and productivity, as well as livelihood skills that would lessen their dependence on the forest," said FPRDI Director Florence P. Soriano. Last year, for instance, DOST conducted a project that taught B'laan tribal women in South Cotabato and NPA rebel returnees in Samar to make handmade paper and handmade paper novelty items.
"The survey FPRDI-Itto alerts us that we need to link up with all concerned groups so that we can give these communities the best business support and environmental education that we can give. We have no other choice. If we are serious in saving our forests, we have to be serious in empowering the people who live in them," Soriano concluded.
For full story, please see: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/zam/2007/02/15/feat/upland.dwellers.tapped.to.manage.forest.resource.html
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Source: Craftscotland, 27 February 2007
Reforesting Scotland is a Scottish charity which works to promote and support people's benefits from forests. We are contacting individuals, businesses and organisations that could be considered representative of the 'Wild Products' sector in Scotland to investigate the potential for a trade body and Scottish Forest Product labelling scheme to support and market the Scottish Wild Products sector. Wild Products are also referred to as Non-Timber Forest Products and include forest products that are either edible, decorative, crafts, herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical, but also those which provide environmental or associated services.
Along with determining the needs of people and businesses involved in the sector we also hope to determine whether the sector is growing and to identify any trends that may be occurring which might inform how the trade body and labelling scheme can provide appropriate support.
The need for this work has largely been identified through prior consultation with producers, harvesters and distributors of Wild Products at the 'Future for Wild Harvests in Scotland' seminar held in May 2006 which was attended by a broad range of representatives of the sector.
If you are interested in taking part in this research by being interviewed during March contact Jake Paul at Reforesting Scotland, tel: +44-(0)131 554 4321 or by e-mail: email@example.com
For full story, please see: http://www.craftscotland.org/default.aspx.LocID-cft049001.Lang-EN.emID-637.rss-yes.EventID-8521.htm
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Source: New Vision (Kampala), 14 February 2007
UGANDA Commercial Aloe-Vera Farmers Association and a U.S. firm have raised $600,000 (about sh1b) to put up a processing plant.
The plant will process the multi-medicinal plant into various health products. "It will process Aloe-Vera into cosmetics, toothpaste, health drinks and the residues would be turned into animal feeds," Ali Sessanga, the project director, said.
He explained that the plant would help farmers sustain the export market, adding that the machinery was acquired through a long-term loan. Aloe-Vera has not been processed in Uganda before. Sessanga said the machine has the capacity to crush 60 144 acres of Aloe-Vera per month. Uganda's Aloe-Vera acreage is 912acres. This means that farmers should produce more of the crop.
For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200702150280.html
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Source: Viet Nam News, Vietnam, 21 February 2007
Viet Nam’s first private museum featuring traditional medicinal treasures has captured the enthusiasm of cultural authorities and collectors in HCM City.
The 600sqm Fito Museum, which was opened to researchers and the media last week, traces the origins and growth of the country’s traditional medicine and displays over 3,000 ancient objects and images, many of them dating back to the seventh to ninth centuries.
Set up by Le Khac Tam, president of pharmaceutical company Fito Pharma, which makes herbal medicines, the museum is categorised into thuoc nam (Traditional prescription with Vietnamese medicinal herbs) and thuoc bac (Traditional prescription with medicinal herbs imported from China).
Also on display are hundreds of ancient books and documents on growing and using different kinds of herbs written by ancient physicians like Hai Thuong Lan Ong-Le Huu Trac and Tue Tinh.
Tam was certain it would become one of the city’s major tourist attractions. "It is a shortcut to knowledge for visitors wanting to learn more about the country’s traditional medicine and its values," he said.
Traditional medicine, with its 3,000 plant and 1,000 animal remedies, was well placed to treat many ailments and patients sought cures for a range of illnesses, he said.
For full story, please see: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?num=01CUL210207
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Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 27 February 2007
The 18th Congress of the AETFAT opened in Yaounde yesterday under the theme: Systematics and Conservation of African Plants.
Scientists from 43 African and European countries began meeting in Yaounde yesterday at the 18th Congress of the Association for the Taxonomic Study of Tropical African Flora, better known by its French abbreviation, AETFAT. Among the issues to be handled by participants for the next five days are those related to taxonomy of African plants and fungi, Phytogeography of African plants, Ethnobotany and conservation of African plants. Scientists are equally expected to size up the milestone covered in research on African flora, vegetation of African plant habitats, database of African plants and the evolution of the African Plant Initiative Project (API).
Holding under the theme: Systematic and Conservation of African Plants, the Yaounde congress offers yet another opportunity for scientists to exchange views on and assess the distance covered in research on conserving Africa's rich biodiversity which unfortunately, is seriously threatened by human activities. According to the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Madeleine Tchuinte, who presided at the opening ceremony, human threat to plant existence has heightened during the past few years. This, she said has instilled fear in Africans who readily see their plants disappear one day. Quite disturbing, is the fact that the majority of these plants have not been named. "Plants constitute a fundamental biological riches for the planet and an essential irreplaceable for man and animals ", Minister Tchuinte said.
In addition to plants man cultivates for food, millions of plants remain in the wild, which have economic, cultural and medicinal values. "Many remain to be discovered", Mrs Tchuinte said.
Cameroon's effort at promoting research in plant is engraved in the creation of the Cameroon National Herbarium. Other research efforts are being carried out in conservation centres such as the Limbe Botanic Gardens and the Dja Reserve. The stakes and challenges of the Yaounde congress are basically enhancing exploration and research on Africa's plants. The congress is a living example of North-South Cooperation. The AETFAT today counts more than 1,000 members drawn from international institutions notably national herbariums, specialised research institutions such as IRAD in Cameroon.
For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200702270681.html
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From: Darren Hart, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) is developing its international standard - the "BioTrade Verification Framework for Native Natural Ingredients" - via the ECLAP (the Ethical Certification and Labelling Authentication Project).
This voluntary international standard sets ethical guidelines for organizations involved in the BioTrade of native natural ingredients (ethical in terms of economic equity, environmental sustainability and social justice). The UEBT is looking for comments on the guidelines from European companies and organizations (e.g. in the food, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics sectors), especially if they might be interested in joining the UEBT in the future.
The second commenting period on the "Verification Framework" has been extended to Sunday 22nd April 2007. This Second Draft of the standard can be downloaded from the Internet in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, and in two versions: one for printing and one as a form with boxes for comments.
After editing, the resulting Final Draft will be submitted to approbation by the participants for 30 days, 1st to 30th June 2007.
We look forward to comments from your readers on the development of this standard as it is the UEBT's wish that the consultation be as wide as possible
The registration form for participation in the process is on: www.mvwebsolutions.com/register.php
When registering, a new participant simply supplies two supporting individuals (references) who are either already participants in the UEBT process or other contacts who can confirm their identity.
Following registration (and even before confirmation by references) the new participant can fully take part in the standards development process. Log in to the members section, click on "Guidelines in Development" and then click on the "UEBT BioTrade Verification Framework for Native Natural Ingredients" links to download the document in the relevant language.
Participants are asked to confirm that you wish to participate in this particular UEBT standards development process (they are also be given access to the other processes underway, when relevant). Unfortunately, due to the functionalities of the WebMachine comments not sent via the web site will be difficult to take into consideration. We apologize for any difficulties this may entail.
Should you have any questions about ECLAP, the UEBT or the "BioTrade Verification Framework for Native Natural Ingredients", please do not hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to your input into this important process.
For more information, please contact:
The Ethical Certification and Labelling Authentication Project
22 Avenue des Cerisiers
Telephone: +41 21 728 1324
Fax: +41 21 728 1324
Mobile: +41 78 637 0585
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Source: e-Travel Blackboard (press release), Australia, 23 February 2007
The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) is a gathering of tourism industry representatives, government officials, media, youth delegates and development specialists in a bid “to improve the health, wealth, environment and culture of destinations.”
“Enhancing culture and protecting ecology through tourism is an issue that will dominate CMEx,” said Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director Terestella Gonzalez Denton. “A well managed tourism industry can stimulate both economic and social development without compromising our natural and cultural resource base.”
The four-day event held in Puerto Rico will be highlighting ecotourism and the ways in which will assist in the growth of the local ecosystems. “Sustainable tourism, in its purest sense, attempts to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, employment and the conservation of local ecosystems,” continued Denton. “Responsible tourism is both ecologically and culturally sensitive.”
The tenth CMEx will be gathering from May 17-21 in San Juan. The destination was chosen for its particular success in enhancing culture and conserving the environment.
For more information about the conference or to register, visit their website at www.caribbeanmediaexchange.com.
For full story, please see: http://www.etravelblackboard.com/index.asp?id=61803&nav=82
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Source: FAO INFOSYLVA 2007-4
The eighteenth session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) will be held from 12 -16 March 2007 in Rome, Italy. This year, the overarching theme will be “Weaving Knowledge into Development.” Also to be discussed are the relationship between forests and energy, forest protection and putting forestry at the local level. Participation is by invitation only.
For documents, list and schedule of events and registration form, kindly visit our Web site: http://www.fao.org/forestry/site/cofo/en/
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Source: Mountain Partnership newsletter Peak to Peak, February 2007
The Trestle Group Foundation, an organization supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries and Mountain Partnership member, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) have announced a new collaboration to provide direct support to women entrepreneurs in developing countries. Based on the foundation’s Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Partnership Program, the initiative will identify qualified women entrepreneurs in developing countries and directly connect them with business professionals in developed countries. IUCN’s global network and vast expertise will be used to identify women entrepreneurs who manufacture or provide services that are environmentally friendly. These business professionals will then help build networks, business strategies and practices that will enable the women entrepreneurs from developing countries to create new opportunities and achieve long-term success. A key aspect of this collaboration will be defining success that extends beyond the individual entrepreneur by positively impacting the local community and country, as well as the companies, organizations and individuals who participate in the programme.
For further information, visit the Trestle Group Foundation Web site.
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From: Pankaj Oudhia, India, email@example.com
You are invited to watch this 32 minute Hindi film regarding some medicinal herbs. Names of botanical names are given as subtitles.
This is a very first effort but I am planning to go along in this way.
Please send me your comments and suggestions.
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29 mars 2007
Cournonterral, Hérault (France)
Une bonne solution pour valoriser les boisements et terrains clacaires.
Pour plus d’information contacter:
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tél : +33 (0)4 67 41 68 13.
Téléchargez ici le programme des séances de vulgarisation du CRPF Languedoc-Roussillon.
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14-16 May 2007
Organized by: The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), Ecotourism Norway and The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
This is the inaugural Global Ecotourism Conference, which TIES, in partnership with a national or regional ecotourism association, will be organizing every five years starting in 2007, in the co-organizer’s country.
As the first major global conference on ecotourism since the UN’s International Year of Ecotourism in 2002, the Global Ecotourism Conference 2007 will review and celebrate the achievements in the ecotourism field, as well as assessing challenges facing the industry.
This conference brings together national and regional ecotourism associations and networks from around the world, along with other interested organizations and individuals, to discuss common issues and to help strengthen the collective voice of the ecotourism community.
The participants of the conference will be given the invaluable opportunity to be part of the growing global movement for ecotourism, which is playing a crucial part in ensuring that travel and tourism remains a viable sector of the global economy and that it is environmentally, as well as financially, sustainable.
TIES and Ecotourism Norway are collaborating with the key UN agencies to organize and promote this historical conference. Their contributions will provide the participants with an opportunity to learn about ongoing and potential ecotourism initiatives around the world.
For more information, please contact:
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
Tel: +1 202 347 9203
Fax: +1 202 789 7279
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Various dates in July and August 2007
Switzerland or Slovakia
ETHsustainability, the Center for Sustainability at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, and the partners of the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS) are pleased to announce the opening of the application process for the 2007 Youth Encounter on Sustainability -YES courses.
The two week courses aim to sensitize participants to the complex issues of sustainable development in a global context, while also exploring issues pertinent to different regions, through course work, field trips, workshops, group work, discussions and practical learning experiences, combined with social and cultural activities. The courses offer a unique opportunity to experience inter and trans disciplinary education, network building and cross cultural exchange within a vibrant international environment of students, faculty and guest experts.
Two YES International courses will be held this summer in Braunwald.
Session 1: 07 to 23 July 2007. Location: Braunwald, Switzerland
Session 2: 04 to 20 August 2007. Location: Braunwald, Switzerland
For more information on the course please check the brochure available at:
YES Central and Eastern Europe
One YES Central and Eastern Europe session will be held this year in the vicinity of Bratislava.
Session 1: 24 August to 10 September 2007.
For more information on the course please check the brochure available at:
All applications must be submitted online. The online applications are now open at:
YES International: (Deadline 30 March 2007): http://www.sustainability.ethz.ch/en/activities/application_braunwald.cfm
Project Manager, ETHsustainability
Center for Sustainability at ETH Zurich
CH 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
+41 44 632 5898 Office
+41 44 632 1597 Fax
YES Central and Eastern Europe: (Deadline 27 April 2007): http://www.sustainability.ethz.ch/en/activities/application_rohace.cfm
YES CEE Course Coordinator
Katedra Marketingu FM UK
Odbojarov 10. P.O.Box 25
82050 Bratislava, Slovakia
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From: Darcy Mitchell, Darcy.Mitchell@RoyalRoads.ca
The deadline for the position of Director, Centre for Non Timber Resources, Royal Roads University, Canada has been extended to 31 March 2007. However, the competition will remain open until a successful candidate is found. (Full details of the position were given in the last issue of the NWFP Digest: www.fao.org/forestry/site/12980/en)
To apply please forward your cover letter and curriculum vitae (preferably in electronic format) to:
Human Resources - Career Opportunities
Royal Roads University
2005 Sooke Road
Victoria, BC V9B 5Y2
Fax: (250) 391-2570 Tel: (250) 391-2511
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From: Fu Jinhe, email@example.com
Are there any institutions with an interest in bamboo/bamboo charcoal as renewable energy - especially in Africa, or possible donors for this area?
If you can help, please contact:
Fu Jinhe Ph. D.
Senior Program Officer and Coordinator of IUFRO 5.11.05 Bamboo and
Rattan International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) 8 Fu Tong
Dong Da Jie, Wang Jing Area, Chao Yang District, Beijing 100102, P.R.
Tel: +86-10-6470 6161 ext.208
Fax: +86-10-6470 2166
Website: http://www.inbar.int; http://www.geocities.com/zhuzi.geo
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From: FAO’s NWFP Programme
Bodeker, Gerard & Burford, Gemma (eds). 2007. Traditional, complementary and alternative medicine. Policy and Public Health Perspectives. Imperial College Press. ISBN 978-1-86094-616-5
This is the first book to address public health issues in traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM). It presents state-of-the-art reviews of TCAM research in a range of priority public health areas such as malaria and HIV and in such common ailments as skin conditions and orthopaedic injury in developing countries. Contributions analyze policy trends in areas such as financing of TCAM and education and training in this field as well as selected case studies of model TCAM projects. Important chapters on research methodology, ethical and safety issues, and intellectual property rights pertaining to traditional medicine are also presented.
Chaubey, O.P; Shukla, P.K; Jyoti Singh. 2006. Conservation status of wild medicinal plants in Satpura plateau of Madhya Pradesh. I. Abrus precatorius L., Acacia catechu (L.f.) Willd, Acacia concinna (Willd) DC, Acanthospermum hispidum DC. and Achyranthes aspera L. Vaniki-Sandesh; 30(1): 24-27
This paper describes the floristic diversity as well as the threatened status of wild medicinal plants in the Satpura plateau in Madhya Pradesh, India. Emphasis is given on five species, viz., Abrus precatorius, Acacia catechu, Acacia concinna, Acanthospermum hispidum and Achyranthes aspera. Baseline information on the local names, habit, habitat, distribution, parts used, uses, threats and conservation measures for these five species are also given.
Dorji, L; Webb, E.L; Shivakoti, G,P. 2006. Forest property rights under nationalized forest management in Bhutan. Environmental-Conservation.33(2): 141-147
Lund, H. Gyde. 2007. Accounting for the World’s Rangelands. Rangelands 29(1): 3-10. http://www.srmjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-toc&issn=1551-501X
Muller, D., Epprecht, M., Sunderlin, W.D. 2006 Where are the Poor and Where are the Trees?: Targeting of poverty reduction and forest conservation in Vietnam. CIFOR.
This paper highlights the spatial linkages of forest quality with poverty incidence and poverty density in Vietnam. Most of the Vietnamese poor live in densely populated river deltas and cities while remote upland areas have the highest poverty incidences, gaps, and severities. Forests of high local and global value are located in areas where relatively few poor people live, but where the incidence, gap, and severity of poverty are strongest, and where the livelihood strategies are based on agricultural and forest activities. Analysis was conducted combining country-wide spatial data on commune-level poverty estimates and the geographic distribution of forest quality. The results suggest the usefulness of targeting investments in remote areas that combine poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.
To download a copy, go to http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Publications/Detail?pid=2026
Newman, S.M. 2006. Agronomic and economic aspects of walnut agroforestry in the UK. Acta Horticulturae. 2006; (705): 65-67
Noumi, G.B; Dandjouma, A.K.A; Kapseu, C; Parmentier, M. 2006. Le savoir-faire local dans la valorisation alimentaire des fruits du safoutier (Dacryodes edulis (G. Don) H.J. Lam) au Cameroun. (The local know-how in the valorisation of (Dacryodes edulis (G. Don) H.J. Lam) fruits in Cameroon.) Tropicultura; 24(1): 58-62
Dacryodes edulis is an oleaginous plant highly appreciated in the forest zone of Cameroon. This tree yields fruits called African pear or safou, highly consumed by local populations and even abroad. African pear is at the centre of a great economic activity in the Central Africa subregion as its trade generates cash for local traders during the production period. However, the valorization of African pear is hindered by its high perishable nature responsible for important postharvest losses due to lack of proper postharvest handling. Some studies addressed the problem; unfortunately, nothing was done on the local know-how which has still to be investigated. The present paper sheds light on African pear local harvesting, handling and marketing practices in Cameroon. Field surveys were carried out in different production zones in Cameroon savannah and humid forest lowlands: Adamawa, centre, east, littoral and west provinces. Results showed that African pear occupies an important place in the population daily life. This multipurpose tree species appears to be a source of foodstuffs, cash income, drugs and wood. If, on one hand, diverse strategies are developed by the population for a proper conservation of fruits, on the other hand, there is no real fruit transformation activity. Results of this study highlight the traditional know-how and bring out prospects for future works on African pear valorization.
Peck, J.E.; Christy, J.A. 2006. Putting the stewardship concept into practice: Commercial moss harvest in Northwestern Oregon, USA. Forest-ecology-and-management.
Petriccione, M; Aliotta, G. 2006. Ethnobotany and allelopathy of the Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.). Acta Horticulturae; (705): 297-300.
Ancient herbals represent an important and neglected source of information on the methods used by pre-scientific people to select and manipulate plants for their edible and medicinal qualities. In this respect, the authors have re-examined the historical background of the Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.) in ancient herbals. Since antiquity, the walnut tree is known not only for the edible walnut and the highly prized timber but also for his deep roots in folklore and mythology. Moreover, Walnut provides amongst the earliest recorded suggestion of allelopathy since the tree was considered a source of substances harmful to other organisms by Roman scholars Varro, and Pliny the Elder, who wrote treatises on agriculture dealing with the methods of good crop husbandry. It would be wished and reasonable to conduct ethnobotanical directed research in order to optimize the search of accessions useful for fruits, timber and chemicals for weed management.
Pulido, M.T.; Caballero, J. 2006. The impact of shifting agriculture on the availability of non-timber forest products: the example of Sabal yapa in the Maya lowlands of Mexico. Forest ecology and management. 2006 Feb 15; 222(1-3): 399-409.
Roychoudhury, N. 2006. Sericulture in forestry - Vanya Silk. Vaniki Sandesh; 30(2): 8-12
This paper describes the tropical tasar silkworm as a typical wild silk producer and as a bioresource for forest dwellers. Only three species are commercially exploited for wild silk production (Vanya Silk) in India: Antheraea mylitta, A. proylei and A. assama [A. assamensis]. Tasar culture in Madhya Pradesh is emphasized.
Trauernicht, Clay; Ticktin, Tamara; Lopez-Herrera, German. 2006. Cultivation of non-timber forest products alters understory light availability in a humid tropical forest in Mexico. Biotropica. 2006 May; 38(3): 428-436.
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From: FAO’s NWFP Programme
Rambles and Ambles
This is Sacred Earth Travel's newsletter covering news, special alerts, destination information and industry news from the sphere of ecotourism.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
TIES is a global network of industry practitioners, institutions and individuals helping to integrate environmental and socially responsible principles into practice.
Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE)
OARE, an international public-private consortium coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Yale University, and leading science and technology publishers, enables developing countries to gain free access to one of the world's largest collections of environmental science literature.
Over one thousand scientific journal titles owned and published by over 200 prestigious publishing houses, scholarly societies, and scientific associations are now available in 70 low income countries. Another 36 countries will be added by 2008. Research is provided in a wide range of disciplines, including biotechnology, botany, climate change, ecology, energy, environmental chemistry, environmental economics, environmental engineering and planning, environmental law and policy, environmental toxicology and pollution, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, urban planning, zoology, and many others
The Right to Food
The Right to Food website features information on the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the context of National Food Security. Through the website, users can increase their awareness of the human right to food, access resources for capacity-building at national and international levels, and find guidance, methods and instruments to assist in implementation of the right to food at the country level. Resources include training materials, an e-learning course on the right to food, tools for education and awareness-raising for implementing the right to food and; a virtual library containing manuals, technical papers, policy briefs, case studies and publications.
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Source: France24, France, 17 February 2007
Row upon row of saplings stand in the sun in the capital of Afghanistan's drought-hit Zabul province where war and poverty have left ancient underground irrigation channels dry and the hills bare.
These young plants have been weeded and watered and brought to life in this tough terrain by some of the poorest women of Qalat who are reaching for more in a harsh world --- at risk to their personal safety.
Almonds and apricots, cedar and cypress, pine and pistachio: a lot rides on these 203,720 saplings.
The 90 women who raise them are paid with 61kg of oil, wheat, pulses and salt a month as a part of a "food for work" programme on which many Qalat families depend.
Their labour also earns them lessons in reading and writing, nutrition and health care -- for some the first schooling in their lives.
When the saplings are ready for planting, half will go to adopt-a-tree and other projects to re-green this barren-looking land, perhaps helping to re-establish the almond orchards that are the pride of Zabul.
The rest will go to the women to seed small businesses selling the trees or their harvest, or just to provide their families with fruit and nuts.
As the project -- part of the UN-backed Green Afghanistan Initiative (GAIN) -- comes into fruition with the first trees ready for planting next month, its funding dries up in June.
For full story, please see: http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/administration/afp-news.html?id=070217064708.n7y8okhw&cat=null
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Source: Planet Ark, 7 February 2007 (in Community Forestry E-news)
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a report saying that rampant illegal logging is destroying tropical forests of Southeast Asia far quicker than had been feared and that without urgent action, 98 percent of remaining forests on Sumatra and Borneo islands could disappear by 2022. Such destruction would have dire consequences for local people and wildlife, especially endangered species, the UN report said, and “constitutes a conservation emergency.”
The UN blamed a network of multinational companies for targeting Indonesian national parks as a source of commercial timber, saying that such actions were taken not by individual impoverished people, but rather by well-organized elusive commercial networks. Indonesia made an appeal to the rest of the world and Western consumers to reject uncertified timber.
The Indonesian government has taken military action against loggers and has begun training ranger teams to police protected areas, and also signed pacts with the European Union and the United States aimed at ending illegal logging. However, experts say ranger units remain crippled by a lack of funds and equipment and face threats from loggers protected by militia, while the amount of investment in logging companies from the industrialized world vastly outweighs donor efforts to help Indonesia combat illegal logging.
For full story, please see: http://www.planetark.com
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