No. 1/06

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:

We received over 630 replies to our on-line survey. A summary of the results will be published in the next issue of Non-wood News . We would like to say a special ¿thank you¿ to all those who participated.


1. Dragon's blood trees come to city
2. Fair trade in wild natural resources can lift millions out of poverty
3. Indigenous heritage: sustainable development and preservation of the Amazon
4. Neglected and underutilised plant species
5. Primates harvest bee nests in Ugandan reserve
6. Short course ¿ Inventory (including inventory of non-timber resources)
7. Smithsonian Institution MAB Program's Professional Training Courses 2006
8. TREES 2006-2007 International Training Courses and Study Tours
9. Trees for Life: New online journal explores medicinal plants and traditional medicine
10. Volunteers for Africa / ECODECO Partnership


11. Bamboo reforestation project underway in Eastern Cuba
12. Bamboo as alternative to timber in Ghana
13. Bamboo art
14. Bamboo in NE Nepal
15. Lac: Bigger, better goals for lac production in India
16. Mauritia flexuosa : Certified buriti oil in Brazil
17. Mushrooms: World's first mushroom cosmetic line developed
18. Sandalwood: Vanuatu Sandalwood competes with Indian product
19. Seabuckthorn: Indian wine major diversifies into Himalayan berry products


20. Brazil: Plants and traditional knowledge are the basic input for phyto-therapeuticals
21. Brazil: The forest becomes a source of income
22. Bolivia: New Partnership to Launch Small Grants Program in Bolivia
23. China's first non-profit Botanic Garden
24. China adds 62 forest parks
25. France: Les multiples valeurs de la forêt française
26. India: Assam hunts for links to market non-timber products
27. India: cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants
28. Indonesia: Calls for rattan export ban
29. Nepal: Promoting Non-Timber Forest Products
30. Papua New Guinea: Illegal loggers clearing PNG's forests
31. United Kingdom: Forests earmarked for new crofts
32. Zambia: Honey production


33. Request for small grant to develop Field Guide on NWFP (Medicinal Plants)
34. Request for ideas: new name for ForestAction Nepal


35. Introducing Community Forestry: Innovative ideas, practices and methodologies
36. 8th Asian Apicultural Association Conference. Honey for Healthy Humans
37. Poverty alleviation through bamboo-based development: policies, strategies, and stakeholders
38. International Conference on the Roles of Forests in Rural Development and Environmental Sustainability
39. The Future for Wild Harvests in Scotland
40. Cultural heritage and sustainable forest management: the role of traditional knowledge
41. IX Congress of the Latin American Botanical Society (IX Congreso Latinoamericano de Botánica) .
42. Study tour on community-based forest cottage industries


43. Commercialization of non-timber forest products ¿ factors influencing success
44. Other publications of interest
45. Web sites and e-zines


46. New fund to connect African ecologists



1. Dragon's blood trees come to city

Source: BBC News, 31 January 2006

Unique dragon's blood and cucumber trees from remote islands in the Indian Ocean are to form the centrepiece of a major exhibition in Edinburgh . The Royal Botanic Garden event will highlight the plight of the ancient ecosystem on Soqotra archipelago. Described as the "Galapagos of the Indian Ocean ", the islands off Yemen are home to some of the world's richest and best-preserved dry tropical floras. However, the islands are now in danger from developers.

The four-month exhibition, which runs from 1 July to 31 October, will also explain the leading role that researcher Tony Miller has had in providing the data needed to conserve its globally important biodiversity.

The islands, boast more than 850 flowering plant species, of which a third are not found anywhere else in the world. The dragon's blood tree ( Dracaena draco ) is an ancient species, which produces bright red resin used in dyes. It forms an umbrella shape and is very slow growing. It covers hillsides on the islands and still looks like it did when it was common in the Mediterranean 30 million years ago. The pulp from the cucumber tree ( Averrhoa bilimbi ) is used to feed goats on the islands. It is a very odd looking tree, which has a white swollen trunk.

Mr Miller, who has already helped stop a major road being built on the islands, said: "It takes three days for me to reach these islands by boat as the bad weather often makes it too difficult to reach them by plane. It is one of the most fantastic places on earth as it is so untouched, but the problem is that it's getting known and developers want to build hotels to turn it into a holiday destination. The native's traditional ways have helped conserve their plants as well as saving the landscape from being destroyed.¿

"However, the area must also be conserved, so hopefully this exhibition will help the campaign to save these untouched islands from developers."

For full story, please see:


2. Fair trade in wild natural resources can lift millions out of poverty

Source: UN News Centre, 28 February 2006

With half the world's 1.2 billion poor depending for their livelihoods on harvesting wild natural resources, ranging from cocoa and rubber to oils and spices, in a trade valued at $4.7 billion annually, the United Nations environmental agency today released a blueprint for a fair deal to lift them out of poverty.

A key recommendation of the report by the UN Environment Programme's World Conservation Monitoring Centre ( UNEP-WCMC ), is that aid should be targeted at developing the business skills of rural communities to help them avoid exploitation by entrepreneurs and other middle men in the trade of non-timber forest products (NTFP).

¿There is no doubt that if provided with the right kind of support, trading forest products can genuinely provide a route out of poverty,¿ (UNEP-WCMC) project coordinator Elaine Marshall said of the report: Commercialization of non-timber forest products: factors influencing success (CEPFOR).

The study identifies how commercial development NTFPs can enable rural communities to escape poverty without irreversibly damaging the environment. It examines 19 different case studies in Mexico and Bolivia, involving products ranging from wild mushrooms and palm fibres to incense and the agave-based traditional beverage, Mezcal, looking at why some commercialization initiatives succeed while others do not.

In many areas these products provide the only source of income, and communities are dependent on them for survival.

Entrepreneurs often provide a link between producers and the market place and play a critical role in determining whether trade is fair to producers or not. CEPFOR found that they play a number of positive roles, including identifying markets, providing business contacts, advancing capital and providing training to producers.

But the inequitable distribution of power along the market chain was widely seen by producers as a major factor limiting commercialization success, with relatively few entrepreneurs resulting in lack of competition. Many communities are entirely dependent on one or a few entrepreneurs for bringing their products to market, which can result in exploitation and unfair trade.

Hence the need to develop the business skills of these communities as well as to support socially-minded entrepreneurs and create producer organizations providing opportunities to share information and contacts. This can greatly strengthen the ability to negotiate favourable deals and command a higher price for products.

CEPFOR also calls for training and education to prevent the widespread scourge of over-harvesting.

NTFPs include a wide range of commercial products traded internationally, including nuts, seeds, fibres, resins, fruits, oils and spices, used for foods, crafts and medicines, among many other uses.

For full story, please see: =


3. Indigenous heritage: sustainable development and preservation of the Amazon

Source: Agencia Brasil, 17 February 2006

A study developed by the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) indicates that 74% of the 260 indigenous areas analyzed presented less deforestation levels than those areas around the reservations.

The entity's general coordinator, Jecinaldo Cabral, explains that it is part of the indigenous heritage to practice sustainable development and to preserve the forest, which is very different from what happens with large-scale agricultural activities. In his opinion, one of the reasons that development projects in the Amazon end up destroying the forest is the lack of planning and dialogue with those affected.

Cabral said that they intend to present to the Minister of Environment, Marina Silva, the study "Diagnostic of Threatened Indigenous Land in the Amazon." They also want to present the data to the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI), National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA), Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), as well as to private companies that operate in the region.

For full story, please see: =


4. Neglected and underutilised plant species

From: Dr Hannah Jaenicke, ICUC, Sri Lanka,

An outline of a framework for research and development on neglected and underutilised plant species has been prepared by the International Centre for Underutilised Crops (ICUC), the Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species (GFU) and the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute's office for Central and West Asia and North Africa (IPGRI-CWANA) to stimulate a discussion and consultation with colleagues around the world. The objective is to reach a common framework that can help us all in guiding our activities, avoiding duplication, fostering collaboration and identifying important gaps.

Following this wide-spread electronic consultation, small groups of experts will meet in Asia (March 2006) and Africa (May 2006) to incorporate your contributions and develop a text which will then be circulated again widely for further inputs. We are aware that as in any such consultation not everyone will have a chance to provide input at this early stage but we intend this framework to remain flexible and dynamic in the future. Please feel free to circulate this message to your colleagues whom we might not have reached.

We hope that at the end of this year not only a written document will be developed, but that this consultation process will also help foster collaboration and a stronger support network for people working to promote and improve neglected and underutilised plant species.

Your input, however small or large, on any part of this draft is very welcome and extremely important! In particular we would like to ask for your input in the following sections:

Section 2

What challenges do you perceive on a global and regional scale?

Section 3

What activities are you/your institute involved in?

Section 4

Where do you see your/your institute's future priorities?

In what time frame?

Section 5

How can this framework be made operational?

Do different partners (NARS, IARCs , NGOs etc.) have different roles ¿ if so what are they in your opinion/ experience?

What resource mobilization strategy would you suggest?

With many thanks for your input. All inputs will be acknowledged in the final document.

Please send your response to: Ms Sushilla Rajamanie, Administrative Officer, ICUC, P. O. Box 2075, Colombo, Sri Lanka, email: .

For more information, please contact:

Dr Hannah Jaenicke
Director, ICUC

P.O.Box 2075
Sri Lanka
Tel: +94-11-2787404 ext. 3307
Fax: +94-11-2786854

Visit our new website:


5. Primates harvest bee nests in Ugandan reserve

Source: EurekAlert (press release), 28 February 2006

In the first study of native African honeybees and honey-making stingless bees in the same habitat, humans and chimpanzees are the primary bee nest predators. Robert Kajobe of the Dutch Tropical Bee Research Unit and David Roubik from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute report this finding in the March, 2006 issue of Biotropica .

Batwa Pygmies, who have traditionally harvested honey for food, located 228 bee nests (both honeybees and stingless bees) for the study. Roubik identified the bees and found that Pygmy names for the bees corresponded to scientific names, except for a black and a brown form of Meliponula ferruginea . Honeybee (Apis) nests were numerous compared to other sites in the tropics, whereas honey-making stingless bee nests were relatively scarce. Nest abundance did not vary with altitude, nor did pollen collection or the seasonality of flowering.

Both honey bees and stingless bees make honey. Apis mellifera , the most commonly cultivated honeybee, is native to Europe and Africa . Apis mellifera subspecies scutellata, the very defensive tropical African honeybee, was transplanted from Africa to Brazil as part of a scientific experiment to boost honey production in 1956. From Brazil , it invaded the Americas , working its way northward and is now found in southern U.S. states.

Dave Roubik has followed the progress of Africanized honeybees in the New World , documenting effects of pollen and nectar collecting and nesting ecology on native-American stingless bees. Kajobe invited Roubik to visit the Bwindi-Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda , where African honeybees coexist with five or more species of honey-making stingless bees in their native habitat.

Chimps in the Park peel and chew the tips of vines and twigs to make honey dipsticks. Roubik notes that indigenous groups in the Americas use similar honey brushes to harvest honey in areas where Africanized bees are relative newcomers.

"Bwindi-Impenetrable is the only place on earth where gorillas, chimps and humans partition forest resources. Given the importance of honey as one of the most concentrated sources of sugar and protein in the forest, and the fact that the park management plan allows collection of non-timber forest products, there is an abysmal lack of ecological information about the role of honey-making bees and the role of their natural predators in this ecosystem. Nothing is known about the amount of honey produced in nests of different species. Nothing is known about how often bee species found new nests. Unfortunately, this dearth of information about native bees will continue unless more funding for basic natural history research is forthcoming," asserts Roubik.

For full story, please see:


6. Short course ¿ Inventory (including inventory of non-timber resources)

From: Gyde Lund, H. Gyde Lund []

How to design and direct a large area or national inventory - a short course .

3-5 October 2006.

Portland , Oregon, USA.

The short course promises to be different than most. This workshop is intended for those responsible for designing, overseeing or implementing resource inventories on timberlands and who have information needs beyond timber (although timber will also be covered as a frequent example). It is designed for company situations as well as government groups that conduct inventories over a large area.

Why you should take this course - You will learn the things your mensuration professor never told you and you were too naïve to ask. This hands-on short course will use lectures, question and answer sessions and other techniques to help you develop the information and techniques applicable to your job.

What we hope you will learn: What's the difference between a large area and a national level inventory? How to determine your information needs (vs. wants). How to determine your inventory needs (vs. wants). How to identify potential partners and sources of funds. How to plan your inventory. What are your major design options. How to make use of local talent and keep technology within reach. How to make use of practical experience, impartial and helpful observations, as well as past information in inventory design and implementation. How to use statistical sampling techniques, and remote sensing to achieve an acceptable level of risk at an acceptable cost. How to account for other resources. How to define measurements and how to handle those you cannot define. How to verify or audit inventory results and field work. How to work with time lines and tight budgets. How to express and determine what is an acceptable level of risk. How to use the resulting data effectively. Plus how to deal with any related specific inventory problems you may have.

For more information, please contact:

Michele at +1- (888) 722-9416 or +1-(503) 226-4562 or . Western Forestry and Conservation Association, 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, USA.



7. Smithsonian Institution MAB Program's Professional Training Courses 2006

From: Melissa Bellman []

The Smithsonian Institution's Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program (MAB) is offering two professional training courses for international scientists, resource managers, graduate students and educators. Both courses will be held in Front Royal , Virginia , USA at the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center .

The Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring course will take place May 14 - June 3, 2006 . The cost is $3,250 and topics include monitoring techniques for vegetation, mammals and arthropods, as well as an introduction to project planning, GIS, and statistics.

The Smithsonian Environmental Leadership course will take place September 17 ¿ 29, 2006 . The cost is $2,750 and topics include foundation skills for the environmental leader, determining mission and vision, negotiation and conflict resolution strategies, and impactful environmental communication.

The cost for both courses includes tuition, course materials, lodging and meals, and local transportation.

For more information, please contact Melissa Bellman at or look online at


8. TREES 2006-2007 International Training Courses and Study Tours

From: Domingo M. Ramirez, Director, TREES,

The Training Center for Tropical Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability (TREES), College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños, has continuously provided responsive training courses and study tours in tropical forestry and other related fields. As of 2004, a total of 340 training courses and study tours have been conducted and more than 2,700 participants from 38 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, Africa, Europe and North America have graduated.

For more information and a copy of their 2006-2007 brochure, please contact:

The Director

Training Center for Tropical Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability (TREES)

College of Forestry and Natural Resources

University of the Philippines Los Baños

P.O. Box 434 ; College, Laguna 4031


Tel.: +(63 49) 536-2736 or 536-2268

Fax: +(63 49( 536-3340



9. Trees for Life: New online journal explores medicinal plants and traditional medicine

Source: PR Web (press release), 8 February 2005

A new online scientific journal focused on traditional knowledge and scientific studies of beneficial plants has been launched this month, announced Balbir Mathur, president of the non-profit Trees for Life.

Trees for Life Journal : A forum on beneficial trees and plants will be a free, open access electronic forum, to bring together international articles about traditional medicine, small-scale field studies and scientific evidence regarding natural remedies and medicinal plants that could benefit humanity. The journal is available online at .

¿Our journal aims to bridge the gap between grassroots knowledge and scientific research,¿ Mathur said. ¿By publishing formal and informal studies on medicinal plants and trees and the resulting herbal remedies, we hope to advance the use of these vital resources worldwide.¿

Trees for Life is a non-profit organization that helps plant fruit trees in developing countries as a low-cost, self-renewing food source. The movement's philosophy of ¿education, health and environment¿ will be evident in Trees for Life Journal, which aims to expand global knowledge about the medical and nutritional value of plants in order to educate citizens of third world countries.

The idea for the journal was born from traditional claims about the nutritional, medicinal and other beneficial properties of the tree Moringa oleifera . Every part of the tree is edible or used as traditional medicine, from the leaves to the bark to the seeds. It grows wild in poor soil and provides vitamins desperately lacking in diets of impoverished people. Trees for Life recognized the need for a forum to publish and discuss scientific studies and communal knowledge of this tree, in order to promote its cultivation in the developing world. The inaugural issue of the journal includes a review of the medical evidence for Moringa's potential .

For more information about the Trees for Life organization, visit or contact Jeffrey Faus, Trees for Life, 3006 W. St. Louis, Wichita, KS 67203-5129, USA;

For full story, please see:


10. Volunteers for Africa / ECODECO Partnership

Source: Peak to Peak, February 2006

This partnership brings together two East African organizations that are safeguarding the well-being of local people in the area of sustainable development, conservation and poverty eradication. Volunteers for Africa works with local communities in Kenya , Uganda and Tanzania , while ECODECO is a conservation and ecotourism non-profit organization in Kenya.

For more information, please contact:

Kunga Nicholas; e-mail: ; ).



11. Bamboo reforestation project underway in Eastern Cuba

Source: Periódico 26 - Las Tunas, Cuba, January 2006

Known around the world as the plant of a thousand uses and the fastest growing ¿up to 15 cm/day¿, bamboo is being used to reforest the three main water basins of Baracoa, Guantanamo.

The use of bamboo in reforesting the basin areas pertaining to the Toa, Duaba and Miel rivers began in 2005 and is planned to carry on until 2015 at a rate of 20 ha/year in an effort to promote sustainable development in these important ecosystems.

Forestry engineer Ignacio Utria, a specialist from the Baracoa Forestry Company, said that the goal of reforesting 20 hectares per year was reached in 2005 with a survival rate of 85 percent. He specified that bamboo was planted in open spaces between already established sugarcane plantations along the rivers and not in areas exclusively dedicated to bamboo. Small seedlings from young bamboo nurseries are used in the reforestation project in Baracoa .

A native plant of India , bamboo forests are found in Asia , Africa , the Americas and Australia , in tropical and subtropical areas; and in some temperate regions of Argentina and Chile . There are 1,300 known species of bamboo worldwide. In China , a country where bamboo is widely used, there are some 500 different species.

More than half of the world's population, in some way or another, make use of bamboo on a daily basis. Bamboo is largely used as an alternative to more costly materials. The bamboo industry is worth some $7 billon dollars annually, with more than 5,000 commercially available products.

This versatile plant from the grass family is used in such diverse areas as home building, wood making, pulp and paper production, industrial use, agriculture, transportation, hunting, food for domestic animals and people, arts and crafts, medicine and carbon.

Cuba is actively pursuing the possibilities of bamboo's many uses, indispensable in so many other areas around the globe.

For full story, please see:


12. Bamboo as alternative to timber in Ghana

Source: Accra Daily Mail, 26 January 2006

A businessman in the bamboo industry has called for marketing support for bamboo products as an alternative to timber. Mr. Gladstone Mensah, Director of the Pioneer Bamboo Processing Company Limited, said the strength of bamboo, which could be termed as "the golden grass", made it very convenient to be used for many products including tables and chairs, window blinds and doors. He said that the current revolution on the grass could provide an economic breakthrough to rural folks and further save the forest from degradation. However, he stated that bamboo had failed to receive the needed recognition in spite of its usefulness.

. Mensah explained that the bamboo grass was stronger than other woods and bamboo products could last longer, if treated well with the right kind of preservative. He called for more support from the government in terms of market promotion and said if encouraged, bamboo cultivation could serve as a major source of employment and revenue for people in the rural areas.

The company, which is situated at Assin-Fosu in the Central Region, presently purchases a 14-foot stick of bamboo for 1,000 cedis. Since it takes about four to five years to mature, it is providing employment and quick revenue for the people in the area. As a way of encouraging rural entrepreneurship, government could also provide micro financing for research into other species of the bamboo grass so as to expand production for both local use and for export.

Mensah said that although Ghana had fewer species of bamboo compared to China, there was much to be learned from Chinese success stories ¿ China is undertaking research and is fully exploiting bamboo for economic development

For full story, please see:


13. Bamboo art

Source: Viet Nam News - Hanoi , Vietnam , 22 January 2006

Xuan Lam, an ex-woodworker, uses the traditional Vietnamese symbol of bamboo to create innovative and inspired paintings.

Over the centuries, bamboo has become a potent symbol for the Vietnamese people. It represents fortitude, resistance and survival, for no matter how dry the soil may be bamboo still grows up tall and strong. In the Vietnamese art world, bamboo is omnipresent, be it in poetry, music, art or fine art.

Today a new form is emerging from bamboo thanks to Xuan Lam (his real name is Nguyen Kim Xuan), the father of bamboo paintings. His workshop, in Ha Noi's Mai Lam Commune, Dong Anh District, showcases thousand of pictures. In addition to still life scenes and portraits, his paintings depict landscapes, rice fields, market places and idyllic rural life settings.

Lam said finding the right kinds of bamboo and the right chemicals to bring out the wood's natural colours has taken him years. It takes him days to perfect a bamboo painting. Before cutting the bamboo into pieces, he dries it in the sun, which helps the paintings preserve their colour. After that, Lam sketches the painting, then cuts and sticks the pieces and assembles them.

In his eighteen years making bamboo paintings, he is most proud of the success he has had discovering how to create changes in the bamboo's colour without following any specific formula. The creation and manipulation of the bamboo pieces' colours is the decisive key to the picture. Bamboo harmoniously merges with traditional backgrounds such as lacquer, oil paint and velveteen without losing its opulent beauty. It also naturally exhibits a range of strange and beautiful colours. To bring them out, the artisan must pick out the right pieces, treat them with the right chemicals and carry out the process in the correct time frame.

Lam's passion for his art has led him on a personal journey to promote the medium as well as help the poor. Travelling to many provinces across the country, Lam meets with locals and invites them to his workshop, teaching them his art free of charge.



14. Bamboo in NE Nepal

Source:, 21 January 2006

The Director of Commerce and Industries disclosed that the NE region accounts for 60 percent of the total bamboo products in the entire country, with Manipur alone producing 25 percent of it.

The Central government has launched the National Mission of Bamboo and a bamboo industry could be established in the region and Manipur. Proper use of bamboo can help to generate employment and earn revenue for the region.

A two-day campaign on uses of bamboo has also been organised by the department at the Food Processing Training Centre, Porompat. Discussions and interactions between experts and farmers were also organised during the campaign.

For full story, please see:


15. Lac: Bigger, better goals for lac production in India

Source: The Telegraph, Calcutta , 20 February 2006

India is and will remain the leader in lac trade says the Indian Lac Research Institute (ILRI). ILRI has pioneered a lot of research into the lac sector, some of which has been appreciated abroad. Among its recent developments, ILRI has recognised a new lac host ¿ the Ganda Babool tree ¿ and has developed a lac processing unit that can be both electrically and manually operated.

ILRI is has also been in the forefront in officially establishing that Indian lac is the best in the world. It has also played an important role in ensuring that the entire industry has become export-oriented. Lac currently carries an average price of Rs 125 per kg.

India to date is the world leader in lac production and meets 75 percent of the world's requirements. Large-scale efforts are on at ILRI, not only to meet these requirements, but also to improve on them. ILRI has also been seeking to play a role in related sectors, such as high-level research in improving forest produce and in dye and paint industry.

For full story, including an interview with ILRI's director, please see:


16. Mauritia flexuosa : Certified buriti oil in Brazil

Source:, 19 January 2006 (in Amazon News, 26.1.06)

The Communitarian Santo Antonio do Abonari is producing and commercializing a large quantity of oil. "Furthermore, it is certified,¿ said Joao Basilio Filho, its president. ¿We are the only association in Amazonas state that produces buriti oil with the FSC seal."

The communitarian association was founded in 1988, and since 2002, the Sustainable Buriti Project has perfected the model of community production.

The project intends to stimulate the productive process and its environmental certification. With support from its principal purchaser, Crodamazon and from NGOs, such as Friends of the Earth - Brazilian Amazonia, the association has promoted training and incentives, which have facilitated the production increase and FSC certification, testifying to the sustainable practices of its management and harvesting. Today, the community has 95 associates, and last year's production reached 6 tons.

The association's production is not restricted to the buriti oil: breu-branco and pupunha oil are also traditional products. The pataua and bacaba oils, used for cooking and also by the cosmetic industry, are also beginning to be produced.

For full story, please see:


17. Mushrooms: World's first mushroom cosmetic line developed

Source: Financial Information Service, Novosibirsk , Russia , 14 February 2006

The world's first mushroom cosmetic line has been developed in Koltsovo Scientific Center . It took specialists of the Research and Production Company 'Trinity' several years of research to develop the mushroom line of cosmetics.

By stepping into the mushroom kingdom scientists found a full spectrum of biologically active substances that our skin needs: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, minerals, organic acids, and a rich collection of vitamins, biotin and folic acid.

As a result, the company developed a line of creams with fly-agarics extract called 'Mushroom collection,' which has no analogy in the world.

For full story, please see:


18. Sandalwood: Vanuatu Sandalwood competes with Indian product

Source: Port Vila Presse ¿ Vanuatu. 21 February 2006

Recent field surveys of natural stands of sandalwood in Vanuatu have uncovered a range of varieties that possess exceptional oil qualities.

The main survey was carried out in 2004 by local and Australian experts on six islands in Vanuatu ¿ Malakula, Santo, Moso, Erromango, Tanna and Aniwa ¿ in order to quantify morphological and genetic variation.

The survey was also intended to domesticate the good quality trees for expanding plantings to meet international standards for sandalwood oil.

This new development opens the way for local communities to make a greater contribution to the sandalwood industry through planting superior varieties.

The sandalwood oil industry also stands to benefit through future access to a consistent supply of quality oil which is required for developing premium branded products.

Individual sandalwood trees, known scientifically as Sandalum austrocaledonicum, were assessed and wood core samples collected from nine populations on the six islands. A total of 28 percent of trees sampled in the two northen islands produced a natora oil meeting the international standard because they have as content more than 41 percent of a-santalol and more than 16 percent of b-santalol. The selected trees from the remaining southern populations had a mean of 31 percent of a- and b-santalol.

The survey now places Vanuatu in second position behind the indian sandalwood, Sandalum albam in the world market.

The Sandalum austrocaledonicum is mainly found in Vanuatu and Mare island in New Caledonia compared to Sandalum yasi in Fiji and Tonga with poor quality oil.

Last week, there was a wokshop organized by the department of forestry and James Cook University (Cairns, Australia) in Port Vila, to educate and encourage farmers to produce the high quality sandalwood oil.

For full story, please see:


19. Seabuckthorn: Indian wine major diversifies into Himalayan berry products

Source:, 18 January 2006

India 's wine major Champagne Indage is diversifying into production of a range of products like jams, cosmetics and medicines using the energy and nutrient packed Himalayan berry, seabuckthorn. The first product to be launched by a subsidiary company, Seabuckthorn Indage Limited, will be the Leh-berry brand of juices using technology developed by the government's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Though not a new product in the Indian market, the Leh-berry juice brand and technology have been acquired by the diversified Rs.2 billion ($45 million) turnover Indage Group of Companies for re-launch under a new brand and packaging.

"We are looking at a business of Rs.5-8 billion in the next three years through the launch of a range of products using the seabuckthorn fruit , which is rich in vitamin C and slightly pungent in taste," said Indage Group president. "We see great potential for growth using seabuckthorn, considering that it is a Rs.30 billion business in China. Until DRDO developed the Leh-berry it was being used in India mostly as firewood."

Defence scientists working in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir developed several seabuckthorn-based products as part of efforts to develop highly nutritious foods based on berries and other plant species.

The people of Ladakh have for long been aware of the medicinal properties of the seabuckthorn plant and use its berries, leaves and roots for food, fodder and firewood. The juice of seabuckthorn is a rich source of vitamins A , B1, B2, C, E and K.

Seabuckthorn Indage now plans to invest about Rs.500 million on further research and development for its new products, including .jams, cheese , flavoured tea, cosmetics and medicines for special therapies based on Chinese remedies and also homeopathy medicines.

The company plans to initially supply 300,000 litres of Leh-berry juices a year and increase production to 30 million litres annually through the promotion of contract farming of seabuckthorn on the lines of grape cultivation.

For full story, please see:



20. Brazil : Plants and traditional knowledge are the basic input for phyto-therapeuticals

Source:, 16 February 2006 (in Amazon News, 23.2.06)

The therapeutical potential of herbs from Amazonia often fascinates those seeking natural remedies and alternatives to enhance their quality of life. Whether in homeopathy or cosmetics, Nativa da Amazônia (from Macapá, AP) has managed to be commercially successful in this line of business.

Long before she saw phyto-therapeuticals as an economic opportunity, the pharmacist Maria Louze Nobre Lamarão worked with plants and fruits such as andiroba, copahyba, Brazil nut and açai since she was little, discovering ways of transforming them into cosmetics.

As normally occurs with traditional knowledge, the therapeutical properties of her products began to become known throughout the region. However, the increased sales of her homemade products hit a snag in terms of sanitary control: legislation for medications made it impossible for her to quickly gain scale and for her products to be resold without the proper registration.

In 2003, supported by the Brazilian Service to Support Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (Sebrae), Louze advanced her activities in the area. As a company, she was part of the Sebrae incubator, preparing her not only in the procedures to obtain licenses from the National Health Protection Agency (Anvisa), but also with her business plan, the company then being registered as "Nativa da Amazônia - Fitocosméticos com Plantas da Amazônia"

According to her initial registration, Nativa still only sold on an artisanal scale. Her range of products has already increased, with a catalogue that includes shampoos, conditioners, soaps and creams made from traditional açai and copahyba and even from plants such as "amor crescido" ( Portulaca pilosa L ) , which is said to be second to none in avoiding hair loss. She is still awaiting the Anvisa registration to increase scale of her production and already has contacts to sell her products in other states outside the Amazon.

For full story, please see:


21. Brazil : The forest becomes a source of income

Source: Jornal do Commercio, 12 January 2006 (in Amazon News -19.1.06

The Maués State Forest will be transformed into a source of income for 17 rural communities that inhabit 4 million hectares of land. The production of bio-diesel for the generation of electrical energy; honey production from bees without stingers; timber production are some of the projects that will be implanted in the area.

These activities are included in a larger plan, created by the Maues municipality, which seeks sustainable development. In partnership with the Paulo Feitoza Foundation, the Maues municipality is developing a project for the production of bio-diesel, with coconut as the prime material.

Created in July 2003, the Maues State Forest Project will initially benefit 55 families in three communities located within the state forest. The municipality projects that about 150 families will be involved in the activities of forestry management of timber exploitation and other non-timber products, such as essential oils and seeds from the state forest.

For full story, please see:


22. Bolivia : New Partnership to Launch Small Grants Program in Bolivia

Source: CEPF E-News, February 2006,

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) has teamed with Fundación Protección y Uso Sostenible del Medio Ambiente (Fundación PUMA) to launch a new small grants program that will help communities manage their natural resources in and around protected areas in the Bolivian part of the Vilcabamba-Amboró conservation corridor in the Tropical Andes Hotspot.

Fundación PUMA is a non-profit foundation that aims to change the relationship between human beings and nature so that both are sustained in a mutually beneficial way. Both Fundación PUMA and CEPF will contribute $500,000 for the program.

The foundation will administer the $1 million program, which it hopes to eventually expand to $50 million to make a long-term impact on biodiversity conservation in the region.

This program will help meet the CEPF strategic direction to encourage community-based biodiversity conservation and natural resource management, and would provide benefits beyond the CEPF investment period.

A special review and selection committee will determine funding ceilings, finalize details regarding future calls for proposals, and establish schedules and formats for proposal review and decision making.

The foundation was created as part of a debt-for-nature swap between the U.S. and Bolivian governments in 2003 that established a $17 million fund to promote activities targeted toward the conservation, protection, and administration of Bolivia's natural resources and biodiversity.

For more information, visit Fundación PUMA's Web site .


23. China 's first non-profit Botanic Garden

Source: CEPF E-News, February 2006,

The Shangri-La Alpine Botanic Garden in the Mountains of Southwest China Hotspot has brought in 3,000 long-distance visitors in its first six months, attracted by the collection of more than 600 botanic species from sub-alpine pasture, forest, and alpine ecosystems in the Hengduan Mountain area.

Designed by local botanist Fang Zhendong, the 367-hectare garden employs two dozen local people and shares profits with the local village. A CEPF grant last year helped support employee training in management and plant education as part of CEPF's strategic direction in the hotspot to build capacity of civil society to implement conservation efforts at a site and regional level. ¿We wanted to show the increasing number of visitors that we have many rare and endangered plants in this region of Yunnan province,¿ Fang said. ¿One of the biggest threats is from tourist development but sustainable ecotourism can provide a way of combining development with conservation.¿

The garden includes the Critically Endangered orchid Cypripedium yunnanense , the recently discovered Isoetes hypsophila , a rare fern occupying a very important niche in the evolutionary history of the genus, and the striking Rosa praelucens endemic to the Zhongdian plateau.

Threats to the area's biodiversity include unsustainable use of natural resources such as overgrazing and overharvesting of wood and medicinal plants, as well as uncontrolled use of sand from the nearby Napa Lake for construction.

The garden not only carries out research of important local flora but also is focused on giving talented local people an opportunity to learn more about their remarkable environment through a volunteer program that includes capacity building and environmental education.

One example of this is the garden's demonstrations about the sustainable collection of matsutake mushrooms ( Tricholoma matsutake ), an economic mainstay for local Tibetan people. The species has been in decline for 20 years due to overharvesting in the summer months.


24. China adds 62 forest parks

Source: M&C News, 13 January 2006

China`s State Forestry Administration announced Tuesday the creation of 62 more national forest parks. Cao Qingyao, a spokesman for the forestry administration, said the new additions bring the total number of national forest parks in China to 627, covering a total of 400,000 square miles, Xinhua, the official government news agency, reported.

The new parks are expected to boost tourism in the country and protect new areas. Cao said more than 100 million people visit China`s forest parks every year, spending $12.5 billion.

For full story, please see:


25. France: Les multiples valeurs de la forêt française

Source: Futura Science, 29.1.06

La forêt française s'étend sur 16 millions d'hectares, composés à 64% de feuillus, et augmente chaque année d'environ 40 000 hectares (+0,3% par an depuis 1996). On connaît sa valeur marchande à travers le bois qu'elle fournit à l'industrie (scieries, papeteries, fabricants de mobilier¿) ou qui est utilisé pour le chauffage : celle-ci est estimée à 1,3 milliard d'euros par an.

La forêt fournit également des plantes aromatiques et médicinales, des végétaux à vocation décorative (les sapins de Noël, le houx, le liège), des produits de la cueillette (truffes, champignons), de l'apiculture ou de la chasse¿ Mais elle apporte d'autres services, auxquels il est délicat d'associer une valeur marchande : stockage de carbone, réserve de biodiversité , protection de la qualité de l'eau, activités de détente et de loisirs.

La forêt absorbe 12% des émissions françaises de CO 2 En temps normal, le flux annuel de carbone capté par la forêt française est d'environ 60 millions de tonnes de CO 2 , soit 12% des émissions françaises. Si l'on considère qu'une tonne de CO 2 séquestrée a la même valeur que le droit d'émettre cette tonne dans l'atmosphère (qui varie sur le marché des droits d'émission de 6 à 18 euros/tonne), la valeur de captation du carbone par la forêt est comprise entre 351 millions et 1 milliard d'euros par an.

Les Français dépenseraient environ 2 milliards d'euros pour se rendre en forêt. Chaque ménage français effectue en moyenne 18,6 visites en forêts par an avec une distance moyenne d'accès de 10,5 km. Pour un coût kilométrique moyen de 0,24 euro, ce déplacement, rapporté à l'ensemble des ménages français, représenterait 2 milliards d'euros. Ce simple calcul de coût de transport fournit un montant effectivement dépensé qui est forcément inférieur à la valeur attribuée au service récréatif rendu par la forêt.

Préservation de la biodiversité, protection contre l'érosion et les avalanches, réduction de la pollution des eaux¿ la forêt rend également des services écologiques considérables . Ceux-ci contribuent aussi à renforcer la valeur patrimoniale de la forêt française, bien au-delà du bois récolté, et confirment sa multifonctionnalité, à prendre en compte lors des choix de gestion ou d'aménagement du territoire qui la concernent.

For full story, please see:


26. India : Assam hunts for links to market non-timber products

Source: Calcutta Telegraph. 6 February 2006

The Assam forest department is chalking out a roadmap to develop linkages between joint forest management committees and industrial houses for value addition and marketing of non-timber forest produce. During a three-day interactive workshop, representatives of different joint forest management committees have started deliberations with forest department officials on various marketable non-timber forest produce.

Chief conservator of forests (social forestry) R.P. Agarwalla said non-timber forest produce was a huge market and can be a real money-spinner for improving the livelihood of forest villages provided proper rules are framed. ¿Non-timber forest produce is a resource which can make joint forest management committees sustainable.¿

Bamboo can rake in huge profits as it is found in abundance in forests of the state. Medicinal and aromatic plants, too, can create huge economic opportunities for the forest villagers.

¿Industrial houses will surely come wherever they see profit and the joint forest management committees should tap the opportunity,¿ Agarwalla said. At present, there are around 500 joint forest management committees in the state.

Chief conservator of forests (territorial), S. Chand , said there must be enough non-timber forest produce in the forest villages for it to be harvested. ¿There is a strong need for standardising the cultivation techniques and planting material in order to get good value,¿ Chand said. Rules will have to be framed in such a manner that the villagers get a fair share of the returns, which the product earns.

A pilot project by the World Bank-funded Assam Agricultural Competitiveness Project will empower forest villagers to take decisions right from planning to finding a market for the forest produce. One of the important initiatives under the project will be to lay emphasis on the marketing of forest produce and help find linkages.

For full story, please see:


27. India : cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants

Source: (press release). 25 February 2006

Urging for diversification in agriculture on massive scale, Minister for Agriculture Abdul Aziz Zargar today sought focused attention of the agriculture scientists and experts to exploit vast natural treasure of aromatic and medicinal plants in the state. He said switching over to cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants would besides bringing economic prosperity help to generate ample employment opportunities in the state.

The Minister was interacting with President of Aromatic Plants Growers Association of India (APGAI), who called on him to discuss measures to tap the vast potential of medicinal, and especially aromatic, plants for the upliftment of the farming community in the state. The Minister assured the APGAI President of all possible support and government assistance in the promotion of medicinal and aromatic plants and other such cash crops in an organized manner.

For full story, please see:


28. Indonesia : Calls for rattan export ban

Source: Trade and Investment News, 30 January 2006

Industry Minister Fahmi Idris has asked the Trade Department to ban the export of raw rattan to ensure a sufficient supply for local furniture producers.

Idris said he hopes the Trade Department would discuss the proposed ban in February, as rattan exports have caused acute shortage for local furniture makers. "We will coordinate with the trade and finance departments, and local municipal administrations to discuss this problem. Some local rattan companies are complaining they need to export more of their products to see a profit."

For full story, please see:


29. Nepal : Promoting Non-Timber Forest Products

Source: The Rising Nepal (in FAO INFOSYLVA 2006-2)

Nepal is rich in non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in terms of both variety of production and trading practices. The altitudinal and climatic variations in different pockets of Nepal have greatly contributed to this rich variety. More than 7,000 different types of herbs, including more than 700 types of medicinal herbs, are found in Nepal . About 10-15,000 tons of NTFPs of around 200 varieties are traded each year. Over the last few decades, the marketing of NTFPs has gained increasing international recognition. International demand for herbs is said to be worth some US$ 420 million.

NTFPs represent an important source of income for the livelihood of the poor people living in the high mountainous region. There is ample scope for Nepal to develop this sector on a commercial basis. Systematic development of this sector would greatly help enhance off-farm employment opportunities, expanding the present dimension of trade, and above all, become a source of foreign currency earnings through their exports. However, the main constraint in the development of this sector is a lack of a systematic marketing system.

Marketing plays a very significant role in the movement of products from one place to another. Many factors like quality, quantity, price, market information and storage govern the marketing system. At present, the movement or the marketing channel of the NTFPs is very simple. The products are first collected in the jungle, which are then brought to the villages by the collectors. From here, the products head for the nearest road or the local market where wholesale traders buy or collect the products from the initial collectors. Finally, the wholesalers take the products to India . There is no organised market of NWFP at both the retail and wholesale level. Since the product is export-oriented, the retail market could have been overlapped. But, the absence of a wholesale market in the chain means there is no transparency in the trading practices, and this imperfect channel is good for no one. The greatest sufferers are the real collectors at the grassroots level and the government, too, in terms of royalty collection.

Despite the immense potential, the supply of NTFPs is inconsistent, and the quality is also low because of its disorganised and unsustainable nature of collection. Cultivation of NTFPs could smoothen out the supply lines, stabilise market prices and reduce the market share of substitute products, thereby increasing farmers' incomes.

The NTFPs are marketed internationally, and India is the main hub for products from Nepal . While the concern for quality is high, the market is unreliable. The Indian market is speculative and is controlled by cartels, and prices tend to change over a short period of time. Companies are used to getting their raw materials at very low prices, and local collectors are not organised enough to command significant bargaining power. Their margins are less than 10 percent of the final price obtained in India . Collective marketing and forest management as well as the availability of market information would strengthen the collectors' bargaining position that could be expected only from an organised wholesale market.

For sustainable development of this sector, market transparency is a must that could be grasped only through an efficient marketing system, and a wholesale market is an indispensable part of this system.

The present harvesting system is unscientific. High prices and urgent requests from traders sometimes lead to unacceptable harvesting methods such as uprooting, which put at risk future production. Cultivation would reduce the threat of extinction for certain species. Increased dependency on the NTFPs and benefit for farmers from the NTFPs would encourage proper management and collection practices. Collective forest management could reduce premature collection and over-harvesting of high altitude resources.

Training the farmers to cultivate NTFPs is highly recommended. With appropriate training and support, farmers will be able to cultivate NTFPs in a proper way that will support sustainable harvesting.

Finally, with the establishment of a wholesale market in the country, the real NTFP collector will benefit greatly. The most important advantage will be the bargaining power. The dominating power of the middlemen will be eliminated because the market information system available inside the market yard will bring awareness about the price to the collectors. Similarly, storage facilities inside the wholesale market complex will help store the products during the peak harvesting season and maintain a continuous supply during the slack period. In addition, it will help maintain the quality of the products besides raising business profits.

For full story, please see:


30. Papua New Guinea : Illegal loggers clearing PNG's forests

Source: Reuters AlertNet, 1 March 2006

Illegal logging is destroying large areas of forest in Papua New Guinea despite a government crackdown and policies that regulate the practice, global environmental group Forest Trends said in a report on Tuesday.

The group said illegal felling of timber is feeding an appetite for wood in the West and Asia at the expense of local people whose cultures and livelihoods are closely linked to forests. Environmentalists have long said widespread industrial logging in Papua New Guinea , which lies to the north of Australia , is stripping the region of its rainforests, among the richest tropical forests in the world.

Some environmentalists estimate more than 250,000 ha (625,000 acres) of virgin forest are destroyed each year in Papua New Guinea , most of which is still covered by rainforests.

Forest Trends said its surveys conducted over a five-year-period showed most commercial forestry operations in Papua New Guinea were illegal and ecologically unsustainable. It said 14 logging projects covering 3.17 million hectares were operating unlawfully in the region.

Forests are home to half the species living on land and a key source of food, building materials and medicines for people. A net 7.3 million hectares of forest -- the size of Panama or Sierra Leone -- was lost each year from 2000-2005, according to United Nations data.

For full story, please see:


31. United Kingdom : Forests earmarked for new crofts

Source: The Herald, Scotland , UK , 1 March 2006

Measures unveiled by the Scottish Executive for the creation of crofts on Forestry Commission land seem likely to herald the first new wave of woodland dwellers for generations.

New communities will be established on some of the 1.6 million acres of land owned by the commission in Scotland. Some may be left to manage tracts of existing forest, while others create new native woodlands on land that has already been felled.

Initially, it will be up to existing crofting communities to come up with the ideas. Such initiatives will be restricted to the traditional crofting areas for the time being.

As the commission does not own any land in Orkney and Shetland, that means Caithness, Sutherland, Inverness-shire, Ross-shire and Argyll, although the scheme may be opened to other communities in the future.

Further details are expected within the next few days when the Crofting Reform Bill is published, but Rhona Brankin, the deputy environment and rural development minister, confirmed yesterday that she was giving the green light to the creation of woodland crofts on national forest land to help enhance rural communities. She said: "Crofting has sustained populations in some of Scotland's most fragile communities over decades. I want to ensure that it can continue to do so for decades to come. "A major theme which emerged from my wide consultation with crofting communities over the past months was the high demand for crofts now evident in many areas.

"This exciting initiative gives some crofting communities the chance to bid to buy national forest land to create new crofts or manage woodland for communal benefit, providing additional opportunities for sustainable and affordable housing, wood fuel and woodland management.¿I look forward to seeing the Crofters Commission and the Forestry Commission Scotland take forward this innovative and exciting idea."

David Green, chairman of the Crofters Commission, said: "There is a lot of detail yet to be agreed but I believe forest crofts offer enormous opportunities, particularly for the young".

For full story, please see:


32. Zambia : Honey production

Source: CIFOR News Online, No. 39

Zambia 's woodlands resonate with two kinds of buzz. First is the hum from the millions of bees gathering nectar from the surrounding dry forests. Second is the buzz of excitement among local villagers who see honey production as a potential source of livelihood.

Zambia's woodlands cover millions of hectares, with a significant portion forming part of the larger Miombo Woodland covering much of central and eastern Africa. They provide an excellent habitat for bees, which in most seasons deliver a surplus of honey.

The first Zambian written records of bee-hives date back to 1854, when David Livingstone described the log hives used by the Southern Lunda people on the upper Zambezi in North-Western Province.

According to Guni Mickles¿Kokwe, a natural resource scientist from the Zambia Alliance for People and Environment, ¿Trade in beeswax started in the late 1890s when Zambians travelled by foot through Angola to the Atlantic coast. A hundred years later and the long-distance trade in honey and bees-wax still provides an important source of livelihood for many people in rural Zambia. Today organically certified, golden honey and beeswax find their way from rural homesteads into lucrative markets throughout the world.¿

In North-Western Province some 10,000 beekeepers own about 500,000 hives and produce about 1,000 metric tonnes of honey and at least 100 tonnes of beeswax per year. About half the honey is exported, while 80-100 tonnes are sold on local markets, with the remainder used to brew a local beer called mbote.

Because most honey and beeswax is exported, it has become an important source of foreign exchange for Zambia. Exports ¿ mostly to Europe ¿ remained stable throughout the 1990s, but started increasing rapidly after 2000 as new companies entered the business.

¿Honey and beeswax have become an important source of livelihood for thousands of people in Zambia. About one third of the beekeepers' annual cash income comes from honey and beeswax trade,¿ said CIFOR scientist Crispen Marunda.

Marunda and Mickels-Kokwe's research has found the linkages between beekeeping and forest management in Zambia to be quite strong. Because honey and wax are so important to the beekeepers' daily struggle against poverty, they are very aware of the need to prevent forest fires. And the presence of so many bees has increased woodland productivity due to increased rates of pollination among flowering trees, enhanced plant regeneration rates and helped maintain high levels of diversity.

On the other side of the coin, the mortality among some tree species has increased due to beekeepers' harvesting their fibrous bark to make beehives.

While the current level of honey and wax production is improving, Mickels-Kokwe and Marunda believe there is still a lot more that can be done to ensure production reaches its fullest potential. The two scientists believe a number of factors are constraining the industry. ¿The most pressing need at the moment is to reform the beekeeping policy. If the right measures are implemented, honey production could increase from 1,000 to 15,000 metric tonnes a year,¿ Marunda said.

Hopefully such reforms won't be far off. In response to a request by Zambia's Forestry Department, CIFOR is helping Zambia develop a beekeeping policy. In 2004, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) funded CIFOR to review Zambia's beekeeping industry and run workshops to identify constraints among key beekeeping stakeholders. The report and the workshops have both provided recommendations that will form a base for further policy discussion. They have also contributed significantly to a policy draft now being prepared by the Forestry Department with assistance from CIFOR.

For full story, please see:



33. Request for small grant to develop Field Guide on NWFP (Medicinal Plants)

From: Aziz Khan,

A small grant is being requested to fund a project for the development of a field guide on ¿Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Hindukush Himalayan Region of District Chitral, Northern Pakistan¿. The main objectives of this project are:

· To create awareness and build capacities of the young generations regarding the importance of conservation and sustainable management of medicinal and aromatic plants in their natural environment

· To provide a reference field guide to students, researchers, field workers, plant collectors to identify plants in the field, their part used as medicine, cultivation & propagation techniques, conservation issues and mitigation measures.

· Textualize orally transmitted traditional knowledge of plant use and disseminate the dynamics of traditional knowledge to the awareness of planners directly or indirectly involved with biodiversity conservation and management.

· Discover plants that may have possible market application, beyond the realm of the local, and sustainably foster for the benefit of local income.

If you are able to help, please contact:

Aziz Ali

Technical Advisor

Karimabad Area Development Organization (KADO)

Chitral, Northern Pakistan



34. Request for ideas: new name for ForestAction Nepal

From: Hemant R Ojha, ForestAction Nepal,

This is a request to those who know about ForestAction Nepal. We are planning to change the name to include a broader scope of environment and development, beyond just forestry. While we will continue to work in the forestry sector, we are planning to expand our working scope to other related issues in the field of natural resources management, livelihoods, governance and social transformation. We however seek to retain an environmental focus.

We are now exploring an attractive name for the organization. If you have any suggestion for us, please do share with us, as this will affect our future identity. Many thanks.



Introducing Community Forestry: Innovative ideas, practices and methodologies

20- 30 March, 2006

Kathmandu , Nepal

Forest Resources Studies and Action Team (ForestAction) Nepal and Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and Pacific (RECOFTC), Bangkok, Thailand have collaborated to design a training program that will identify and analyze key community forestry concepts, practices and methodologies. The course will utilize the extensive experience of community forestry in Nepal as a building block to explore the issues, but further case studies and experiences fro m throughout the region will also be incorporated into the course to expand the discussions.

The course is designed for development workers and mid-level managers involved in forestry, agriculture, and NRM both from government and NGOs.

The application form can be downloaded from or .

For more information, please contact:

Bal Krishna Kattel at

or Kiran Paudyal at .

Forest Resources Studies and Action Team

P.O. Box: 1 2207, Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel: +(977-1) 555 0631

Fax: +(977-1) 555 2924


8th Asian Apicultural Association Conference. Honey for Healthy Humans

20-24 March 2006

Perth , Western Australia

For more information, please contact:

PO Box 441, Nedlands 6909
Western Australia

Facsimile: (+61 8) 9386-3292



Poverty alleviation through bamboo-based development: policies, strategies, and stakeholders

18-28 April 2006

Lin'an and Anji counties, Zhejiang province, China

Bamboo is a fast-growing and regenerating species. Shortly after planting, annual profits occur without negative environmental effects. It is an ideal NTFP for sustainable development.

Bamboo's physical properties are similar or superior to wood. Over the past 15 years, China has achieved great progress in the development of bamboo sector. A series of bamboo panel products superior to timber were developed. Bamboo curtains, mats and carpets appear in the international markets. New products based on bamboo charcoal, vinegar and extracts of bamboo leaves, including medicinal products, natural pesticides, beverages, daily toiletries etc., have great development potential. Bamboo shoots have huge market potential as natural, high-fiber food.

Beyond traditional handicrafts and practical daily products, China's bamboo sector has become a fast emerging rural industry. It plays an important role in reducing timber consumption, protecting natural forests, poverty alleviation, employment/income generation, environmental improvement and rural socio-economic development.

Many developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have rich bamboo resources, but poor utilization, especially in terms of industrial processing. This training workshop provides an opportunity for policy makers, rural development practitioners, and entrepreneurs in bamboo producing countries to learn about the potential of bamboo in sustainable development, and to study the Chinese experiences elaborating development strategies and sustainable management of enterprises.

Course contents and learning objectives

The course will be jointly carried out by INBAR and the Bamboo Industry Associations of Lin'an and Anji counties in Zhejiang province, China. It focuses on policies and case studies from the two counties, where impressive developments have taken place over the recent years.

Course modules specifically would include: bamboo development policies and strategies; Bamboo in rural development and poverty alleviation/income generation; private sector and community partnership models; community organization; household/micro-enterprise development; farmer-market linkages; backward linkages/supply industries development; multi-stakeholder participation; supply chain development; efficiency of raw material utilization; product development, etc.

Workshop Structure

Lectures by bamboo development experts (2 days)

Field studies in villages, households, factories, markets (5 days)

Group discussion with local government officials, entrepreneurs, technicians (1 day)

Registration: April 17-18, 2006

Fee : US$1200 per person (including course fee, learning materials, accommodation, meals and local transport).

Application : Participants are required to fill in the application form and submit it together with CV and deposit to Ms. Jin Wei before March 15, 2006 .

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Jin Wei,

INBAR Publications and Training Officer

International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)

No.8, Futong Dongdajie, Wangjing, Chaoyang District, Beijing, P. R. China

Mailing address: Beijing 100102-86, P. R. China

Post code: 100102

Tel: +86-10-64706161-209
Fax: +86-10-64702166


International Conference on the Roles of Forests in Rural Development and Environmental Sustainability

19-21 April 2006

Beijing , China

Forests play an important role in rural poverty reduction, rural development and environmental sustainability. Rural communities worldwide have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge and experience on managing and utilizing forest resources, coexisting with nature harmoniously. They also have creatively developed and established many technical models that have produced good practical results. The goals of the conference are to share and exchange of these experiences and technologies, to promote the development of relevant disciplines and to enhance more importantly the sustainable utilization of forest resource.


Forest in Developing Rural Economy

· Renewable wood and non-wood products

· Forests and Livelihoods

· Indigenous Agro-forestry

· Forestry Trade and Economy

Social forestry

· Participatory forestry

· Information dissemination and Communication Technology

· Forestry Policy

Forest environmental services

· Soil and water conservation

· Biodiversity conservation and restoration

· Combating desertification

For more information, please contact:

The Symposium Secretariat:

Contact persons: Ms. Guan Xiuling Ms. Feng Caiyun

Address: the Summer Palace , Beijing 100091, China

Tel: 0086-10-62889819 62889367

Fax: 0086-10-62889817



The Future for Wild Harvests in Scotland

10 and 11 May 2006

Beauly, Scotland

This NTFP seminar will bring together land managers, collectors, buyers, processors, researchers, funders and policy-makers to develop a picture of the whole sector and discuss what can be done to help the sector develop.

For more information, please contact:

Elizabeth Hughson, Cluster Support Unit, Scottish Forest Industries Cluster, Confederation of Forest Industries Ltd, 5 Dublin Street Lane South, Edinburgh, EH1 3PX, Scotland, UK

Fax: +44-131 538 7222



Cultural heritage and sustainable forest management: the role of traditional knowledge

Firenze , Italy

8-10 June 2006

This conference is being organized by IUFRO Research Group of Forest and Woodland History (6.07.00) and IUFRO Task Force on Traditional Forest Knowledge.

Conference Themes include:

¿ History of traditional forest knowledge and their landscapes

¿ Historical context of scientific forestry and traditional forest knowledge with respect to forest management

¿ Conservation of traditional knowledge and cultural landscapes

¿ Planning, management and monitoring methodologies for the conservation of cultural forest landscapes

¿ Objectives and actions in European rural and environmental policies to preserve and support traditional knowledge.

¿ Good practices for including both traditional and scientific forest-related knowledge in forestry education, research and forest management activities in Europe.

¿ Exchange of information between traditional and formal (scientific) forest-related knowledge in European forest management.

¿ Application of traditional forest-related knowledge to forest ecosystem and biodiversity assessments and management;

¿ Conflicts regarding TFK in relation to forest science and forest management, and lessons learned from experiences/case studies from Europe on ways to avoid/resolve these conflicts.

¿ Benefits of social and cultural dimensions in SFM by maintenance/development of the material (wood in architecture, medicinal plants, traditional practices) and non material aspects (recreation, well being, health) aspects.


15 March ¿ presentation of the abstracts

31 March¿ communication of acceptance

15 April ¿ early registration

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Valentina Marinai:

Department of Environmental Forestry Science and Technology

University of Florence ¿ Italy

Via San Bonaventura 13

50145 Firenze

Tel + fax : 00 39 055 30231282



IX Congress of the Latin American Botanical Society (IX Congreso Latinoamericano de Botánica) .

19-25 June 2006

Santo Domingo , Dominican Republic.

For more information, please contact:

Sonia Lagos-Witte, Jardín Botánico Nacional, Apartado Postal 21-9, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Fax: 001809/3850446

Email: (in Spanish)


Study tour on community-based forest cottage industries

20 June- 3 July 2006 (and 19 June-2 July 2007)


The study tour aims to provide participants with the necessary exposure to the different community-based forest cottage industries and related project sites in the Philippines.

The field visit to selected sites will focus on the following subjects: Current Strategies of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Recent Developments in the Implementation of the Community-Based Forest Management Program; Small-scale Hand-made Paper Making; Household-based Wooden Novelty Manufacture; Rattan Craft, Bamboo Craft, Vine Craft, and other Forest-based Craft Industries; Small to Medium Scale Furniture Industries; Cottage-based Woodcarving; Community-based and Medium-scale Industries for Specialized Wood Products; and Ecotourism.

For more information, please contact:

The Director

Training Center for Tropical Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability (TREES)

College of Forestry and Natural Resources

University of the Philippines Los Baños

P.O. Box 434, College, Laguna 4031


Tel. Nos.:+ (63 49) 536-2736 or 536-2268

Fax. Nos.: + (63 49) 536-3340 or 536-2639




43. Commercialization of non-timber forest products ¿ factors influencing success

From: N M Bird, DFID Forestry Research Programme,

One of DFID's Forestry Research Programme projects has come to a successful conclusion with the publication of one of the most comprehensive studies undertaken on the commercialization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in Mexico and Bolivia. The book will be of interest to those supporting community-based NTFP commercialization in Latin America. The report, available in both Spanish and English, can be viewed at: .


44. Other publications of interest

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Azuma, D.L.; et al . 2005. The western juniper resource of eastern Oregon , 1999 . Resour. Bull. PNW-RB-249. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 18p

Bourg, N.A., McShea, W.J., and Gill, D.E. 2005. Putting a cart before the search: successful habitat prediction for a rare forest herb. Ecology 86(10):2793-2804.

East, T., Kümpel, N.F., Milner-Gulland, E.J., and Rowcliffe, J.M. 2005. Determinants of urban bushmeat consumption in Río Muni, Equatorial Guinea. Biol. Conserv. 126(2):206-215

Jansen, P.C.M. & Cardon, D. (Eds) . 2005. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 3. Dyes and tannins. 216 pp ( PROTA 3: Dyes and tannins ). ISBN 90-5782-159-1. Backhuys Publishers, P.O. Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, Netherlands ( ).

This handbook is published in both French and English and gives a comprehensive up to date description of 116 ¿primary use¿ dyes and tannins in 73 clearly illustrated review articles. With the increasing awareness of the environmental and toxicity problems associated with the use of synthetic dyes, natural dyes may regain their former role in the tanning and dying industry. Natural dyes and tannins of tropical Africa are highlighted

Kajobe, R. and Roubik, D.W. 2006. Honey-Making Bee Colony Abundance and Predation by Apes and Humans in a Uganda Forest Reserve. Biotropica 38(2): 210.

Lund , H. Gyde; Singh, Ashbindu . 2005. Reining in on Rainforest Destruction . The new renaissance 37 (XII No. 2):14-28.

Lynch, Kathryn A. 2006. An Interdisciplinary Curriculum on Nontimber Forest Products . Portland, Oregon. USA. Institute for Culture and Ecology. 450 p.

The workbook is an interdisciplinary set of instructional materials that includes over 100 lesson plans and handouts covering the ecological, cultural, political and economic importance of NTFPs.

The geographic focus of the workbook is on the United States, although the exercises can easily be adapted to scale-up to the international arena or to scale-down to focus on species and issues of regional or local importance.

The workbook consists of seven modules ¿ each including detailed lessons plans, activities, evaluation tools, and ready-to-use teaching aids, such as PowerPoint presentations and handouts. Each module has a specific disciplinary orientation (history, culture, economics, ecology, policy) to facilitate easy adoption within those different disciplines.

The curriculum encourages critical thinking about NTFP issues and their relationship to overall forest health, sustainability and biodiversity conservation. This is accomplished through interactive classroom and field activities. Both theoretical frameworks and research methods are introduced and there is an emphasis on building effective communication and collaboration skills. Faculty are encouraged to integrate individual lesson plans into their existing courses or use the workbook materials as the foundation for a new course or workshop. In addition, the Institute for Culture and Ecology is available to facilitate a set of workshops and courses based on the materials.

This project was funded by the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry.

For additional information, please visit:

Lynch, Kathryn A. 2004. Workshop Guide and Proceedings: Harvester Participation in Inventory and Monitoring of Nontimber Forest Products . Facilitated by the Institute for Culture and Ecology. Funded by the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry. 151p.

Marshall, Rushton, Schreckenberg et al . 2006. Practical Tools for Researching Successful NTFP Commercialization: A Methods Manual .

English and Spanish versions of this document are available at: (English) (Spanish)

Marshall, E., Schreckenberg, K. and Newton, A.C. (eds) 2006. Commercialization of Non-timber Forest Products: Factors Influencing Success. Lessons Learned from Mexico and Bolivia and Policy Implications for Decision-makers . UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK.

English and Spanish versions of this document are available at: (English) (Spanish)

For more information, please contact:

McFarlane, Paul; Stevenson, Marc .2004. Proceedings of the Non-Timber Forest Products and Aboriginal Research Issues Workshop . 21-23 August 2003. Vancouver, BC. 9 p.

McLain, Rebecca J.; McFarlane, Erika Mark; Alexander, Susan J. 2005. Commercial morel harvesters and buyers in western Montana : an exploratory study of the 2001 harvesting season. Gen. Tech Rep. PNW-GTR-643. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 38 p.

This exploratory study examined aspects of the social organization of the commercial wild morel industry in western Montana during 2001. We talked with 18 key informants (7 buyers and 11 pickers) and observed social interactions at one buying station near the Kootenai National Forest and three buying stations near the Bitterroot National Forest. The key informant and observational data permitted us to construct a picture of social interactions at field buying stations, buyer strategies for attracting pickers, changes in prices over the course of a season, and the ways in which various participants in the wild morel harvest construct their livelihoods. In the discussion, we contrast our findings with the results of a recently published study on NTFP harvesters in the Eastern United States. We end the report with a discussion of management implications for managers and scientists.

Order free hardcopies or download for free at or

McLain, Rebecca J. and Jone, Eric T . 2005. Nontimber forest products management on national forests in the United States . Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-655. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 85 p.

This study provides an overview of nontimber forest products (NTFP) programs on national forests in the United States. We conducted an email survey in 2003 to obtain data on NTFP management activities on national forests across the country. Program characteristics examined in the study included important NTFPs managed on national forests, presence of NTFP coordinators and law enforcement programs on ranger districts, incorporation of NTFPs into forest planning documents, presence of NTFP inventory and monitoring programs, managers' views on barriers to and opportunities for including NTFP harvesters in NTFP inventory and monitoring efforts, and managers' perceptions of barriers to expanding commercial NTFP harvesting. The data indicate that the agency is constructing a foundation for scientific NTFP management. The study identifies lack of funding and internal administrative capacity as key barriers to adequate incorporation of NTFPs in Forest Service planning, inventory, and monitoring.

Download the .pdf at or .

A printed version can be requested for free be writing to: Publications Distribution, Pacific Northwest Research Station, PO Box 3890, Portland, OR 97208-3890, USA.

Sinha, A.; Brault, S . 2005. Assessing sustainability of nontimber forest product extractions: how fire affects sustainability . Biodivers. Conserv . 14(14):3537-3563.

Subedi, Bhishma P. 2006. Linking Plant-based Enterprises and Local Communities to Biodiversity Conservation in Nepal Himalaya . Adroit Publishers, New Delhi

People in the mountainous region of Nepal are struggling to survive and the nearby forest gives them the hope to live. They are able to fetch fuel and fodder form the rich forest. People know that they are emptying the forest but don't know they are destroying lives and environment. The practice results in increased poverty and decreased biodiversity. Can poverty be alleviated and biodiversity improved? Isn't there any synergistic way that brings both factors together? How can poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation be sustainable? The author applies different methods and experiments to come up with a practical solution to the challenges.

The author concludes that enterprise-oriented community forest management can generate positive outcomes at both conservation and local livelihood levels. In the light of different approaches being tested and implemented to resolve conservation problems, the findings challenge the approaches that set communities aside from the forest resources and keep forest untouched. The author finds that there are good prospects for forest based enterprise development on the local, national and international markets.

The author selected six districts in the mountainous region of Nepal , which are endowed with rich forest-based biodiversity and suffered acute poverty, for the study.

Topp-Jørgensen, E., Poulsen, M.K., Lund , J.F., and Massao, J.F . 2005. Community-based monitoring of natural resource use and forest quality in montane forests and Miombo woodlands of Tanzania . Biodivers. Conserv. 14(11):2653-2677.

van der Heide, C.M., van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., and van Ierland, E.C . 2005. Extending Weitzman's economic ranking of biodiversity protection: combining ecological and genetic considerations. Ecol. Econ. 55(2):218-223.

Wilcove, D.S., and Master, L.L. 2005. How many endangered species are there in the United States ? Front. Ecol. Environ. 3(8):414-420.

Wright, S.J. 2005. Tropical forests in a changing environment. TREE 20(10):553-560.


45. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE), a global initiative of biodiversity conservation organizations, aims to prevent extinctions by identifying and safeguarding key sites where species are in imminent danger of disappearing. The goal of the Alliance is to create a front line of defence against extinction by eliminating threats and restoring habitat to allow species populations to rebound.

The Rainforest Portal

This new web site is dedicated to the protection of the world's remaining tropical rainforests and the rights of their inhabitants is launching today. .



46. New fund to connect African ecologists

Source: SciDev.Net, 19 January 2006

Scientists in Africa and Eastern Europe can now seek support from a new fund to help them research major challenges, such as climate change, desertification and biodiversity loss.

The British Ecological Society's (BES) 'capacity building for ecology fund', launched on 16 January, will develop ecological science in the two regions by helping create national and regional associations.

"There are botanical and zoological societies in some African countries, but only a couple of ecological societies," says the society's science policy manager, Nick Dusic. "The fund is to help African ecologists fill this gap where they feel it is needed."

The BES says scientific societies play a key role in research and development by setting professional standards and promoting exchanges of scientific information. It has committed £500,000 (US$880,000) for the first five years. This will be used, in part, to bring scientists together, and to provide administrative support to newly-formed associations in their first couple of years. Funding would be for a fixed-term only, and that associations will need to become self-financing in the long run. The deadline for applications to the first round of funding is 21 April.

"This is a unique and timely opportunity to build ecological networks in developing countries that will allow ecologists there to tackle some of the world's most pressing environmental problems, such as climate change, soil erosion and invasive species," said BES president John Lawton.

The BES is the largest society of its kind in Europe, with more than 5,000 members, mostly university-based researchers.

Full details and an application form for the Building Capacity for Ecology Fund are available at .

For full story, please see:



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last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009