No. 04/06

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:


1. Artemisia annua: Yeast 'factories' could produce key malaria drug
2. Bamboo Furniture and Crafts Skills Training Workshop
3. Bark: Unlocking birch's bounty
4. Carmine and cochineal extracts
6. Medicinal plants: Healing plants found in threatened Borneo forest
7. Shea butter: EU buyers interested in Uganda’s shea nut butter
8. Shea butter: Japan to market Ghana’s shea butter
9. Sheanut stakeholders in Nigeria gather to brainstorm industry’s future
10. Truffles in Australia: Farmers call for truffle investors

11. Bolivia: Los ingresos que los indígenas obtienen del bosque son casi iguales a los de la agricultura
12. Cameroon: Le Cameroun va protéger 900 000 hectares de forêt
13. China: National Forest Tourism Expo
14. Democratic Republic of Congo: la forêt de Lomako Yokokala déclarée riche en biodiversité
15. Georgia: Partnership with FAO’s National Forest Programme Facility
16. Nepal: conflict over natural resources

17. Asia and Pacific Regional Strategy for Underutilised Plant Species
18. Biodiversity: Climate change 'worse threat than deforestation'
19. CITES announces 2006 export quotas
20. Eco-nomics: What Price Nature?
21. Grants: Global Fund for Women
22. MAPSCON announces first call for papers and case studies year 2006
23. Nontimber Forest Products Curriculum Development
24. Rights and Resources Initiative: High powered global coalition aims to boost community forest rights

25. Call for contributions - Encyclopaedia of Earth

26. Cultural heritage and sustainable forest management: The role of traditional knowledge
27. International seminar on gender and forestry
28. Quo vadis, forestry?
29. International Youth Summer Camp: Nature and Traditions of Mountain Shoria
30. Eight Annual Bioecon Conference on “Economic Analysis of Ecology and Biodiversity”
31. Ethnoveterinary Medicine Conference: Harvesting Knowledge, Pharming Opportunities

32. Have your animals and eat them too
33. Other publications of interest
34. Web sites and e-zines

35. Closure of DFID Forestry Research Programme
36. Food Force video game
37. Gabon event focuses on implementing environmental treaties 
38. Save the forest: Study says standing forest is the best rat control in Fiji Islands


Non-wood News – latest issue

The latest issue of Non-wood News (no. 13), FAO’s newsletter covering all aspects of non-wood forest products, has now been published and hard copies have been sent to all those on our mailing list. Special features in this issue cover the economic value of NWFPs and NWFP trade.

An electronic version (html and pdf) is available from our NWFP home page:

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1. Artemisia annua: Yeast 'factories' could produce key malaria drug

Source: SciDev.Net, 12 April 2006

Genetically modified yeast could help overcome a global shortage of the most effective malaria drug, according to research published in Nature this week (13 April). The drug's main component artemisinin is found in the sweet wormwood plant, Artemisia annua, but extracting it is costly and time consuming.

The World Health Organization recommends using artemisinin-based drugs to treat malaria, but with 300-500 million people being infected each year, suppliers are unable to meet the demand.

Now researchers have created yeast 'factories' that can make the chemical precursor of artemisinin nearly 100 times as fast as it can be extracted from plants. The team, led by Jay Keasling of the University of California at Berkeley in the United States, did this by tweaking the yeast's genes then adding two genes from sweet wormwood to its DNA.

A "simple and inexpensive purification process" is all that is needed to extract artemisinin from the modified yeast, say the researchers.

They say their method is more reliable than plant-based methods because it is not subject to factors that such as the weather. It is also cheaper and produces a purer form of artemisinin than can be extracted from sweet wormwood. They add, however, that more work is needed to optimise the amount of artemisinin produced.

Leann Tilley, professor of biochemistry at La Trobe University in Australia, says that it is critical that the costs of the extraction and manufacturing processes are kept as low as possible to make the drug affordable to the people who need it.

A course of artemisinin-based drugs costs US$2.40 but in much of Africa, public investment in healthcare amounts to less than US$6 per person per year.

For full story, please see:


2. Bamboo Furniture and Crafts Skills Training Workshop

From: Dr. Fu Jinhe,

The Bamboo Furniture and Crafts Skills Training jointly organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) was held in Ambon, Maluku province of Indonesia from 6 March to 4 April 2006. Chen Yunhua and Li Jianyin from INBAR were invited to train local craftspeople with bamboo and rattan furniture making and bamboo weaving techniques. The training was organized by Mr. Juergen Hierold, the Project Manager, Mr. Abdul Syukur Sialana from UNIDO project, and Dr. Fu Jinhe of INBAR.

Twenty-five trainees participated, 12 for bamboo and rattan furniture making and 13 for bamboo weaving. The success of the training will greatly promote the development of the bamboo and rattan processing industry in Indonesia.

The AMBONET TV Station filmed major parts of the training for a documentary it is making on this.

The success of the training workshop has also attracted attention from the local government and the Chinese embassy in Indonesia: the vice-governor of Maluku Province has made specific enquiries about how to develop the sector in the future, and the first secretary of Chinese embassy would like to fund a similar training workshop in Java later.

For more information, please visit the INBAR website ( “Past events”

or contact Dr. Fu Jinhe (


3. Bark: Unlocking birch's bounty

Source: Duluth News Tribune, USA, 10 April 2006 (in CFRC Weekly Summary 4/13/06)

A group of Duluth scientists is extracting a natural chemical from birch bark that appears to hold incredible potential for fighting diseases. It has been slow to develop, but the first commercial success may be near, part of a global shift to more natural-based compounds and chemicals.

Later this month, a factory in Two Harbors will begin making bulk, processed birch bark pellets that laboratories can refine into betulin, the active compound in birch that holds so much promise. More importantly, because anyone can grind up birch bark, NaturNorth Technologies also owns the patented process that extracts betulin from the birch pellets.

Snow-white betulin from Northland birch could be a key component to a pharmaceutical product within months, although researchers are legally prevented from saying exactly what medicine or company.

Instead of chopping trees down to make medicines and cosmetics, NaturNorth uses the bark from trees already cut down to make paper. Tons of paper mill waste that is being burned in boilers will instead be headed for Two Harbors to become part of a natural chemistry revolution.

"The cellulose used to make the paper is only 10 percent of the wood. Now it is time to start using the other 90 percent," said Pavel Krasutsky, head of the Natural Resources Research Institute's chemical extractives laboratory at the University of Minnesota Duluth. "Who knows, it may be much more valuable than the paper. And we've been calling it waste."

Birch bark is abundant, cheap, holds about 1,000 compounds and its betulin "is nontoxic, it's versatile, it's very active and we can get the basic material for almost free," said Robert Carlson, UMD chemistry professor and a pioneer researcher of betulin. "The cost of the base material already is offset by the papermaking process. So everything else we get out of it is a winner."

It appeared betulin's first success would be a herpes virus medicine. Lab and animal research showed betulin was incredibly effective at treating herpes. "One of the reasons we kept looking at birch is that the very first thing we tried it on, herpes, it worked. That doesn't happen very often" in the scientific world, Carlson said. But because it wasn't synthetic, pharmaceutical companies balked. While you can patent processes, you can't patent nature. So possibly the best medicine for herpes remains unavailable a decade after it was discovered.

But betulin from birch showed too much promise to give up on, and Carlson, Krasutsky and NRRI turned their attention to other products. Since then, its uses have included plastic, food supplements and skin creams.

Inside birch bark, betulin is so complex a compound that it may be impossible to replicate synthetically. That makes efforts to find all of betulin's potential uses more attractive financially. The investment is more likely to pay off if the product can't be easily copied.

And products with betulin as their base are nontoxic, while synthetic compounds often have toxic side effects.

The Duluth efforts aren't the only ones tapping into birch potential, however. Europeans already are on the move.

One company in Russia already makes an "antimycotic birch bark insole" for shoes, "health-improving" bed pillows of milled birch bark, betulin for the food and pharmacological industries, mosquito repellent made of birch bark tar, and floor and wall coverings made of pressed milled birch bark.

In Russia, you can buy betulin-packed tablets as a defence against liver damage. Alcoholics are encouraged to drop a couple of birch tablets before their vodka binges, with betulin purportedly blocking the damage alcohol can cause.


4. Carmine and cochineal extracts

Source: The Seattle Times, USA, 10 May 2006

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is deliberating a rule that would require food companies to state on their labels if a product contains additives made out of insects that, when crushed and processed, yield a rich red or a vivid orange colour.

The additives — carmine and cochineal extract — can cause allergic reactions in a small number of people, including flushing, hives, eczema, sneezing and anaphylaxis, a severe, sudden reaction that can result in death.

The additives have been used for centuries and come from female beetles imported from Peru, the Canary Islands, Bolivia, Chile and South Africa.

The FDA said the beetle-derived ingredients are used in 815 cosmetic products, most of which already are labelled. The additives also produce the lovely pinks, purples and reds that perk up juices, Popsicles, cosmetic face blush, the cherries in fruit cocktail that little kids love, port wine cheese, artificial crab meat, strawberry milk drinks, caviar, a fruit-based aperitif and other products.

The FDA, based on company testing, declared carmine and cochineal extract safe in the 1960s. Companies at that time said they had received no adverse reports from the substances' use.

It wasn't until about a decade ago that medical reports surfaced showing the additives can cause allergic reactions. That caught the eye of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The watchdog group and several physicians petitioned the FDA in 1998 to ban the additives or to at least require companies to list them and their insect derivation. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the CSPI, said the dyes can be replaced by other artificial or natural dyes.

The FDA proposed in January that foods containing carmine and cochineal extract list them on their labels. Retail cosmetics already must list them, but the FDA proposal adds "professional-use" cosmetics and gifts or free samples that often come with promotions to buy cosmetics. The comment period ended May 1.

Companies would have two years to change their labelling under the proposal, which could cost up to $3 million, the FDA said.

Because they come from insects, carmine and cochineal extract are considered natural additives and now can be accounted for on a label as simply "artificial colour" or "colour added." There are many other natural colour additives in that group, including beet powder and grape-skin extract.

The Food Products Association, the country's largest trade group serving the food-and-beverage industry, doesn't object to putting the words on the label. But the group complained in its comment: "Numerous food ingredients and additives are derived from animals, including insects. FDA does not require a statement about insect derivation about any of those ingredients or additives, such as honey or shellac."

If the FDA doesn't ban the additives, the CSPI thinks the next best thing is to tell consumers what carmine and cochineal extract are. In the proposal, however, the FDA said that if people don't know what the words mean, they can look them up.

For full story, please see:


5. Medicinal plants in Africa: Indigenous people demand more involvement

Source: The Monitor (Kampala), 16 April 2006

Indigenous peoples and peasant farmers who have helped develop the world's plant genetic resources through their traditional knowledge say negotiations aimed at the commercial exploitation of plants must involve them from the very start.

But their demands have turned into a long-running dispute over sovereignty, national boundaries and ownership of knowledge. As the Curitiba meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) drew to a close in Curitiba recently, the men and women who nurture the world's biodiversity struggled to make their voices heard.

Although the Convention itself was supportive of traditional knowledge and so-called benefit sharing, many government delegations did not include members of indigenous populations. And those indigenous peoples who were able to make it to Curitiba want to maintain an independent voice that recognises their special position.

At the CBD negotiations, the issue was termed Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), but the official title masked potentially difficult aspects relating to economics, politics and culture.

Indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers, through their traditional knowledge, innovation and practices have over centuries developed and nurtured plant species for agricultural and medicinal use, contributing not only to 'development' but also to cultural and biological diversity.

But now companies are developing medicines and crops that take advantage of these plant genetic resources.

Keen to protect their financial interests - and recoup the investment made into research and development - companies usually protect their products with patents. This means that from time to time, a new product comes on the market and reaps massive profits for the company.

Indigenous people and some developing countries with high levels of biodiversity are now demanding ownership over what they claim are their genetic resources. And they want to be part of negotiations about how these resources are used, by whom, and on what terms.

A central issue is the concept of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) - an approach supported by the CBD. "The prior informed consent of knowledge-holders must be attained before their knowledge can be used by others," the CBD says.

Perhaps the most contentious issue surrounding ABS is that of national sovereignty. As with other international agreements signed by governments on behalf of their peoples, national sovereignty forms the very basis of the CBD. So when an indigenous group claims knowledge of a plant, or demands to be involved in negotiations, their government can say that the knowledge belongs to the country as a whole, and will therefore be negotiated by the national government.

Indigenous people have a powerful backer in Tewolde Egziabher, an Ethiopian environmentalist and scientist who heads the African Group at CBD negotiations. He supports an international regime which includes PIC and certificates of origin of knowledge. Such a regime, some campaigners say, would not only lead to fair and equitable sharing of the world's biological wealth, but also result in fewer patent disputes, some of which have grabbed headlines in recent years. One such case involved the Hoodia plant, which pitted the San population of southern Africa - supported by a coalition of NGOs - against western and other pharmaceutical firms.

For full story, please see:


6. Medicinal plants: Healing plants found in threatened Borneo forest

Source: Reuters, 27 April 2006 (in ENN Newsletter, 27.4.06)

Plants thought to help treat or cure cancer, AIDS and malaria have been found in the rainforests of Borneo, a report from the Swiss-based global conservation group WWF said on Thursday.

But the rapid destruction of trees, much of it by illegal logging to meet growing world demand for timber, could wreck any chance of using these discoveries in the fight against disease, the WWF declared.

A promising anti-cancer substance has been found in a Borneo shrub by researchers for an Australian pharmaceutical firm, while a chemical found in latex produced by a tree appears to be effective against the replication of HIV, the report said.

In the bark of another species of tree, the researchers discovered a previously unknown substance which in laboratory tests appeared to kill the human malaria parasite, it added.

In all, it said, 422 new plant species had been discovered in Borneo -- shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei -- in the last 25 years and many others were believed to be there which could have medicinal applications.

But "all these promising discoveries could eventually be lost if the disappearing rainforests of the heart of Borneo are not adequately protected," the WWF said.

Borneo's forest cover has shrunk to 50 percent of its territory today from 75 percent in the mid-1980s, the report said.

For full story, please see:


7. Shea butter: EU buyers interested in Uganda’s shea nut butter

Source: New Vision - Kampala, Uganda, 8 May 2006

Interest in Uganda’s shea nut butter is picking up in the European market particularly with the cosmetics industry, an export trade official has said.

Susan Bingi, who is in charge of the bio-trade programme at the Uganda Exports Promotion Board, said European buyers were showing more interest in the shea nut butter called Uganda Nilotica type. “Our shea nut butter is now preferred over the West African butter, which was popular before. It has better quality oils and it is exported when it’s already in butter form unlike the West African butter which is exported as nuts,” Bingi said.

She said there are only two companies under the bio-trade programme exporting the butter.

For full story, please see:


8. Shea butter: Japan to market Ghana’s shea butter

Source: News in Ghana, 3 May 2006

The delegation that accompanied the Japanese Prime Minister to Ghana says it had identified a ready market for shea butter in Japan, the world’s second largest market.

Shea butter is one of Ghana’s non-traditional export commodities and is one product the Japanese market is waiting for.

Akira Chiba, a member of delegation from the Japanese Foreign Ministry, told newsmen that shea butter has been identified as one economic activity capable of contributing to the reduction of poverty in Ghana, especially in the northern part of the country. He however hinted that the non-traditional produce ought to be refined or processed to meet the taste of the Japanese people.

Mr. Chiba explained that the product was one of the country’s competitive advantages as the two countries discussed many burning issues affecting the survival of both parties centered on bilateral agreement and economic ties. Shea butter is one product that the Japanese people are waiting to patronize from Ghana since it has been recognized as an ingredient in the production of soap, butter and pomade for healthier skin. He also identified Ghanaian chocolate as another product that could shake the Japanese market especially if it was made to meet the standard and taste of the Japanese people.

For full story, please see:


9. Sheanut stakeholders in Nigeria gather to brainstorm industry’s future

Source: The Tide, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 21 April 2006

A one-day stakeholders’ consultative meeting on the sheanut industry was held today in Abuja with a view to proffering recommendations that would ensure the growth and development of the industry.

Sheanut is an important traditional source of fat from which is derived an edible vegetable fat or a blend of vegetable oils useful for industrial application. It is an important raw material substitute for cocoa butter in the manufacture of chocolates and other confectioneries.

In line with the CODEX Alimentarius recommendation, the European Union approved standard for chocolate permits the addition of up to five per cent vegetable fats from shea butter. It is also used in the manufacture of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Commerce Minister Idris Waziri, who presided over the meeting, noted that the development presented a good opportunity for the Nigerian shea nut industry to grow into a huge market. While acknowledging the support of USAID, FAO and JETRO toward the development of the non-oil sector especially the shea nut industry, he appealed to the governments of producing states to provide the necessary assistance to the stakeholders.

He noted that elevating the status of the shea industry would empower the rural women who for long had been engaged in processing the nut for both cooking oil and traditional cosmetics and alleviate poverty among them.

The minister therefore urged shea nut interest groups in the country to come together with a view to forming a viable registered apex commodity association. The major producing states include Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kano, Plateau, Oyo, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Benue, Ondo and FCT.

Other major producing countries in Africa are Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Senegal, Uganda, Ghana and Central African Republic.

For full story, please see:


10. Truffles in Australia: Farmers call for truffle investors

Source: Daily Telegraph, Australia, 16 April 2006

Truffle farmers in south west Western Australia predict a ten-fold increase in their 2006 harvest, as they call for public investors for the prized gourmet delicacy.

The French black truffle is a relatively new business opportunity for trufferie owner Wally Edwards, who began harvesting three years ago in the town of Manjimup, 300km from Perth. Mr Edwards farmed just one truffle in 2003, 100 truffles weighing 4kg the following year and increased the yield in 2005 to 26kg.

And at prices of up to $3000/kg, the businessman and his partner Geoff Barrett are sure they can expand the business. Their prospectus, just released, is pitched at land owners who want to help produce and sell truffles, to capital-only investors, said Mr Barrett today.

"Given that oak trees have a life of over 200 years, it's going to be generations of people who will benefit from their investment," he said. "I've spent the last three weeks on the eastern seaboard ... and the level of interest amongst financial advisers throughout Australia is very, very high indeed." He said that was because the investors own the project right the way through. "So in 20 years' time, they continue to own the land and own the truffles generated from the land".

Last year the farm produced a giant 1kg truffle, believed to be the largest found in the southern hemisphere.

For full story, please see:,20281,18831165-5001028,00.html



11. Bolivia: Los ingresos que los indígenas obtienen del bosque son casi iguales a los de la agricultura

Source:, 22 abril 2006

Más de la cuarta parte (25,72 por ciento) de los ingresos promedio de familias indígenas provienen directamente del bosque, por productos forestales maderables, no maderables, caza y pesca, lo que significa casi tanto como lo que reciben por agricultura (26,24 por ciento).

Pero el porcentaje sube a más de la mitad (56,59 por ciento) si se le añade las actividades que dependen indirectamente del bosque, como la agricultura y la ganadería (30,87 por ciento), según un estudio realizado por el proyecto Bolfor II.

El estudio dirigido por Juan de Dios Mattos, especialista en desarrollo rural, encuestó a más de 2.000 personas de 300 diferentes familias, en 11 comunidades indígenas y seis Agrupaciones Sociales del Lugar (ASL). Estas son entidades reconocidas por la Ley Forestal y están conformadas por pobladores rurales antiguos organizados para aprovechar sosteniblemente el bosque.

Por otra parte, las comunidades indígenas estudiadas fueron cuatro guarayas (Santa Cruz), cuatro tacanas (norte de La Paz), una yaminahua (Pando), una machineri (Pando), y una comunidad campesina (Pando).

El mayor porcentaje de ingresos de las familias indígenas estudiadas proviene de la agricultura (26,24 por ciento), pero el segundo que proviene directamente del bosque es casi igual al primero (25,72 por ciento).

Según el autor, “esto muestra que el uso racional del bosque no solamente genera un flujo constante de ingresos, si no que es una variable importante de seguridad alimentaria”.

El resto de ingresos indígenas proviene del trabajo remunerado (21,41 por ciento), transferencias (10,42 por ciento), negocios comerciales (7,54 por ciento), ganadería (4,63 por ciento) y subproductos (4,04 por ciento).

Sin embargo, cuando se desagrega la información se encuentra que en 10 localidades de las 17 estudiadas se obtienen mayores ingresos del bosque que de actividades agropecuarias.

Aunque las diferencias son muy variadas, en promedio es de 6.33 por ciento a favor del bosque. Hay casos en que es ligeramente superior y otros que obtienen del bosque hasta casi un 40 por ciento más que de la agricultura.

El autor afirma que “en general, todas las operaciones forestales comunales y sociales (OFCS) recién están empezando a trabajar formalmente en el aprovechamiento de productos forestales, por lo que muy probablemente el porcentaje de ingresos que reciban de esas actividades crezca considerablemente en los próximos años”.

“En otras palabras --continúa el especialista-- fortalecer la capacidad productiva, organizativa y gerencial de las OFCS incrementará sus ingresos totales, y se traducirá en ingresos menos variables que los producidos por la agricultura y la ganadería”, aseguró Mattos.

“Mientras exista bosque, las familias podrán obtener por lo menos una cuarta parte de sus ingresos de actividades forestales, independientemente de las condiciones climáticas que tanto afectan a la agropecuaria”, agregó.

Para el autor “es importante determinar el valor total de las actividades forestales y como éstas pueden reducir la inseguridad alimentaria en el largo plazo”, porque “el bosque ofrece a las comunidades rurales más que madera y en muchos casos es el lugar natural de sus actividades productivas”.

Igualmente recomienda “incrementar el nivel de análisis para determinar el aporte de las actividades forestales a las economías municipales”.

For full story, please see:


12. Cameroon: Le Cameroun va protéger 900 000 hectares de forêt

Source : Actualites News Environnement, 31 mars 2006

Le gouvernement du Cameroun a confirmé la protection de la forêt de Ngoïla-Mintom comme concession de conservation, au lieu d'attribuer sa surface totale de 895.492 ha à l'exploitation forestière industrielle. Une concession de conservation est une concession dont l'activité est la conservation de la forêt et non son exploitation. Pour Greenpeace il s'agit d'une « victoire historique pour les forêts africaines avec 900.000 hectares de forêts protégés au Cameroun.

Annoncée lors de la huitième conférence des Parties à la Convention sur la Diversité Biologique (CBD), cette décision ministérielle ouvre de nouvelles perspectives particulièrement intéressantes. « La semaine dernière, nous avons publié une nouvelle étude et des nouvelles cartes sur l'état des dernières forêts anciennes de la planète afin de montrer l'urgence à agir contre la déforestation. Notre travail a montré qu'il reste seulement 12% des forêts anciennes en afrique. Il est, donc, indispensable de les protéger durablement et légalement », explique Illanga Itoua, chargée de campagne forêt africaine pour Greenpeace.

Zone forestière-clé, Ngoïla Mintom représente un des derniers gros blocs de forêt intacte au Cameroun. Elle constitue un lieu de vie pour les populations pygmées Baka, qui vivent uniquement des ressources de la forêt.

Pour la communauté internationale de la conservation, cet espace forestier représente aussi un couloir important pour les migrations des éléphants et pour la protection des grands singes d'Afrique (gorilles et chimpanzés). Sa position géographique lui permet en outre de relier entre elles les aires protégées camerounaises de Dja (site d'héritage mondial), les parcs nationaux de Boumba-Bek et Nki, la zone de Minkebe au Gabon ainsi que celles de Odazala et Lossi au Congo Brazzaville.

Suite aux travaux des groupes environnementaux et aux demandes des bailleurs de fonds, le gouvernement du Cameroun avait accepté de déclarer un moratoire sur l'allocation des concessions forestières industrielles prévues dans cette zone. En sécurisant aujourd'hui, le statut de cette forêt et en préservant son intégrité, le Gouvernement camerounais la place ainsi hors d'atteinte légale d'une simple logique d'exploitation forestière destructrice pour les populations et la biodiversité.

Greenpeace appelle maintenant les gouvernements du Gabon et du Congo Brazzaville, (les deux autres pays du Tridom), à suivre l'exemple du Cameroun : classer les forêts de l'Ayina, de la Djoua et de la Zadié au Gabon ainsi que celles de Souanké et de Ntokou au Congo Brazzaville permettrait de transformer le paysage Tridom en espace de protection de la biodiversité et des grands mammifères.

« En prenant cette décision, le Gouvernement camerounais montre la voie à suivre pour préserver l'extrême richesse de la biodiversité africaine et les populations autochtones riveraines. La communauté internationale et notamment la France doivent absolument le soutenir pour mettre en oeuvre de manière transparente, efficace et responsable cette première concession de conservation dans le Bassin du Congo, rappelle Illanga Itoua. Cette première étape doit maintenant amener à un nouveau moratoire sur les développements industriels dans les forêts anciennes et un changement de logique dans l'exploitation des forêts africaines. »

For full story, please see:


13. China: National Forest Tourism Expo

Source: People’s Daily Online, 29 March 2006

The third China Forest Tourism Expo will be held in the city of Anshan, northeastern Liaoning Province, from 26 May to 2 June, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) announced.

The expo is designed to boost the growth of forest tourism, a rising force in China's tourism industry, as well as to improve the general public's awareness of forest protection, said Gu Chunli, mayor of Anshan, at a press conference in Beijing.

Gu said the eight-day event will include a series of activities, such as a large exhibition on the national forest scenery resources, a forest tourism investment fair and a forum on the construction of forest parks and the development of forest tourism.

Forest tourism in China, mainly relying on forest parks, has developed rapidly in recent years with more than 1,900 forest parks built by the end of 2005, said Zhu Lieke, SFA's deputy director. In 2005 alone, the parks received more than 180 million tourists, bringing a direct income of 8.5 billion yuan (US$1.06 billion), an increase of 30 percent over the previous year, said Zhu.

"The future of the industry will be even more promising as the annual forest tourist volume is expected to exceed 400 million by 2010, accounting for nearly one third of the total domestic tourists," said Zhu.

The development of forest tourism has also helped more rural residents, especially forest farmers, to shake off poverty. The forest tourism industry provided nearly 4 million jobs and the complex production value of China's forest parks was more than 80 billion yuan (US$10 billion) in 2005.

Zhu said China would build more forest parks in the next five years and the total number of forest parks would be around 2,800 by 2010. In addition, SFA would also strengthen supervision and management of forest parks.

The China Forest Tourism Expo is held every two years. The first and the second expo were held in Lin'an of eastern Zhejiang Province and Baoji, northwestern Shaanxi Province respectively.

Anshan, the third largest city of Liaoning with a population of more 3.47 million, boasts a rich tourism resource with 48 percent of its area covered by forest.

For full story, please see:


14. Democratic Republic of Congo: la forêt de Lomako Yokokala déclarée riche en biodiversité

Source: Radio Okapi, 25 avril 2006

La forêt de Lomako Yokokala déclarée riche en biodiversité - C’est ce que révèle l’Institut congolais de conservation de la nature, Iccn. Il entend l’ériger en aire protégée. La population de cette contrée se dit favorable à la création de la réserve mais sous certaines conditions. Cet espace forestier, rappelle, s’étend dans les territoires de Bongandanga et de Befale dans la partie sud de l’Equateur.

Cette démarche de l’Iccn entre dans le cadre de sa politique d’augmenter à 15% les aires protégées en RDC. Cette future réserve couvre une superficie de 3 600 km2. Elle contient 80% de la forêt primaire d’après les enquêtes menées. Selon l’Iccn, la création d’une aire protégée est impérieuse pour la sauvegarde de certaines espèces animales rares telles que le bonobo, le léopard, l’antilope, le paon et le pangolin.

Mais cette future réserve de Lomako est menacée par les activités de l’homme comme la pêche, la chasse et l’agriculture. Pour réduire ces activités dans cette forêt, une réunion de concertation a regroupé à Mbandaka les responsables de l’Icnn et les chefs de groupements de Bongandanga et de Befale.

La population se dit favorable à la création de cette réserve. Mais elle pose des conditions à savoir l’implication des autochtones dans la gestion de la réserve, la rétrocession des 50% des recettes générées par la réserve, le renforcement des capacités agricoles avec l’introduction de nouvelles cultures et techniques ainsi que la réhabilitation des voies de communication pour désenclaver ce milieu. La balle est dans le camp de l’Iccn.

For full story, please see:


15. Georgia: Partnership with FAO’s National Forest Programme Facility

Source: Info CENN, 26 April 2006 (

The Government of Georgia has entered into a partnership with the National Forest Programme Facility of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and UN Development Programme to help Georgia achieve its goal to establish sound forest management systems that maximize the contribution of Georgia’s forests to economic development and rural poverty reduction on an environmentally sustainable basis.

The objectives of the partnership are to:

• Develop a National Forestry Policy and Strategy (NFPS) that connects with other sectors and reflects the needs and aspirations of the people of Georgia;

• Enable stakeholders to engage meaningfully in the development of the NFPS; and

• Build the capacity of stakeholders to share forest management responsibility at the local level.


16. Nepal: conflict over natural resources

Source: Forest Policy Info Mailing List, 4 May 2006

The Managing Conflict in Asian Forest Communities Project has just released a report on conflict over natural resources in Nepal that is available on their website:

The report focuses on conflict at the community and user group levels and addresses the relationship of natural resources to the ongoing Maoist insurgency. Forest, water, and biodiversity resources are covered in the report.



17. Asia and Pacific Regional Strategy for Underutilised Plant Species

From: Dr Hannah Jaenicke, Director, ICUC,

Underutilized or neglected crops are those that are not appreciated for a variety of reasons and whose potential has not been realized. This includes plant species that are traditionally used for their food, fibre, fodder, oil or medicinal properties, but which have been overlooked by scientific research and development workers.

These plants risk falling into disuse, yet they often play a crucial role in food security, income generation and the culture of the rural poor. Unfortunately the lack of attention has meant that their potential value is under-exploited, and they are in danger of continued genetic erosion, ultimately leading to disappearance.

In order to address these issues, and to foster greater collaboration within the Asia-Pacific region, a group of 30 experts from Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam discussed a strategy for research and development activities of neglected and underutilised crops in Asia on 16 and 17 March 2006 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Following their vision that within the next 15 years, the collective efforts of research and development organizations in true partnership with local communities will raise awareness and stimulate the use of underutilized plant species, they developed a structure for promising intervention points in the effort to collaboratively promote underutilised species through research and development activities. The workshop participants also discussed a draft operational framework for use by stakeholders.

The workshop was jointly organised by the International Centre for Underutilised Crops (ICUC) and the Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species (GFU) of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. The workshop was co-hosted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and co-sponsored by the UK’s Department for International Development and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) through GTZ.

A similar workshop will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, for the African continent. Both workshops complement a global electronic consultation on a draft strategy document, to which contributions are welcome. Please check it out under or

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Hannah Jaenicke, Director ICUC, e-mail: or

Dr. Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Coordinator, GFU, e-mail:


18. Biodiversity: Climate change 'worse threat than deforestation'

Source: SciDev.Net. 13 April 2006

Climate change could become as big a threat to the planet's biodiversity as deforestation by the end of the century, warn researchers.

In a study published in Conservation Biology on 11 April, they say a doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide could strip biodiversity-rich 'hotspots' of thousands, or even tens of thousands, of species.

The most vulnerable species are likely to be those living in confined geographical areas, such as mountain ranges, because of the difficulty of dispersing from these areas.

"Species will be stranded with nowhere to go," says lead researcher Jay Malcolm of the University of Toronto, Canada. "Although we usually think of the Arctic as being vulnerable, the study shows that other places where species have limited ranges — such as islands, mountains, and continent tips — are also vulnerable."

The researchers used computer simulations of future climate and vegetation to estimate the changes in habitat and associated species extinctions that would occur if carbon dioxide levels doubled over the next 100 years.

Some regions could lose up to 75 per cent of their species. The study predicts up to 9,400 extinctions from the tropical Andes, 5,750 from the Mediterranean Basin, 3,395 from the Caribbean, and 3,865 from South Africa's Cape region.

Reference: Conservation Biology 20, 538 (2006); Link to abstract of paper in Conservation Biology


19. CITES announces 2006 export quotas

Source: MEA Bulletin - Issue No. 5, 5 May 2006

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) published the 2006 export quotas for specimens of species included in the CITES Appendices. The list of quotas establishes the volume of legal trade in the species covered by the Convention.


20. Eco-nomics: What Price Nature?

Source: Reuters, 15 May 2006 in ENN Newsletter,

The figures read like a real estate agent's listings: 2.5 acres of marsh in Canada, $6,000 per year; a tropical forest in Cameroon, $3,500; a Caribbean coral reef, $10,000.

The estimates from United Nations-backed studies are part of a fledgling bid to put a price on nature's bounties, from the production of crops, fish or timber to clean water supplies or the prevention of erosion.

Sceptics say the estimates are little better than guesswork but proponents argue that "Eco-nomics" shows natural systems, such as rainforests or mangroves, are usually worth more intact than if chopped down and harvested. "It's not rocket science ... but it's better than thinking that ecological systems have no value at all," said Robert Costanza, professor of ecological economics at the University of Vermont.

Some scientists say Eco-nomics could help safeguard the planet's ecosystems at a time of multiple threats, ranging from global warming, deforestation and pollution to the introduction of alien species to new habitats.

"There's a lot of suspicion (about ecosystem economics) because you can't easily value these things," said Partha Dasgupta, professor of economics at Cambridge University in England. "But I hope it takes off because we have to find a way to end destruction of nature," he said.

Costanza led a landmark 1997 study, published in the journal Nature that concluded the world's ecosystems were worth $33 trillion -- almost double world gross national product at the time. "The estimates we used were conservative," he said.

Since then economists have tried to fix price tags on swamps, deserts, glaciers, reefs or jungles to try to widen assessments of the economy away from yardsticks like housing starts or consumer spending.

"Current measures of economic wealth ... do not reflect the total economic value of ecosystems and mistakenly treat nature's goods and services as free to use and limitless in abundance," a U.N. report on biodiversity said in March.

It noted a country could boost conventional economic growth by felling all its forests for timber exports or by dynamiting its coral reefs to catch fish -- but added the gains would be short-lived.

An international study last year, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, valued a Canadian wetland at $6,000 per 2.5 acres per year against about $2,000 if converted for intensive farming.

It said 2.5 acres of tropical forest in Cameroon was worth about $4,000 if managed properly against $2,000 if felled for farming. Intact mangroves in Thailand were worth $1,000 a year against $200 a year if converted for shrimp farming.

Jeff McNeely, chief scientist of the World Conservation Union in Geneva, said coasts with intact mangrove swamps in Thailand suffered less damage during the 2004 tsunami.

But some scientists say Eco-nomics is unlikely to become part of mainstream economic thought. "Putting a price on ecological assets is symbolically a useful thing. But I don't think it will be economic reality in the next decades," said Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "It's just a thought experiment," he said, arguing that scientists should focus on raising public awareness of the likely impacts of global warming, such as higher seas, floods or desertification.

McNeely said insurance companies often provided a more accurate gauge of nature's financial value than the new science.

Dasgupta said one problem for Eco-nomics was that nature is inherently priceless -- without it all life would die.

But the new science has pushed the boundaries of imagination by trying to cost what might seem unquantifiable. In some studies, people are asked to place a value on forests or beaches near their homes while in others, economists try to work out what it would cost if humans had to pollinate flowers because bees had disappeared. It's not as strange as it sounds: China has sometimes resorted to human pollinators, apparently after over-use of pesticides.

For full story, please see:


21. Grants: Global Fund for Women

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 18-24 April 2006

The Global Fund for Women, an international network of women and men committed to a world of equality and social justice, advocates for and defends women's human rights by making grants available to support groups around the world.


    • Projects must be based in a country outside the United States.

    • Projects must demonstrate a strong commitment to women's equality and human rights that is clearly reflected in its activities.

    • We do not accept requests from individuals.

    • Projects are governed, directed, and led by women. Women must fill all or most of the leadership roles.

Deadline: 31 May 2007

For more information, please contact:


For full story, please see:


22. MAPSCON announces first call for papers and case studies year 2006

Source:, 29 April 2006

MAPSCON, the Medicinal Aromatic and Dye Plants Consortium, is the first of its kind multi-stakeholder consortium in South Asia that is working towards increasing synergy and efficiency in the medicinal aromatic and dye plants sector and its range of stakeholders.

Its efforts are geared towards increasing the access to quality information to various stakeholders apart from providing services that enable stakeholders to increase their stake and benefits from the sector while sustaining the resource base.

This Call for Papers and Case Studies is to enhance accessibility of all MADP stakeholders to information that is authentic, original and above all useful for meeting the abovementioned objectives. A technical, independent panel would judge the papers and first five papers/case studies adjudged as the best would be published by MAPSCON, and shared across different countries specially in Asian and African regions through MAPSCON collaborators and networks, and awarded the recognition certificate and cash award of Rs. 30,000.00 (Indian Rupees) each.

Papers are being invited in the following areas:

1. Cultivation of medicinal, aromatic or dye plants – The future of the MADP sector in India

2. Standards and quality assurance parameters for parallel systems of medicine: The case of India.

3. Are small rural enterprises for processing medicinal, aromatic or dye plants viable?

4. Enabling services for small scale processing units in rural India – an unachievable dream

Case Studies are being invited in the following areas:

1. Transforming wastelands to pockets of fortune: Cultivating medicinal/aromatic or dye plants

2. Small scale MADP enterprises – integrating further into the supply chain, an increasing reality

3. Cost effective services – helping the rural poor secure their livelihood through MADP marketing

Deadline for applications: 25th May 2006

For any further information please contact:

MAPSCON, Secretariat

C-2/6, First Floor, Safdurjung Development Area, New Delhi, 110 016, India



23. Nontimber Forest Products Curriculum Development

Source: CFRC Weekly Summary 20/4/06

As part of a national study examining the presence of Nontimber Forest Products (NTFPs) in natural resource curricula, the Institute for Culture and Ecology has developed a NTFP Curriculum Workbook.

The workbook is a set of over 100 lesson plans, handouts, and homework assignments that provide college students, managers, scientists, and extension agents with an opportunity to learn about the ecological, cultural, political and economic importance of NTFPs.

Read the report and explore the workbook at:


24. Rights and Resources Initiative: High powered global coalition aims to boost community forest rights

Source: Forest Policy Info Mailing List, 3 May 2006

The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) is a new coalition of organizations dedicated to raising global awareness of the critical need for forest tenure, policy and market reforms, in order to achieve global goals of poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation and forest-based economic growth.

Many people who live in forested regions, which cover 30 percent of the world’s land mass, eke out $2 a day or less, and that includes some 350 million indigenous and tribal people who depend on forests for food, housing, heat, and medicine. The initiative also seeks to reduce by half the proportion of people in forest areas who live in extreme poverty by 2015. This can only be done, the group argues, if these communities have clear rights to own and use forest resources.

Founding partners of RRI include the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Coordinating Association of Indigenous and Community Agroforestry in Central America (ACICAFOC), Washington, DC-based Forest Trends, the Bangkok-based Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC), the Foundation for People and Community Development, Papua New Guinea, and the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

The partners agree that it would be impossible for the world to reach the Millennium Development Goals on poverty and environmental protection without addressing the rights and improving the economic status of the 1.6 billion people—nearly one third of the planet’s population—who depend on forests for their survival.

Working with the support and collaboration of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Ford Foundation, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the United States Forest Service, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Rights and Resources Initiative is capitalizing on growing interest—from forest communities, industry, national governments and global development institutions—to shape policies and markets that can make forests integral to poverty reduction.

The Rights and Resources Initiative has assembled a global network of organizations across the world, including community groups, NGOs, research institutions, government officials and market analysts in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Board member Alberto Chinchilla, head of the Coordinating Association of Indigenous and Community Agroforestry in Central America, believes the situation in many countries is ripe for the kind of assistance RRI can provide. Members of his group now control some 14 percent of Central America’s forests. Their progress has been accelerated by targeted policy and technical guidance, such as management plans that offer locally controlled, sustainable use as an alternative to complete bans on commercial activities.

In Southeast Asia, communities of farmers conserve large areas of biodiversity-rich secondary forests independently of conservation programs. Village-managed forests in central and southern Africa house diverse species and ecosystems.

Forty million hectares of forest in Mexico (seven million in well organized community forest enterprises) and three million hectares of forest in Central America are under community management, with some community timber enterprises investing double the amount for habitat protection as governments in adjacent state-protected areas.

Other countries in Asia and Latin America are conserving species and habitat while producing different marketable and locally consumed forest products—be they timber, non-timber, botanicals, fiber products, or organic crops.

For further information, visit:

For full story, please see:



25. Call for contributions - Encyclopaedia of Earth

Source: Gyde Lund, FIU Update, 8 May 2006

The world's experts on the environment of Earth, and the interaction between society and the natural spheres of the Earth, are forming to produce a single comprehensive and definitive electronic encyclopaedia about the Earth ( The Encyclopaedia of Earth (EoE) will be free to the public and free of advertising.

We seek all qualified editors and authors to collaboratively develop:

    • A free, fully searchable, trusted source of articles about the Earth:

    • A to Z coverage of topics describing the environment of Earth that span the natural, physical, and social sciences, the arts and humanities, and the professional disciplines;

    • An information resource that will be useful to students, educators, scholars, professionals, decision-makers, as well as to the general public;

    • An authoring site that combines the authority of peer review with the power of Web-based collaboration;

    • A public reference site that is updated every 15 minutes.

The Encyclopaedia is one component of the Earth Portal ( ), the world's first comprehensive resource for timely, objective, science-based information about the Earth and environmental change. It is published by the Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment (

The scope of the Encyclopaedia is the environment of the Earth broadly defined, with particular emphasis on the interaction between society and the natural spheres of the Earth. See the taxonomy and topic areas at

For more information, please visit:



26. Cultural heritage and sustainable forest management: The role of traditional knowledge

Florence, Italy.
8-10 June 2006

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Valentina Marinai
Department of Environmental Forestry Science and Technology
University of Florence
Via San Bonaventura 13
50145 Firenze

Tel + fax: 00 39 055 30231282,


27. International seminar on gender and forestry

17-20 June 2006
Umea, Sweden

As an outcome of the Women and Forestry Seminar in Portugal 2001, a Team of Specialists on Gender and Forestry in Europe, CIS and North America has been working on the following topics;

    • Gender structures in forest organisations

    • Gender structures in forest ownership

    • Gender and the perception of forests

Results from their work will be presented at this follow-up seminar.

For more information, please visit:


28. Quo vadis, forestry?

29-30 June 2006
Sękocin Stary, Warsaw, Poland

The problems of modern forestry, resulting from differentiated social expectations related to forests as well as the deterioration of the economic condition of forest management, are the main issues of the proposed scope of the conference. Its framework programme includes abstracts, speeches and discussions on the most important questions concerning forestry, on a local, regional and international scale, especially in the range of:

• globalization challenges facing forestry,

• forest management as an element of socio-economic development strategy,

• concept and principles of sustainable forest management and their implementation,

• condition of forest resources, trends in their development and threats,

• intersectoral linkages of forest management, including wood industry, nature protection,

• education and public services,

• explanatory and forecasting roles of forest research.

This Conference is being organized by the Forest Research Institute in Warsaw.

For more information, please contact:

Marta Topczewska

Forest Research Institute

Section of Planning and Foreign Relations & Centre of Excellence PROFOREST

Bitwy Warszawskiej 1920r. Street, No3

00-973 Warsaw, Poland

Phone:+ 48 22 8234565



29. International Youth Summer Camp: Nature and Traditions of Mountain Shoria

25 July– 5 August 2006
Kemerovo Region, Southern Siberia, Russia

The IUCN Office for Russia and CIS in partnerships with a number of NGOs, municipalities and state organizations organizes the international youth summer camp in the Kemerovo Region. Youth Summer Camp Sky Teeth: Nature and Traditions of Mountain Shoria welcomes students from Russia and all over the World to participate in the traditional knowledge and nature conservation summer camp in Southern Siberia.

The Camp will bring local (including Native) and international youth together to study the nature and Native peoples’ traditions of this beautiful area in order to preserve the harmony of sustainable use of natural resources by local communities. The Camp will offer various master-classes provided by Native crafters and Elders. Participants of the Camp will learn about traditions, dances, songs, legends, traditional use of herbs for food and medicine by local Native people – Shortz – who have been living for centuries in this area. We believe that living together in a tent, learning together traditional skills and knowledge, dance and ceremonies will not only offer unique opportunity for international university students and young leaders to learn more about traditions and nature of the Southern Siberia, but will also help to preserve and reintroduce traditional knowledge for the local Native people. The Camp provides various tourists activities, including rafting and hiking.

The Camp is a non-profit venture; part of the costs involved is covered by the IUCN project funded by the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow through the PIN/KNIP Grant Program, Kemerovo Regional Administration and by other local organizations.

For more information please visit

or contact

Nikolay Shmatkov
IUCN – The World Conservation Union Office for Russia and CIS
3 bld.3 Stolyarny Per.
Moscow 123022

Tel/fax + 7 (495) 609 34 11


30. Eight Annual Bioecon Conference on “Economic Analysis of Ecology and Biodiversity”

29-30 August 2006
Kings College Cambridge, UK

The University of Cambridge and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in association with DIVERSITAS and UK-DEFRA will be hosting this conference. It is relevant to researchers and policy makers working in the field of the economics of biodiversity (including agro-biodiversity) conservation.

The conference will have sessions with papers examining the management of biological resources and biological processes as well as two plenary policy sessions chaired by IFPRI and DIVERSITAS respectively on the economic analysis of policies for biodiversity conservation.

Papers may be submitted for presentation within the conference and will be considered by the programme committee. Electronic copies should be sent to Dr. Andreas Kontoleon no later than 31 May 2006. Deadline for registration: 10 July 2006.

A selection of papers (upon authors’ approval) will be published as a special issue in a peered reviewed Journal or published as an edited book by a major publisher.

Further information on the conference will be posted on the BIOECON web site at or can be obtained by contacting Andreas Kontoleon at


31. Ethnoveterinary Medicine Conference: Harvesting Knowledge, Pharming Opportunities

14-15 September 2006
Chelmsford, Essex, UK

The use of natural products of plant origin to treat animals has been part of traditional livestock production systems in most parts of the world. The introduction of synthetic veterinary medicines and intensification of livestock production has resulted in a decline in the knowledge base and a loss of traditional knowledge about the medicinal properties of plants and their potential in the treatment of animal diseases and the promotion of health.

Because of concern over the excessive use of veterinary pharmaceuticals and a move towards more sustainable approaches to livestock production, there is growing interest in the identification and application of botanicals with veterinary medicinal properties.

This two day conference will address 4 major issues

1. the conservation of the knowledge base and information gathering techniques, respecting intellectual property and creating trust, making the most of local knowledge,

2. learning the lessons from local farmers, botanical identification, matching growing conditions to optimise medicinal properties translating symptoms into veterinary diagnosis,

3. traditional veterinary medicines; origins and applications throughout the world,

4. targeting biological systems, the gut, immune system and animal health.

For more information, please contact:

Dr J R Scaife
Head of the Centre for Equine and Animal Science
Department of Science, Agriculture and Technology
Writtle College
Lordship Road
Chelmsford CM1 3RR, Essex

Tel (44)1245 424200 ext 25534
Fax (44)1245 420456



32. Have your animals and eat them too

Source: David Kaimowitz, (CIFOR) [], Polex List,

Since cakes don’t procreate you can’t have them and eat them too. However, animals reproduce themselves and under some conditions you can hunt them without losing them. That is good news for Africa, where wild meat is a key source of protein.

In much of West Africa hunters wiped out the more vulnerable species years ago. Most remaining animals reproduce quickly and adapt well to areas with crops, fallows, and small patches of forest. Hunters can catch lots of them without doing much damage.

Evidence for Post-Depletion Sustainability in a Mature Bushmeat Market by Guy Cowlishaw, Samantha Mendelson, and J. Marcus Rowcliffe from the Zoological Society of London shows that bushmeat consumption is probably sustainable in parts of West Africa. The authors use Ghana’s third largest city, Takoradi, as an example. They surveyed hunters and traders and collected data on several thousand bushmeat sales to figure out how many animals were caught and where, how many were sold, and at what price. The study particularly focuses on ten mammals that accounted for 84% of the meat sold, most of which were small antelopes and rodents.

Even though local hunters catch over one million kilos of the ten mammals each year they don’t seem to have depleted them. In all ten cases hunters are capturing fewer animals than is theoretically sustainable. Wild meat prices (adjusted for inflation) are much lower than 37 years ago, which suggests the species involved are not becoming scarcer. Nor are animals caught near the city smaller than the ones captured farther away, as typically occurs with over-hunting.

Hunting seems to have caused the worst damage some time ago. The authors found no sign in the markets of various slow reproducing species of monkeys, hogs, and antelopes, implying they had become rare or disappeared from the forests entirely. The hunters surveyed seemed to think animals had become less abundant at some time in the past, but in more recent years the decline had levelled off.

Cowlishaw and his colleagues conclude there is no need to worry much about commercial hunting in areas where people have been doing it for many years. The biggest problems arise when new forest areas are opened for hunting by logging operations or new roads or regions are settled for the first time. Conservationists should focus on protecting more vulnerable species. People should be allowed to hunt most other species, since – unlike cake – they can apparently eat them and have them too.

To request a free electronic copy of the paper and /or send comments or queries to the authors you can write Guy Cowlishaw at:

Cowlishaw, G., S. Mendelson, and J.M. Rowcliffe. 2005. Evidence for Post-depletion Sustainability in a Mature Bushmeat Market, Journal of Applied Ecology, 42, 460-8.


33.Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Carrere, R. (ed.), Fonseca, H. (ed.). 2005. Indigenous peoples: their forests, struggles and rights. World Rainforest Movement, Montevideo (Uruguay). International Secretariat, 150 p., ISBN 9974-7920-6-1

Corlett, M.T., and Primack, R.B. 2006. Tropical rainforests and the need for cross-continental comparisons. Trends Ecol. Evol. 21(2):104-110.

Cowlishaw, G., S. Mendelson, and J.M. Rowcliffe. 2005. Evidence for Post-depletion Sustainability in a Mature Bushmeat Market, Journal of Applied Ecology, 42, 460-8.

FAO. 2005. Microfinance and forest-based small-scale enterprises. FAO Forestry Paper 146. ISBN 92-5-105412-6

Communities around the world rely on forests for their livelihoods, not only for domestic uses but also for income, frequently obtained through small-scale, often family-run enterprises. The sustainable development of such enterprises is increasingly recognized as a key to poverty reduction but is often hindered by lack of financial inputs or poor access to microfinance services. This publication reviews the specific microfinance needs of small-scale enterprises given the often seasonal and unpredictable nature of forest-based activities. It analyses the constraints they face when trying to obtain microfinance services and identifies ways to overcome these challenges. It examines the role that different types of microfinance institutions can play for small-scale enterprises and forest communities. It discusses, in addition to microcredit, a comprehensive range of services including savings, group lending, leasing, insurance and cash transfers. The strengths and weaknesses of different approaches are illustrated through four case studies in Nepal, Guatemala, the Sudan and Peru. This book will be a useful reference for those involved in designing policies and projects for the development of forest communities, as well as for those providing financial services to small enterprises in rural areas.

Herrmann, T.M. 2006. Indigenous knowledge and management of Araucaria araucana forest in the Chilean Andes: implications for native forest Conservation. Biodivers. Conserv. 15(2):647-662.

Islam, M.A., Kloppstech, K., and Esch, E. 2005. Population genetic diversity of Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe - a conservation prioritised medicinal plant in Bangladesh. Conserv. Genet. 6(6):1027-1033.

Mayer, P. 2006. Biodiversity - the appreciation of different thought styles and values helps to clarify the term. Restor. Ecol. 14(1):105-111.

Mockrin, Miranda H. et al. 2005.Wildlife farming: a viable alternative to hunting in tropical forests? WCS Working Paper No. 23. 32 p.

Oudhia, Pankaj. n.d. Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about Herbs used in Treatment of Cancer in Chhattisgarh, India. VII. Interactions with Female Traditional Healers.

Pantanella, E. 2005. The silvicultural and sustainable management of rattan production systems. Tuscia Univ., Viterbo (Italy). Faculty of Agriculture.

Reed, David. (To be published August 2006). Escaping Poverty's Grasp. The environmental foundations of poverty reduction. Earthscan ISBN 1844073718

Despite decades of poverty reduction plans, international campaigns by governments and charities alike, poverty is persistent and environmental degradation is accelerating. Though there have been some improvements little has worked to create real economic and ecological opportunities for the poor. This is because of a failure to place their needs at the centre of action or to link local-level development to urgently needed reforms in national and international development policies. This book has been written to change all of that.

Working closely with teams in China, Indonesia, El Salvador, South Africa and Zambia, WWF devised a revolutionary three-level approach to analysing and intervening to eradicate poverty in all countries. This universal approach helps to develop ways of improving the local environment and community livelihoods as well as identifying and tackling state/provincial and national and international policy obstacles.

This book provides both the tools and successful case studies to show practitioners how to adopt the approach in a variety of international contexts, including integrating it with existing methods, to improve livelihoods and enhance conservation and help the world’s poor escape poverty’s grasp.

Stamets, Paul. 2005. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Ten Speed Press. ISBN: 1580085792

Growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment. Microscopic cells called "mycelium"—the fruit of which are mushrooms —recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What fungi expert Paul Stamets has discovered is that mycelium also breaks down hydrocarbons —the base structure in many pollutants. So, for instance, when soil contaminated with diesel oil is inoculated with strains of oyster mushroom mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just eight weeks. In this book, Stamets discusses this revolutionary trend in mushroom cultivation and provides tips for choosing the appropriate species of fungi for various environmental purposes.

von Hippel, W., von Hippel, F.A., Chan, N., and Cheng, C. 2005. Exploring the use of Viagra in place of animal and plant potency products in traditional Chinese medicine. Environ. Conserv. 32(3):235-238.

Weyerhaeuser, Horst; Wen, Shao and Kahrl, Friedrich. 2006. Emerging forest associations in Yunnan, China: Implications for livelihoods and sustainability. IIED. ISBN 1 84369 607 X.

Yunnan is one of China's poorest and least urbanized provinces, with 73 of its 129 counties below the poverty line. With the largest total area of collectively-owned forest among China's 31 provinces, forestry development continues to play an important role in Yunnan's rural economic development. This report assesses the competitive challenges that small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) face in response to China's huge rural to urban demographic transition, growth in trade and increasing environmental concerns.

Wills, C., Harms, K.E., Condit, R., King, D., Thompson, J., He, F.L., Muller-Landau, H.C., Ashton, P., Losos, E., Comita, L., Hubbell, S., LaFrankie, J., Bunyavejchewin, S., Dattaraja, H.S., Davies, S., Esufali, S., Foster, R., Gunatilleke, N., Gunatilleke, S., Hall, P., Itoh, A., John, R., Kiratiprayoon, S., de Lao, S.L., Massa, M., Nath, C., Noor, M.N.S., Kassim, A.R., Sukumar, R., Suresh, H.S., Sun, I.F., Tan, S., Yamakura, T., and Zimmerman, E. 2006. Nonrandom processes maintain diversity in tropical forests. Science 311(5760):527-531.


34. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Climate Ark Climate Change and Global Warming Portal

EcoEarth.Info Environment Portal

EcoEarth.Info (formerly the Eco-Portal) is an environmental portal that has been operational since 1999. The search engine is the largest online environment search index in existence, and the Earth Blog at provides a constant stream of analysis of the most important environmental developments of the day.

Forest Law Enforcement

Poverty and

The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG) is a forum for facilitating mutual learning between key stakeholders, from a range of backgrounds, on conservation-poverty linkages.

SciDev.Net free database of image archives



35. Closure of DFID Forestry Research Programme

Source: Gyde Lund, FIU Update, 8 May 2006

The UK Department for International Development's Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS), and all its programmes, ended on 31 March 2006.

If you have queries about the Forestry Research Programme and its 400+ projects, or about DFID's new Strategy for Research on Sustainable Agriculture, please contact David Howlett, Team Leader, Growth and Livelihoods, DFID Central Research Department, tel: +44 (01355) 843373, e-mail d-howlett

Details on all of DFID funded research projects will be accessible through a database - R4D (research for development). This database will be launched in the coming months and will be found on DFID's website

For further information about the DFID Forestry Research Programme at Natural Resources International Ltd., please visit


36. Food Force video game

Source: World Food Programme Press Release, 9 May 2006

Twelve months after its launch, the world’s first humanitarian video game about hunger is being celebrated as an unprecedented success story. “Food Force” is about clean fun for kids, in an environment where popular video games are often filled with sex and violence.

Food Force was released as a free internet download on by WFP in April 2005, to teach young people about the problem of global hunger and what humanitarian organisations do to fight it.

Exceeding all expectations, the game now has nearly 4 million players world-wide, and is considered cool among the 8-14 year old gaming sector in nearly 200 countries.

The Food Force game was recently translated into its fourth language, on the track to being as international as WFP itself. After English, Japanese and Italian, Food Force was released in Polish in April. Hungarian, Chinese, French, Greek, Hindi and Arabic are all due to follow soon.

WFP now plans to launch a blog on the Food Force website, styled as a diary by one of the game’s characters and featuring entries from real-life WFP workers in the field. This is a novel element which will satisfy gamers’ hunger for contact with and information from real humanitarian staff delivering food to poor people all over the world.

For full story, please see:


37. Gabon event focuses on implementing environmental treaties

Source: Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Linkages Update, 27 April 2006,

Applying and monitoring biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements at the national level was the focus of a recent meeting for Gabonese parliamentarians.

The meeting, which took place on 3 April 2006, in Libreville, Gabon, sought to strengthen the capacity of parliamentarians and other stakeholders to comply with and enforce biodiversity-related MEAs. It was organized by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, UNEP, and the Ministry for the Environment and the Protection of Nature of Gabon. Participants gained first-hand insight in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, CITES, UNCCD and the CBD in Gabon through presentations by national focal points.

UNEP also briefed participants on questions related to the coordination of environmental issues in the UN system and recent attempts to strengthen system-wide coherence.

Link to further information: Ramsar press release, 20 April 2006


38. Save the forest: Study says standing forest is the best rat control in Fiji Islands

Source: CFRC Weekly Summary 11 May 2006

The most cost-effective way to stop non-native rats and mongoose from decimating highly endangered species on larger tropical islands is not by intensive trapping, but instead by preserving the forest blocks where wildlife live, according to a study by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other groups.

The study, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Conservation Biology, found that rats and mongoose in the Fiji Islands rarely penetrate the forest interior, preferring instead to forage along the forest edges.

The study holds potential good news for species like the pink-billed parrotfinch, banded iguana and Fijian land snails which live deep within Fiji’s remaining forests. By using bait stations designed to attract rats and mongoose, the researchers discovered that stations over five kilometers (approximately three miles) from the forest edge were rarely visited.

"Protection of the few remaining large blocks of natural forests on Pacific islands may be the most cost-effective approach for conserving many rare species threatened by rats and mongooses," said WCS researcher David Olson, lead author of the study.

The authors warn that even low levels of rat and mongoose penetration into forest areas can be sufficient over time to cause the decline of native species. Also, the occurrence of logging roads or even the proximity to rivers can allow rats and mongoose to colonize areas where endangered species occur.

"Remote forest areas that function as refuges for threatened island species are increasingly rare and should receive the highest priority for conservation on the larger islands of the Pacific," said David Olson, who said that similar forests exist in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Hawaii and tropical islands in the Caribbean. Authors from the University of the South Pacific also contributed to the study.

For full story, please see:



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last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009