No. 13/05

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

Our on-line survey closed on 30 November with over 630 replies. A special ¿thank you¿ to all those who participated.

Since this is the last issue of 2005, we would like to wish all our readers a very happy and healthy 2006.

PRODUCTS

1. Acorn abundance could reduce this year's deer harvest significantly
2. Bamboo-fuelled power plants in Assam, India
3. Bamboo charcoal textile products
4. Bamboo flavone for prostate patent approved
5. Bark: UN recognises bark cloth as world heritage
6. Bushmeat: Thai zoo's lion and elephant meat banquet angers Kenyans
7. Chestnuts: Just as sweet as a chestnut
8. Medicinal plants: Scientists turn to traditional medicinal plants to find new tools for fighting malaria
9. Medicinal plants: New drug mix against malaria is announced
10. Medicinal plants: Wonder plant to cure diabetes
11. Medicinal plants: Artemesia shows ¿potential¿ in preventing breast cancer
12. Mulberry: Ugandan farmers take on mulberry cultivation to produce silk
13. Mushrooms as fuel?
14. Truffles: Oregon event to celebrate hidden delicacy

COUNTRY INFORMATION

15. Angola: Forests play key role in country's development
16. Australia: Leatherwood honey under threat by logging
17. Brazil: Project receives US$440.000 to develop forest management in Santarem
18. Brazil: Forestry products gain market during Sao Paulo event
19. Cameroon: Boosting Non-timber Forest Products
20. Cameroon: Promoting traditional medicine
21. Canada: Quebec creates first boreal-forest park
22. China: Bamboo forests increase by 120 000 ha annually
23. India: bamboo markets in the north
24. India: Mizoram to give thrust on minor forest products
25. India: The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005 ¿
26. India: Sericulturists go natural, experiment with lac and neem
27. India: Conserve biodiversity to eradicate poverty
28. Iran's forests' destruction rate worries experts
29. Liberia: Community Forestry Practicable in Liberia?
30. Malaysia: Gaharu thefts in Johor forests
31. United States: Scientists trying to resurrect American chestnut trees

NEWS

32. Biopiracy: Andean nations seek U.S. patent protection for native medicines
33. Bioprospecting in the Pacific region: who gets to benefit?
34. Ecotourism: Conservation can bring in 'more dollars than it costs'

REQUESTS

35. Natural gum suppliers in Africa

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

36. Community Forestry Research Fellowships
37. WWF National Coordinator for Gabon

EVENTS

38. Conservation and the Agricultural Frontier: Integrating Forests and Agriculture in the Tropics
39. The 1st IFOAM Conference on Organic Wild Production
40. 9th European Forum on Urban Forestry: Urban Forestry Bridges

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

41. Forests, Trees & Livelihoods
42. Women's Empowerment: Measuring The Global Gender Gap
43. Other publications of interest
44. Web sites and e-zines

MISCELLANEOUS

45. Developing world 'faces greatest extinction threat'
46. India says it busts major tiger poaching ring
47. Promoting sustainable hunting in Russia

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PRODUCTS

1. Acorn abundance could reduce this year's deer harvest significantly

Source: Jim Low, Kansas City infoZine - Kansas City , USA , 21 November 2005

Biologists can't predict when bumper crops of acorns will appear, but they know hunters kill fewer deer in years of acorn abundance.

Each year the Missouri Department of Conservation ( USA) conducts a survey to determine the abundance or scarcity of acorns. This is important because a wide array of wildlife relies heavily on the fruit of oak trees for food. Acorn counts from thousands of trees give biologists valuable information about how ducks, squirrels, deer and turkeys will fare in the coming year.

The annual survey covers the portion of the state where forest dominates the landscape, roughly half the state. The result is a series of acorn-production indices broken down by region and oak tree type--red or white. Over the past 46 years, the overall index for all oak trees throughout the survey area has been 133. Last year, the number was 116. This year's overall index is 152 ¿ producing a bumper acorn crop.

The news is similar throughout most of the survey area. The only exceptions are white oaks in the Ozark west and the Ozark Border at the western edge of the survey area. Even in those areas, the overall acorn crop was above average. In the eastern Ozarks, white oak acorn production is up 55 percent compared to the average of the last 46 years.

All this would be little more than scientific trivia except for one thing-the upcoming firearms deer season. In autumn, deer gorge on high-energy foods in preparation for winter. In forested areas, this means acorns. When acorns are scarce, deer flock to trees that did produce acorns. This simplifies hunters' work. If they can find acorns, they will find deer.

Hunting is much tougher in years of acorn abundance. Deer don't have to travel far to find their favourite food, so they spend less time on the move, and they are scattered unpredictably throughout the forest.

This effect already is showing up in early deer harvest statistics. The Conservation Department's deer management expert said he expects this year's deer harvest to be low on account of the superabundance of acorns.

The Conservation Department experts do not know all the factors that led to this year's acorn bounty. Annual data point to some correlations between weather and acorn production. The number of red oak acorns seems to be higher two years after abundant spring rainfall, and white oaks are more productive in years with mild spring weather.

Oak trees are divided into white and red families. Acorns on white oaks mature in one year, so unfavourable conditions during the flowering or growing season effect that year's crop. Red-oak acorns take two years to mature, so the results of bad conditions are not apparent until the following year.

For full story, please see: http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/11507/

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2. Bamboo-fuelled power plants in Assam, India

Source: Webindia123 ¿ India , 15 December 2005

Indian scientists have successfully developed two unique power projects by using bamboo to generate electricity. The plants with a capacity of 1 MW each would be commissioned in Assam by February next year. "This would be the first of its kind where we are using bamboo and its wastes to generate electricity," said Vinay S. Oberoi, director of the National Mission on Bamboo Applications (NMBA). "It would not only be cost effective but also highly eco-friendly."

The NMBA is an agency set up by the central government to promote value addition and commercialisation of the country's 80 million tonnes of bamboo crop annually.

The two projects, set up at an estimated cost of Rs.100 million, were designed and developed by scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. "We are confident the commercial success of gasification of bamboo for generation of electricity would help us to solve the energy crisis facing India and allow our experts to pursue such ventures on a bigger scale," Oberoi said.

Both the plants are nearing completion at two paper mills in Jagiroad and Silchar towns. "Power from the plants would be now used by the two paper mills although such bamboo-fuelled energy sources could be suitably used in off-grid and remote locations, and to meet captive industry and utility needs," Oberoi said. "The technology has been developed, tested and stabilised and is now available for large scale induction, suitable for application in the 10 KW-1 MW range."

India is the second highest bamboo producing country after China. More than 55 percent of India's annual bamboo crops are grown in the north-eastern region.

"Bamboo grows in the wild abundantly and all we need to do is to further propagate cultivation so that we can use it as an alternative for wood in the near future," NMBA said.

For full story, please see: http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=191632&n_date=20051215&cat=Business

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3. Bamboo charcoal textile products

Source: BharatTextile.com, 13 December 2005

TAITEI: The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on 11 November launched a series of textile products made of bamboo charcoal which the ministry says can make Taiwan 's textile industry more competitive in the world market.

MOEA took two years to develop the technology of bamboo charcoal textiles with the help of the Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) and several textile companies.

To produce bamboo charcoal, the bamboo ¿ which needs to be four to five years old ¿ is burned at 700-750 degrees Celsius. The charcoal is then finely graded and inserted into fibers to create a new form of textile.

Clothing made of the bamboo charcoal textiles have the advantage of absorbing odours, retaining heat, blocking out electromagnetic radiation and maintaining low humidity.

MOEA also introduced a new trademark Phyllotex for its line of bamboo charcoal products that includes (besides clothing) soap, lotion, shampoo, and pillows.

For full story, please see: http://www.bharattextile.com/newsitems/1997716

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4. Bamboo flavone for prostate patent approved

Source: Tramford International Press Release, 23 November 2005

Tramford International Limited (Nasdaq: TRFDF - News ; ''Tramford'' or the ''Company'') announced that the patent of ''bamboo flavone application in anti-prostate disease drug" developed by Future Solutions Development Inc. (''FSD''), the newly acquired subsidiary of the Company, was approved by China's State Intellectual Property Bureau in November 2005. Along with this approval, the same patent also received approval from Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the international patent registration and administration organization. The Treaty makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an "international" patent application. FSD filed this patent under PCT for China, U.S. and Japan. The approval is the first step for FSD to enter into the markets in U.S. and Japan.

The scientists at FSD discovered that bamboo flavone is effective in relief symptoms of inflammation due to prostatitis, prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer.

About 50% of all men are affected by prostate illnesses during their lifetime. Many patients develop chronicle symptoms. The bamboo flavone, as a natural extract ingredient, poses no long-term side effects and is a viable option in fighting the illness.

For full story, please see: www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-23-2005/0004221980&EDATE =

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5. Bark: UN recognises bark cloth as world heritage

Source: New Vision - Kampala , Uganda , 3 December 2005

Uganda 's bark cloth has been named as part of the world's collective heritage recognised by UNESCO. Speaking yesterday, Augustine Omare Okurut, who heads the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, said the global body had declared the ¿art of bark cloth making in Uganda a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.'' The proclamation ¿is an honour to Uganda and recognition of the indigenous textile production skills of Ugandan craftsmen,'' Okurut said. ¿It will strengthen the activities aimed at preserving the bark cloth production skills in Uganda as well promoting the bark cloth and its use in Uganda and internationally.''

Okurut said the bark cloth is used in various festivities, including as burial material and has invaluable commercial potential when exploited to make handicrafts.

He said research was undertaken on making bark cloth, which is extracted from a ficus tree popularly known as ¿Omutuba'' in central Uganda. Okurut said the tree was becoming endangered and that if it was commercially exploited then the local people would be encouraged to grow it for posterity and to improve their welfare. He also said bark cloth making had been left to a few traditional handicraftsmen because of lack of market, adding that this could cause extinction of the tree.

Okurut said researchers went to various places including Busoga and Bunyoro, but discovered that Buganda was the only place where it is widely used.

For full story, please see: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/469150

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6. Bushmeat: Thai zoo's lion and elephant meat banquet angers Kenyans

Source: The Guardian, 19 November 2005

Kenyan conservationists reacted with anger yesterday to news that a Thai zoo to which animals are being exported in a controversial deal is planning to serve an exotic game buffet to VIP guests.

Guests at the opening of the Chiang Mai night safari zoo in northern Thailand will tuck in to a menu featuring tiger, lion, elephant and giraffe. Plodprasop Suraswadi, director of the zoo project, told reporters that guests will pay 4,500 baht (£64) each for a meal in which dishes range from locally reared dog meat to lion from Africa.

Kenya last week agreed to export over 100 wild animals to Thailand , including zebra, flamingos, buffalo, wildebeest and hyena, despite protests by wildlife experts and Masai elders. None of the animals is from an endangered species.

Richard Leakey, who headed the Kenya wildlife service between 1989 and 1994, said: "What this zoo is doing is serving bushmeat, and bushmeat is one of the greatest conservation challenges of the 21st century."

It is not clear whether any of the animals being transported from Kenya will be slaughtered for the buffet. Slaughtering wildlife is illegal in Kenya , and restaurants that serve game meat are restricted to selling farmed crocodile or ostrich, though there is a flourishing illegal trade in bushmeat.

There was speculation in the Kenyan media that Thailand had paid up to $1m (about £583,000) for the animals but the Kenyan government said they were being donated in exchange for technical help and training on wildlife management.

Elizabeth Wamba, a spokeswoman in Kenya for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: "This adds to our concern. They are going to be serving African wildlife as part of the buffet, and we wonder whether the wildlife that comes from here is being taken for breeding to satisfy this demand."

For full story, please see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/kenya/story/0,12689,1646194,00.html

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7. Chestnuts: Just as sweet as a chestnut

Source: Times Online ¿ UK , 19 November 2005

Chestnuts are not just for Christmas but, in Britain , they only make a sentimental appearance as a turkey stuffing once a year, forgotten until the next festive season. And the chestnut's great nutritional credentials are little recognised.

The chestnut, also known as sweet chestnut, originally from Asia Minor , was first introduced to Europe by the Ancient Greeks. In the poorer, mountainous regions of the Mediterranean , where even the humblest cereals cannot be grown, the chestnut has long been a dietary staple: dried and ground into flour and made into bread or soup; and fed to pigs to give their meat a more nutty taste.

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Chestnuts are the only nut to contain significant amounts of vitamin C; amazingly, 100g of chestnuts contain as much vitamin C as 100g of lemons. They are beneficial in building resistance to infection, particularly the common cold, and contain antioxidant nutrients that help to protect against cancers, heart disease and stress and promote healthy gums and bones. It's no wonder that the 17th-century herbalist John Evelyn recommended chestnuts for a good complexion, while his contemporary Nicholas Culpepper suggested that they prevent scurvy. Vitamin C is used in many skincare products as it helps in the formation of collagen, the skin's support fibres, and can improve skin texture.

Chestnuts contain minerals, too ¿ phosphorus and potassium in particular ¿ which are key for nerve function, muscle control, blood-pressure control and heart health. They are rich in complex carbohydrates and are, therefore, a good source of energy.

Grinding chestnuts into flour offers a gluten and cholesterol-free alternative for making bread and pasta; great, not only for those who are wheat-intolerant, but also for anyone looking for variety and a rich, distinctive flavour.

Chestnuts have a lower protein content than most nuts and, unlike other nuts, have little oil, making them lower in fat and calories. They are also a good source of fibre.

Absolutely nothing is ¿done¿ to the chestnuts, they are an unadulterated wild food and the spiky husks are discarded on the forest floor to turn to mulch, acting as natural compost.

Sweet chestnut trees do grow in Britain , so you may find the fruit in local woodland, but they are smaller than their European counterparts as we lack the hot summers they need to grow bigger. Don't mistake them for horse chestnuts or conkers which are very bitter.

For full story, please see: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8126-1876703,00.html

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8. Medicinal plants: Scientists turn to traditional medicinal plants to find new tools for fighting malaria

Source: The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria ( Dakar ), Press Release, 14 November 2005

East African scientists have translated new findings regarding the anti-mosquito properties of indigenous African plants into a low-cost and effective mosquito repellent that could play a role in reducing malaria transmission. Their research, to be presented this week at the Fourth Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan-African Malaria Conference, is indicative of a surge of scientific interest in the anti-mosquito properties of indigenous plant life.

Scientists from Kenyatta University and The International Center for Insect Physiology & Ecology (ICIPE), both in Nairobi, working with investigators from other East African research institutions, tested oils extracted from 150 East African plants for their ability to repel malaria-carrying mosquitoes and found that 20 of them appeared to be effective. They then formulated a mixture of the oils into a topical cream that is now being sold under the brand name Mozigone. Tests showed the cream was more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most widely used consumer brands of mosquito repellent and cheaper to produce as well.

The discussion of the scientific process that lead to the development of this new, plant-based repellent is one of many presentations at the MIM conference exploring how modern research is turning to traditional plants to find new weapons for the fight against malaria. Scientific efforts to derive new malaria medicines from indigenous plants have intensified since an extract of the wormwood plant, artemisinin, emerged as the leading drug for fighting the disease.

"There are certainly many opportunities for the use of traditional herbal medicines for malaria control," said Merlin Willcox, coordinator of an international network known as the Research Initiative for Traditional Antimalarial Methods (RITAM). But there are obstacles as well. "The main problem is that policy makers are not open to this idea," he said, "because they are trained only in modern medicine. Also, they demand good quality evidence, but it is hard to find funding for the research needed to produce this evidence."

Willcox will be hosting a symposium, sponsored by the government of Cameroon that will consider the potential use of traditional plants in national malaria control programs and the research needed to spur their adoptions. For example, scientists will discuss the potential for a Brazilian plant known as "Indian beer" to prevent malaria. Willcox said laboratory studies have shown the plant can kill the malaria parasite early in its lifecycle before it matures and does the most damage to the human body. Officials from Cameroon's Ministry of Health also will discuss new developments in policies affecting traditional medicine.

Other presentations considering the anti-malarial properties plants include the following:

Souleymane Sanon of the Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme (Burkina Faso) will present data on two plants used by traditional herbal practitioners in Burkina Faso to treat malaria. Used in combination, Pavetta crassipes and Mitragyna inermis exhibited antimalarial properties when tested against a laboratory culture taken from a drug resistant form of the malaria parasite. "The synergistic effect of the two plants suggest their use in association with malaria treatment," the authors state.

In the search for new malaria medicines derived from natural sources, West African and U.S. Army researchers have collected and identified plant materials used in traditional medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases, including fevers and drug-resistant malaria. Their study investigated the anti-malarial activity of 1200 plant extracts belonging to 80 plant families and 253 species. Investigators say 53 percent of the extracts, some of which had never before been tested against the most deadly strain of malaria, P. falciparum , showed remarkable activity.

Edith Ajaiyeoba of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, tested the antimalarial activity of methanol extract of Adansonia digitata (African baobab tree) in mice infected with a rodent form of malaria. The traditional use of baobab as a malaria treatment is well known throughout the West Africa region. The results of the test indicate that A. digitata bark extract was able to reduce malaria parasites in the mouse.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200511140247.html

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9. Medicinal plants: New drug mix against malaria is announced

Source: New York Times, 13 December 2005 (in Amazon News 15.12.05)

Two simpler, cheaper formulations of anti-malaria drugs will be available next year, a public-private partnership announced yesterday.

The cost will be about half of what the current pills cost and the new pills will mix large doses of two drugs into one pill, so adults will take only six pills over three days instead of the current 24 to 32, said Dr. Bernard Pécoul, executive director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.

They will also be made in low-dose pills that can be dissolved in water for infants.

There about 500 million cases of malaria worldwide, and the disease kills more than a million people each year, many of them young children.

The new drugs will combine forms of artemisinin, a relatively new malaria drug developed in China from the sweet wormwood plant, with one of two established drugs, amodiaquine and mefloquine, which act more slowly but linger in the blood.

The same drugs are available now as separate pills packaged together in plastic blister packs, Dr. Pécoul explained. But patients in many poor countries have discovered that the artemisinin-based pills taste better and lower fevers faster, so they take only the ones they like. That encourages the growth of drug-resistant strains of malaria, he said.

Combining them into one pill required a pharmacological breakthrough, he explained. The older drugs tended to release water, which broke down the artemisinin.

Solving that problem and testing the new pills required several million dollars, which was provided by the European Union, the Swiss government, Doctors Without Borders, and in-kind contributions by some pharmaceutical companies, he said.

Sanofi-Aventis, the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company, has agreed to produce the amodiaquine-artemisinin combination and Far-Manguinhos, Brazil 's state pharmaceutical laboratory, will make the mefloquine one.

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative was founded by Doctors Without Borders, the Pasteur Institute of France, the World Health Organization and research institutes in Brazil , India , Malaysia and Kenya .

For full story, please see: http://www.amazonia.org.br/english/noticias/noticia.cfm?id=190808

Related story: http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/index.cfm?fuseaction=dossierReadItem&type=3&itemid=440&language=1&dossier=23&CFID=971801&CFTOKEN=21401771

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10. Medicinal plants: Artemesia shows ¿potential¿ in preventing breast cancer

Source: World Science, 20 December 2005

An extract of the sweet wormwood plant used for centuries to fight malaria, and shown to target and kill cancer cells, may help prevent breast cancer, researchers have found. The two bioengineers with the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash., found that the substance, artemisinin, seemed to prevent breast cancer in rats that had swallowed a cancer-causing chemical. The study appears in the latest issue of the research journal Cancer Letters .

The reason for artemisinin's apparent preventive effect may be twofold, the researchers said. The substance may kill precancerous cells, which also tend to use more iron than ordinary cells, before those cells become a tumour. Artemisinin also may block angiogenesis, or a tumour's ability to grow networks of blood vessels that allow it to enlarge.

Because artemisinin is widely used in Asia and Africa as an anti-malarial, it has a track record of being relatively safe, Lai said. The results ¿indicate that it may be a potent cancer-chemoprevention agent... additional studies are needed to investigate whether the breast cancer prevention property of artemisinin can be generalized to other types of cancer.¿

For full story, please see: http://www.world-science.net/othernews/051220_artemisinfrm.htm

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11. Medicinal plants: Wonder plant to cure diabetes

Source: Financial Express - Bombay , India , 27 November 2005

Stevia ( Stevia rebaudiana ), a high value medicinal plant whose dry leaves can be used by diabetics, has been successfully cultivated in Debang valley district of Arunachal Pradesh and is ready for commercial harvesting.

PB Kanjilal, head of medicinal plant division of Regional Research Laboratory (RRL) of Jorhat, said the laboratory had adopted several villages at Roing in Debang valley to motivate 300 farmers to cultivate the plant whose leaves are far sweeter than sugar and can be used by diabetics. The particular area was selected as the climatic condition there was ideal for the cultivation of stevia, he said.

RRL had provided technical assistance to the villagers besides acting as a facilitator to help them find marketing opportunities through tie ups with businessmen from as far as Hyderabad. Stevia plants yield 2,500 kg dry leaves per acre per annum and 1kg green leaves can fetch Rs 125.

In Arunachal Pradesh, nearly 30 species of medicinal plants had been identified whose cultivation had been found to be commercially viable. Mr Kanjilal also said that nearly 7,000 farmers were cultivating various medicinal and aromatic plants in north-eastern states, including 30 to 35 big entrepreneurs who were mainly tea planters.

For full story, please see: www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=109906

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12. Mulberry: Ugandan farmers take on mulberry cultivation to produce silk

Source: New Vision ( Kampala ), 30 November 2005

THE cultivation of mulberry plants (enkenene), used for rearing silkworms ( Bombyx mori L.), is becoming a new income venture worthy of serious investment.

Sericulture is the rearing of silkworms on the leaves of mulberry plants to produce silk cocoons from which raw silk or silk yarn is produced. Silk is a high value natural fibre for making precious textiles, carpets and other products that are on high demand on the international market.

"Silk production in Uganda is a promising agro-enterprise aimed at increasing household incomes, reducing poverty in rural areas and diversifying sources of the country's foreign exchange earnings," said Janat Mukwaya, the agriculture minister, in a recent visit to the mulberry gardens at Kawanda Research Institute.

In the late 1990s, a number of farmers took on the cultivation of mulberry plants and later embarked on the rearing of silkworms but failed to raise anything out of it.

Mobwe Factory is now a farmer-owned factory, which has been established by a group of different farmers engaged in the sericulture business. It is funded by African Development Foundation and DANIDA.

The capacity of the factory is one tonne everyday but due to the limited number of farmers supplying cocoons, they are unable to run the factory everyday.

China has placed an order of six tonnes of threads per month. India wants eight tonnes, Japan 100 tonnes per year, Egypt 200 tonnes per month and Zimbabwe and South Africa want 100 kilograms. Despite this, Uganda only produces 20 tonnes annually.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200511300271.html

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13. Mushrooms as fuel?

Source: Live Science, 2 December 2005

New research could move Shiitake mushrooms out of your kitchen and into your gas tank. These fungi, which some people consider a delicacy, grow on fallen logs in the forest. The mushrooms digest the wood and turn it into sugars that they use for food.

Now scientists with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service are investigating whether this technique could be used to produce fuel.

The researchers have discovered and copied the Shiitake gene, Xyn11A , which gives the mushroom the ability to produce the enzyme xylanase, which dissolves wood into sugar. Now that the researchers have isolated the gene, they are looking into whether it can be used to produce vats of the enzyme for digesting rice hulls or other harvest leftovers into sugars that could be used for making ethanol or other fuel types.

Currently, these scientists are experimenting transferring the gene into yeast, in which they have already produced xylanase. The next step will be to modify the gene so the yeast can produce greater amounts of the enzyme in less time. This research was published earlier this year in Protein Journal .

For full story, please see: www.livescience.com/imageoftheday/siod_051202.html

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14. Truffles: Oregon event to celebrate hidden delicacy

Source: Seattle Times - United States , 6 December 2005

Oregon forests are home to a treasure for mushroom hunters in search of truffles. Charles Lefevre, president of the North American Truffling Society, is hoping to raise the profile of Oregon truffles with a three-day festival next month in Eugene.

The event will bring together cultivators, foragers, chefs and gourmands from the Northwest and around the country to celebrate the earthy delicacy. Lefevre even expects a small European contingent. " Oregon is blessed with an abundance of wild, native truffles," said Lefevre, who has a doctorate in mycology, the field of botany dealing with fungi.

Long considered a delicacy, truffles can sell for more than $1,000 per pound wholesale.

Oregon is the nation's largest source of truffles but lags behind France, Spain, Italy and other parts of Europe. Oregon's annual harvest is roughly 10 tons, compared with more than 100 tons for all of Europe.

Like mushrooms, truffles are the fruit of a fungus. They grow underground and rely on trees to host them and animals eating them to distribute their spores.

Many Oregon truffles grow near the roots of Douglas firs. "Oregon is probably the very best of all places to try to grow truffles," said Lefevre, who also cultivates truffles on hazelnut and oak trees.

The Oregon Truffle Festival will feature workshops on truffle cultivation, truffle-dog training and truffle hunting, among other topics.

For full story, please see: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002666971_truffles06m.html

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COUNTRY INFORMATION

15. Angola : Forests play key role in country's development

Source: Angola Press Agency ( Luanda ), 6 December 2005

Angola 's deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dário Catata on Tuesday in Luanda said that the forests and fauna play an important role in the country's development, as they are the sources of goods and services of economic, social and environmental character.

According to the deputy minister, who was speaking at the opening session of a seminar on "regional public consultation for the participative drafting of policy and legislation on forest", started today, fauna and forests play an important role in the poverty reduction and food security of rural communities.

Mr Catata stressed that Angola has an enormous potential of forests, wild fauna and huge protected areas, a fact that grants the Southern African country a valuable basis for its economic, environmental and social development.

Acknowledging the importance of those resources, the deputy minister said that the forests are the sources of subsistence and income for the majority of the rural population, as they contribute to the substantial reduction of poverty in the country.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200512060692.html

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16. Australia : Leatherwood honey under threat by logging

Source: ABC Online ¿ Australia . 28 November and 19 December 2005

A new report is calling for changes to timber harvesting in southern Tasmanian forests to ensure the survival of the state's unique leatherwood honey industry. Beekeepers have welcomed the Forests and Forest Industry Council study that has looked at how much leatherwood is needed to sustain their hives.

Julian Woolfhagen, from the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association, says the forestry industry now needs to develop a plan for alternative timber harvesting methods. "We need absolutely to get leatherwood mentioned specifically within the forest practices code, so that it is protected, so any rich areas within forest coups that are to be harvested, the leatherwood rich portions are excluded."

The forestry industry says it's working to preserve the trees and there's no cause for alarm.

For full story, please see: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2005/s1534494.htm and http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2005/s1518267.htm

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17. Brazil : Project receives US$440.000 to develop forest management in Santarem

Source: Diário do Pará, 9 December 2005 (in Amazon News 15.12.05)

The biggest Brazilian communitarian management project in a conservation unit will be launched today in Santarem , Para State . Called Project Ambe, the enterprise will explore wood and another forest products in an 3.200.000 ares (100 ares=1ha) in Tapajos National Forest , where live 1.900 families in 29 communities. The project will receive US$440.000 from the German govern, by the Pilot Program to Protect Brazilian Rainforests.

The project was approved by the Ibama (Brazilian Environmental Institute).

There is a law that guarantees the use of natural resources by native populations that live in National Forests. According to Ibama's Forest Director, Antonio Carlos Hummel, the first production unit has 10.000 ares. He said that "it's a pioneer proposal that can be a model to another experiences in sustainable development in this region". The director thinks that the project can produces development directives and public policies definitions for whole Amazon.

Besides the wood, the project includes the exploitation of products of 12 species of trees. From Andiroba and Cumaru, for example, will be utilized the fruits and the seeds. From Copaíba and Seringueira, the community will take milk, oils and resin. There is, still, the foresight of improvement of rind of some kind of trees. Before the exploitation the managers will receive a training course about falling of trees, health and security in work and road planning.

For the first 10.000 ares step, the forecast of production is 3.000m3 of wood. In the second year, the target is to increase the exploited area to 30.000 ares, reaching 50.000 ares in the third year. The Flona Tapajós Verde Co-operative will be responsible the project management, formed by three communitarian associations.

For full story, please see: http://www.amazonia.org.br/english/noticias/noticia.cfm?id=191074

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18. Brazil : Forestry products gain market during Sao Paulo event

Source: Mercado Floresta, 11.11.2005 (in Amazon News 17.11.05)

Almost 8 400 people visited the Forest Market, the first fair on sustainable forestry products held in Brazil , during the four days that it was held (November 5-8) in Sao Paulo . They had the opportunity to learn about 204 enterprises from Amazonia , the savannah, the Atlantic forest and riverbank forests on exposition at the locality. According to information from Friends of the Earth-Brazilian Amazonia, the principal objective of the event, i.e. increasing business and making contacts for future business, was quite successful: the majority left the event with orders or contacts for sales

Listed below are a series of cases that can be considered emblematic of the diversity of commercial relations established during the Forest Market, which can serve as example of the market potential, which still has much to offer and to grow:

· The Kayapó People of the Indigenous Territory of Bau sold its entire crop of Para nut oil, for a total of R$ 150,620 reales.

· FSC timber from Madevale of Rondonia state closed a contract to supply timber to Chinese companies for a value of US$ 180 thousand dollars (the companies have consumption at approximately R$ 400 thousand reales per month and the supply could become permanent).

· Artisans linked to SEBRAE of Tocantins state sold at retail, R$ 7250 jatoba dolls and golden grass (capim) products.

· The APA cooperative from Rondonia estimated that it will increase sales of cupuacu (plant of the cacao tree) pulp by 100 tons starting with the next harvest, resulting from the contracts made during the fair.

· Five Sao Paulo companies, one French and one Dutch requested native cacao from the next harvest from the producers along the riverbanks of the Urucurituba in Amazonas state, as with this harvest no more merchandise is available.

· A contract was closed for the supply of 100 tons of pirarucu (a big sweet water fish) by the managers from Amazonas state, through the intermediary for the Secretary of Sustainable Development to the supermarket chain Pão-de-Açúcar.

For full story, please see: http://www.amazonia.org.br/english/noticias/noticia.cfm?id=186801

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19. Cameroon : Boosting Non-timber Forest Products

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 5 December 2005

Actors in the non-timber forest products (NTFP) sub- sector want activities in the area organised. Meeting in Yaounde for two days, experts, most of them from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, discussed ways and means of rendering the sub-sector more organized by adopting a legal framework that will regulate the sub-sector, reinforcing research and put in place a perfect national management synergy. All these are being developed within the framework of the Project for Institutional Support and Sustainable management of non-timber forest products in Cameroon, for which the Yaounde workshop was organised.

Speaking at the workshop, the project's coordinator, Balomog Jeanne stated that NTFP are diverse and include all the other forest resources besides wood. She said the non-timber forest sector faces problems because it is not well known and mastered, whereas the products that range from fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, building and furniture material like rattan cane, constitute a source of livelihood to millions of people. Mrs Balomog said that almost everyone exploits or uses NTFP in one way or the other. She added that due to the vast nature of the sub- sector, it is difficult to quantify what it contributes to the national economy but disclosed that from statistics, it injects more than CFA 300 million into the economy yearly.

The Yaounde workshop was therefore aimed at helping the government to maximize the contribution of the NTFP to the socio-economic development of the country through sustainable management and promotion. Research has been carried out on ways to boost the sub-sector and the workshop was a forum to share the findings with other partners.

The major concern was on the state of the NTFP in Cameroon, the criteria of identifying the diverse activities to ensure proper promotion, mastery of the areas to be promoted, priorities in capacity building and instruments to be used that will cater for problems.

The workshop took place with the help of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); the outcome was a harmonized national strategy to boost the contribution of the NTFP to the national economy.

For full story, please see: http://fr.allafrica.com/stories/200512050773.html

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20. Cameroon : Promoting traditional medicine

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 8 December 2005

The Cameroon Ethnobotany Network (C.E.N.), on Tuesday began organising its second International Symposium. Discussions were based on the theme, "plants to treat man and his environment". The main aim of the symposium is to promote and portray the richness of Cameroonian plants in medicinal use. Explanations were given on how a plant like the 'aloe vera' could be used in treating hypertension and diabetes. Exposés were also presented on how science could be used in the promotion of locally made medicine.

Other sub-themes such as, "how plants can be used for medicinal purposes, as condiments and as ornaments", were discussed. According to the president of the C.E.N., Pr Bernard-Aloys Nkongmeneck, the symposium will create room for partnerships between tradi-practitioners and scientists to promote the transforming of traditional medicine into modern drugs. An example of such a partnership he said is the existence of a traditional medicinal hospital constructed in Melong in the Moungo. In the hospital tradi-practitioners and scientists work together.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200512080272.html

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21. Canada : Quebec creates first boreal-forest park

Source: CBC Montreal, 16 November 2005

The Quebec government is taking steps to protect a huge swath of its boreal forest. The government announced last Thursday it was teaming up with the Cree nation of Mistissini to create Albanel-Témiscamie-Otish Park, the first boreal forest park in the province.

The 11,000-square-kilometre park will be almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island. It will also become the first park inhabited by a First Nation that continues to practice its traditional way of life. Mistissini is a Cree community of 3,460 on an arm of Lake Mistassini, the largest freshwater lake in Quebec.

The park will include Lake Mistassini, Lake Albanel and surrounding lands. The park contains three distinct ecosystems, including boreal forest, taïga and subarctic vegetation at the foot of the Otish Mountains, and patches of tundra that cover their peaks.

First Nations will continue to have their rights to fish, hunt, and trap in the area, and other rights specified under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. The park's creation will also ensure protection of sites within it that are sacred to Mistissini elders.

"One of the main reasons we want to make this park is to allow the Cree hunters to continue the traditional way of life and by that I mean hunting and getting food from the land," said Kathleen Wootton, the deputy chief of Mistissini. "There are also ancient trees in that area that are tall and very thick and we want to preserve those as well.¿Once this park is all set up and ready, no mining and no forestry or any other development can ever happen on that land."

The government says tallymen will continue to play a role after the park is created. Tallymen, or traditional grassroots resource managers, are custodians of a community's land base in the region.

The government will hold public hearings into the project in Mistissini and Chibougamau in January.

For full story, please see: http://www.cbc.ca/montreal/story/qc-park20051116.html

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22. China : Bamboo forests increase by 120 000 ha annually

Source: People's Daily Online, 8 December 2005

The area of bamboo forests is 4.84 million hectares in China , an increase of 631,800 ha compared to the 4.21 million hectares recorded in the fifth forest resources survey.

The annual growth of bamboo area averages 126,000 ha according to the statistics of the sixth National Forest Resources Survey. The production value of China 's bamboo sector in 2004 was 45 billion yuan, a growth of more than 120 percent over that of 2000. Exports were US$600 million in 2004, an increase of 20 percent over 2000.

The great development of the bamboo industry has been achieved during the 10th Five-Year Plan period. The bamboo sector has become one of the four biggest forest industries in the country.

For full story, please see: http://english.people.com.cn/200512/08/eng20051208_226641.html

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23. India : bamboo markets in the north

Source: Calcutta Telegraph, 26 November 2005

Bamboo-based products developed in the Northeast will now find a market in the northern state of Uttaranchal too. In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed at a meeting by officials of the Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre, Guwahati, and the Uttaranchal Bamboo and Fibre Development Board, it was also decided that the two regions would share their knowledge in the bamboo sector.

Uttaranchal forest and environment minister Nav Prabhat said the accord was an excellent case of inter-state cooperation. The minister said bamboo had already been planted in 5,000 ha in the seven districts of the state. ¿Bamboo is an important factor in community development programme,¿ he added.

Uttaranchal has a unique bamboo and biofuel-based public-private partnership model which operates on ¿plant, maintain and earn¿ basis. According to the MoU, the state will transfer the knowledge of its models and other know-how to the Northeast through the Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre. The centre, which has access to skilled crafts persons, shall help to carry out the exchange programmes between the Northeast and Uttaranchal.

For full story, please see: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1051126/asp/northeast/story_5522200.asp

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24. India : Mizoram to give thrust on minor forest products

Webindia123 ¿ India . 18 November 2005

In a bid to promote the export of Minor Forest Products (MFP) in Mizoram, the government has worked out a strategy for tapping virgin markets with the help of the Ministry of Commerce and other major companies.

The project aims to set up manufacturing units wherever it can, to use the resources, encouraging the existing ones and bringing in new ventures from outside.

The government would be working with Shellac Export Promotion Council (SEPC) (Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce) and CAPEXIL, North Eastern Chapter (NEC), Shillong, and Directorate of Trade and Commerce, to encourage various minor forest producers across the state.

The Industry department officials stated that bamboo and cane would be used as the core raw material to increase the production of MFP in the region.

Financial assistance would be provided to young entrepreneurs in the region to setup their own units in their respective areas, where they would also be given training and marketing assistance.

For full story, please see: http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=166021&cat=India

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25. India : The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005

Source: Press Information Bureau (press release), Government of India , 13 December 2005

The Minister of Tribal Affairs, Shri P.R. Kyndiah introduced ¿The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005¿ in the Lok Sabha today for recognition and vesting of forest rights in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes.

It reinforces and utilises the rich conservation ethos that tribal communities have traditionally shown and cautions against any form of unsustainable or destructive practices. It lays down a simple procedure for recognition and vesting of forest rights in the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes so that rights, which stand vested in forest dwelling tribal communities, become legally enforceable through corrective measures in the formal recording system of the executive machinery.

The forest of rights the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes incorporated in the Bill include right to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood. It also provides the right of ownership access to use or dispose of minor forest produce, among others.

It provides for adequate safeguards to avoid any further encroachment of forests and seeks to involve the democratic institutions at the grassroots level in the process of recognition and vesting of forest rights.

This Bill is a logical culmination of the process of recognition of forest rights. The recognition of forest rights enjoyed by the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes on all kinds of forest lands for generations is the fundamental basis on which the proposed legislation stands

For full story, please see: http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=14167

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26. India : Sericulturists go natural, experiment with lac and neem

Source: Economic Times ¿ India , 20 December 2005

India maybe lagging behind China in silk production but that doesn't seem to deter the former in undertaking R&D to add value to this sector. Both China and Japan are already developing newer value-added products made from silk derivatives. Bangalore-based Central Sericulture Technological Research Institute (CSTRI) has experimented with natural dyes and is looking to even commercialise this product.

¿We have been experimenting with lac. Natural products including natural dyes are gaining ground globally. There is good potential to commercialise this kind of product,¿ sources said. Lac is produced by an insect Coccus lacca and finds application in numerous industries like paints. CSTRI officials said that the real challenge lay in identifying and developing more natural dyes.

The challenge stems from the fact that there are not enough safe mardents (mardents are binding agents which are used for fixing the colour on the fabric). Typically mardents like di-chromites are a strict no-no thanks to rising concerns about environment pollution. Interestingly enough besides lac, natural dyes have been produced using a whole host of materials like neem and even amla (gooseberry).

In the interim, both Japan and China have already diversified into manufacturing high-end products using silk derivatives. One such product is fairness cream, which has cericin as a raw material. Cericin is a material which is derived by de-gumming silk yarn. The process of de-gumming, which helps to add lustre to the yarn, sees the yarn being subjected to high pressure and temperature. The cericin is used to manufacture not merely fairness cream but also toilet soaps.

India with an annual silk production of about 15,000 tonnes trails China which is the major producer of silk with an output exceeding 55,000 tonnes.

For full story, please see: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1338105.cms

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27. India : Conserve biodiversity to eradicate poverty

Source: Financial Express - Bombay , India , 11 December 2005

What has biodiversity got to do with poverty and its relationship with the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was the focus of a two-day national seminar on ¿Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Livelihood' with special reference to MDGs, which was organised last week by Delhi-based Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.

Participants were of the view that changes in factors that indirectly affect biodiversity such as population, technology and lifestyles in turn result in changes in ecosystems. ¿Sustainable forest policy needs to be looked at from an entirely new perspective,'' said director-general of forests J C Kala, while inaugurating the event. Kala added that the profits from biotechnology products and genetic materials taken from forests should be shared on mutually agreed terms with countries where the forests are located.

The conservation of biodiversity particularly in Indian forests assumes greater significance because these provide ecological and economic security to the forest fringe dwellers.

¿Indian forests are vital for tribal communities as they are a source of employment and income and setting for recreation. They provide habitat to fish and wildlife and sanctuaries for worship and religious ceremonies and provide material for shelter, fuel, native medicines and foods and tribal forest-product based enterprises. Hence it's imperative to take care of our forests,¿ said Ashok K Chauhan of the Ritnand Balved Education Foundation

For full story, please see: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=111183

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28. Iran 's forests' destruction rate worries experts

Source: IranMania News, 2 December 2005

With some 142,000 ha of forest lands destroyed annually, Iran is considered among the top countries not safeguarding the natural heritage properly.

Forests are considered an important factor in the ecotourism industry. Based on the latest statistics, 12.48 million hectares of Iran's lands are forests, with the southern provinces of Fars and Hormozgan, and the northern province of Mazandaran enjoying the highest area of forests within one province, that is 1.2 million in Fars, some 800,000 ha in Hormozgan, and more than one million in Mazandaran.

A report by Iran's Department of Environment does not present a hopeful future for that part of the nature. As an example, Arasbaran forests which are designated as a reserve by UNESCO were some 250,000 to 300,000 ha in 1976 but today destruction has left no more than 164,000 ha of these forests.

Iran's official body in charge of preservation of forests has announced that annually 100,000 ha of forests are revived, however, as experts note, that is really low considering the area destroyed.

The high destruction rate of forests, a key aspect of ecotourism, has positioned Iran among the top ten of the list of countries of Asia and Pacific destroying forests.

For full story, please see: http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=38292&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs

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29. Liberia : Community forestry practicable in Liberia ?

Source: The Inquirer ( Monrovia ), 13 December 2005

In an effort to include the respective communities in the governance and management of forest resources for commercial and non-commercial purposes, in spite of the incoming ruling party's (Unity Party) platform, an international workshop on Community Forestry aimed at sharing vision and action frame for community forestry in Liberia is taking place in Monrovia.

The Unity Party's platform states that they ¿welcome the results of the forestry review exercise recently undertaken. We will take the necessary steps and actions to ensure that the key recommendations are implemented for the benefit of all Liberians. We will ensure the sustainable management of forest resources, including a national reforestation program. A Unity Party led government will protect investors' rights while ensuring that resources generated from the forest are efficiently managed and targeted towards expanding education in the country and improving the living conditions of the Liberian people." The Forestry Review Committee's recommendations, though endorsed by the international community and UP, are yet to be approved by the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL).

While the Environmental Desk (EnDe) welcomes the UP platform declaration on the natural resource management as positive, EnDe thinks the development of a Community Forestry policy document aimed at including rural people in the management of the nation's rich forest resources is imperative. In the absence of a well-defined and workable framework for Community Forestry now, the incoming government might not address the question of subsistence, livelihood improvement and poverty reduction, social, cultural and religious significance from timber and non-timber product production, wildlife management, the conservation of biodiversity and maintaining the quality of the environment in a short period of time.

Community forestry is one aspect of the New Forestry Law of Liberia. The other two for which policy or framework has been developed are commercial forestry and conservation.

The idea of community forestry, although strange, would be workable in Liberia only if we are prepared to literally kick inequities out of natural resource management. Dr. Wilbur G. Thomas, Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said, "As we all know, one of the central dilemma's throughout Liberia's history has been that Liberia's rich natural resources only benefited a small number of people," adding "USAID supports community forestry development because we believe it provides an entry point for all of us to address these fundamental inequities that exit in the Liberian society."

The In-Country Coordinator of Liberia Forest Initiative (LFI), Mr. John Woods observed that generally, communities have claims to land but they do not own it. He added that if community forestry is to be established in Liberia, the participants must review the land tenure system and recommend how forestland ownership can be conferred on to communities.

He challenged the workshop to also consider capacity-building facilities for communities to build up socio-capital and skills to control and manage their own forests. This would curtail the uncontrolled access to forest resources, which has led to the loss of an estimated average of one to two percent of the forest every year. "Similarly, an estimated US$60m is traded in bushmeat each year without taxes or fees."

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200512140713.html

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30. Malaysia : Gaharu thefts in Johor forests

Source: New Straits Times - Persekutuan , Malaysia , 13 December 2005

Johor's forest reserves are drawing Thai poachers looking for the prized Gaharu incense wood trees from which a resin is extracted for making perfume. Several have been caught chopping down the trees. However, to date only two have been charged for the offence.

Gaharu trees ( Aquilaria agallochum ) are mostly found in China , Thailand and northern India and grow to a height of 120 feet.

Besides Gunung Panti, the Endau Rompin National Park and Gunung Ledang National Park are also the target of people looking for Gaharu.

Johor Forestry Department director Che Hashim Hassan believed the Thai poachers were members of a syndicate supplying the resin to perfume manufacturers in Singapore or Thailand . He said the smuggling of Gaharu had been going on for years due to the huge demand for the resin.

Those caught stealing Gaharu from national parks could face a fine of up to RM500, 000 or 20 years' jail or both.

For full story, please see: www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/National/20051214081856/Article/indexb_html

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31. United States : Scientists trying to resurrect American chestnut trees

Source: Scripps Howard News Service, 16 November 2005

Chestnut trees were as plentiful in the Eastern United States as oaks and maples are today. About 25 percent of forested land, stretching from Maine to northern Georgia, was composed of chestnuts. They were a big, substantial tree, some surviving 400 years, often measuring more than 8 feet in diameter and reaching 120 feet into the sky, filled with nuts, long, thin green leaves and, starting around mid-June, tiny blooms.

But the tree known as the "redwood of the East" because of its resistance to rot and value as lumber is now an extremely rare treasure in a region where it was once abundant. Sometime in the late 1800s, a different variety of chestnut trees, perhaps from somewhere in Asia, was imported into the United States carrying blight. The affliction wasn't discovered until 1904, and it soon was determined that the American chestnut was not resistant to the disease.

Over the next 50 years, 4 billion chestnut trees, about 99.9 percent of the Eastern population, succumbed.

The loss proved tragic on several levels. Residents of Appalachia lost a steady income from the lumber and the trees' nuts - chestnuts at one time produced about 50 percent of the entire forest nut crop. Wildlife also suffered because that once-bountiful food supply all but disappeared.

But now, more than 50 years after the tree bordered on extinction, an effort is under way to bring back the chestnut. Scientists are working to develop a blight-resistant strain in the rolling hills of southwestern Virginia, and there is hope that sometime toward the middle of the century the chestnut tree will come home. "Our goal is to restore the American chestnut to the Eastern forest," said Case, the president and chief executive officer of the American Chestnut Foundation.

Accomplishing that ambitious objective is going to take time, Case acknowledged. The foundation is in the third year of what stands to be a 30-year project. But results thus far show promise and Case is optimistic that the venture ultimately will become the most successful nature restoration program in the nation's history.

For full story, please see: http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=CHESTNUT-11-16-05&cat=AN

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NEWS

32. Biopiracy: Andean nations seek U.S. patent protection for native medicines

Source: Bloomberg ¿ USA , 17 November 2005

Colombia , Ecuador and Peru are turning the tables on U.S. trade negotiators accustomed to winning tough safeguards for drug patents by demanding similar protections for traditional therapies such as roots and leaves.

Demands for protections against what these nations call the misappropriation of traditional knowledge will be one of the most contentious issues during trade talks this week and next in Washington , Ecuadorian trade minister Jorge Illingworth and other officials say.

The Andean nations want ``minor'' protections for their native plants and the ways they are used, such as a rule requiring companies to inform indigenous tribes of any patent applications based on traditional knowledge and negotiate payment, according to Carlos Correa, a Buenos Aires-based consultant to those nations.

¿Existing rules protect things that are made in labs, not things taken from the wild or cultivated over generations,'' said Renee Marlin-Bennett, chairwoman of the Global Intellectual Property Project at American University in Washington. The proposed changes would ¿redirect the rules to rectify some of the embedded imbalance'' between rich and poor, she said.

While it's difficult to quantify the magnitude of the issue, the nations are moving to catalogue it. Peru's government created a commission on so-called biopiracy that has identified 10 plant species of local origin over which patents have been granted or applied for in the U.S., Europe or Japan, according to Manuel Ruiz Muller, director of the Lima-based patent association Programa de Asuntos Internacionales y Biodiversidad.

In 2001, New Jersey-based Pure World Botanicals Inc. won a patent for an ingredient in the Peruvian plant maca and is now marketing it as a ``natural Viagra.'' The Peruvian commission is preparing a legal challenge, Ruiz said. Chris Kilham, a consultant for Avignon, France-based Naturex, which now owns Pure World, said the company's patents are legitimate. Still, he said Pure World erred in not sharing the patent rights with Peruvian communities.

In 1988 the U.S. issued a patent to Austrian scientist Klaus Keplinger for an alkaloid that can treat tumours. The basis of that was a plant called Uncaria tomentosa , or cat's claw, that Peruvians use to treat inflammation, according to a letter sent by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups to U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman in July.

These examples are isolated but are likely to grow as more prospectors head to out-of-the-way destinations to search for new drug breakthroughs.

The U.S. says it has investigated most of the frequently cited examples of biopiracy and found little supporting evidence.

The U.S. has ``significant concerns'' about the explicit notification proposal, and instead is offering compromises that will guard against patent abuses, a U.S. trade official said.

``We all share the objective of having a patent system that works well,'' said John Stubbs, a spokesman for the U.S. trade office.

Representatives of pharmaceutical companies such as New York-based Pfizer and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck oppose acceding to the Andean nations' demands, saying their solution addresses a problem that doesn't exist. ¿Right now there is no evidence of biopiracy,'' said Mark Grayson, a spokesman for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in Washington, a lobbying and marketing group that represents drugmakers.

The Andean nations' demands for prior notification and negotiated payment have been picked up by India and Brazil , which want similar provisions written into a broader World Trade Organization agreement.

For full story, please see: http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000086&sid=abSfNYoY8Yfg&refer=news_index

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33. Bioprospecting in the Pacific region: who gets to benefit?

Source: Island Business - Suva , Fiji ,

In the Verata district of Fiji, people turn to their Community Trust Fund for scholarship support for local students. In Faleaupo, Samoa, the cost of construction of a primary school was donated by a foundation in return for the community's conservation of their rainforest. Both the trust fund and the school's construction were made possible by bioprospecting.

Bioprospecting is the collection of plants and/or marine organisms by scientists looking for medicines that could be derived from the chemicals in the collected material.

Plants that have been used for traditional medicines, in many cases for thousands of years, are targeted. Evidence has shown that scientists have more than 10 times the chance of finding an active chemical in a medicinal plant than in a randomly collected one.

The process of drug discovery takes about 15 years from sample collection to having a marketable drug. It is estimated that only one in 10,000 chemicals investigated ends up as a saleable drug and the cost of coming up with one drug is US$800 million.

Who gets the benefits?

A major issue related to the work of bioprospecting is who benefits if medicines are found. In the past, plants and marine organisms were often collected from developing countries by Western researchers and the source country received little in return.

This neo-colonial ¿open access¿ policy was turned on its head by the 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity, which gave sovereign rights of biodiversity to the source country but encouraged them to allow access to outside researchers under mutually agreed terms.

Pacific countries have been slow to develop this so-called ¿access and benefit-sharing¿ legislation.

In the examples cited at the start of this article, it was the collecting group working with the local community who ensured that a wide range of benefits were made available to the source area. Responsible scientists understand the importance of preserving the biological diversity from which the chemicals come, and to further this preservation, they seek partnerships that will allow source communities to undertake conservation efforts.

No chemical derived from a Pacific organism has yet been fully developed into a marketable drug. But several are showing promise.

· A medicinal tree from Samoa called malamala ( Homalanthus nutans ), has been found to be active against HIV. United States scientists are trying to identify the gene that tells the plant to make the chemical.

· A district in Fiji has licensed plants and marine organisms for testing in Japan and set up a conservation trust fund of US$30,000 with the proceeds.

· An orange sponge ( Jaspis coriacea ) and the makita tree ( Atuna racemosa ) in Fiji have produced chemicals for medical research. The US company involved is giving 2-5% of the proceeds from sales to support further research in Fiji.

· A chemical from a medicinal tree in Fiji has been patented as an anti-diabetes drug.

The Universities of the South Pacific (USP) and Papua New Guinea (UPNG) are playing leading roles in the development of biodiversity by the use of biotechnology, having set up local enterprises to increase local ability to perform the work.

Both universities have received a prestigious International Cooperation in Biodiversity Grant given by the United States government to partnerships of US and overseas universities working to discover drugs and conserve biodiversity.

USP is working with the Georgia Institute of Technology and UPNG with the University of Utah, with funding of about US$3 million over a five-year period.

Collaborations such as these are helping to bring benefits to the people of the Pacific and, ultimately, to the people of the world.

For full story, please see: www.islandsbusiness.com/islands_business/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=MiddleMiddle/focusModuleID=5504/overideSkinName=issueArticle-full.tpl

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34. Ecotourism: Conservation can bring in 'more dollars than it costs'

Source: SciDev.Net, 1 November 2005

Africa 's large mammals are famed for their ability to attract tourist dollars, but wildlife reserves that do not have them can still make enough money to benefit local people, say researchers.

In one of the first studies to consider costs and benefits of protecting different numbers of species, scientists at Canada's University of Alberta concluded that rainforest conservation can more than pay for itself, and is more profitable than clearing forests and using the land for farming.

Working in Uganda's Mabira Forest Reserve, the researchers found that tourists were willing to pay much more than the current US$5 entry fee for a chance to spot some of the reserve's 143 bird species.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , recommends increasing the fee to about US$47. The high charge would mean fewer visitors and so less of an impact on the forest. But enough tourists would still be willing to pay the fee to allow the reserve to protect 80-90 percent of its bird species while bringing greater economic benefits to local communities.

Lead author Robin Naidoo thinks Mabira might be representative of other reserves across the developing world. Many protected areas are under pressure from impoverished local populations that exploit them for resources such as timber, fuel and food.

"The key is developing a mechanism whereby revenues flow back to the people who need them most, and in whose hands the future of these reserves lies ¿ the local residents," he says.

"This will give them an economic incentive to protect tropical forests because they can earn more by preserving them than by chopping them down and farming the land," he adds.

Richard Thomas, communications manager at Birdlife International and editor of its World Birdwatch magazine, agrees that eco-tourism can be effective way to bring money into remote places but warns of the danger that reserves could become too exclusive. "If you can see these birds elsewhere, the US$47 fee might drive people away."

For full story, please see: www.scidev.net/News/index.cfm?fuseaction=readNews&itemid=2449&language=1

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REQUESTS

35. Natural gum suppliers in Africa

From: Brent van Tonder, Namibia ( namgum@mweb.com.na )

I am seeking a list of natural gum suppliers in Africa . Any information will be invaluable.

Brent van Tonder

NamGum

P.O.Box 11123

Windhoek , Namibia

Tel: + 264 61 230 180

Fax: + 264 61 230 911

Mobile : +264 61 81 229 5345

Email: namgum@iway.na

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

36. Community Forestry Research Fellowships

Source: Nepalese Foresters list, 7 December 2005

The U.S. Community Forestry Research Fellowship Program provides fellowships to graduate students to support their field work in communities in the United States. The awards are up to $15,000 for dissertation fellows, up to $7,000 for master's fellows, and $2,000 for pre-dissertation fellows.

The program accepts proposals dealing with the broad array of issues and resources in community forestry, including, but not limited to, collaborative processes and conflict resolution, social networks, political ecology of forest communities, urban forestry issues, watershed restoration, park creation and management, forest labour issues, non-timber forest product production (floral greens, basket-making materials, wild mushrooms, maple syrup, etc.), and revitalization of local life ways and cultures. Questions concerning issues of social justice and equity are especially welcome.

Deadline : Applications must be received by February 1, 2006 .

For more details about the program and information on how to apply visit the website at http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/community_forestry/ or contact: Carl Wilmsen, CFRF Program Coordinator College of Natural Resources ,101 Giannini Hall #3100, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3100
Tel: (510) 642-3431; Email: cffellow@nature.berkeley.edu

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37. WWF National Coordinator for Gabon

Source: WWF ( http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/jobs/index.cfm?uNewsID=52241 )

WWF is providing support to the Government of Gabon in the implementation of its forest and conservation policy, through a large portfolio of projects in Libreville, as well as in the field in the management of sites of exceptional biodiversity in the north (Minkebe Forest Block) and in the south-west (Gamba Complex of Protected Areas) of the country, and in sustainable management of the productive forestry sector.

Under the supervision of the Representative of WWF Central Africa Regional Programme Office, the National Coordinator will be responsible for the implementation, coordination and development of WWF Gabon Programme, and will represent WWF in its contacts with the national authorities, conservation partners, private sector and donors.

The required qualifications include:
- A Bac+5 degree or equivalent,
- Minimum ten years professional experience in the management of conservation and/or development programmes, or in another similar function including management responsibilities,
- Thorough knowledge of the issues related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources,
- Strong competence in finance and administration management with excellent organisational skills,
- Solid interpersonal skills with all partners, and proven competence in writing reports and other project documents,
- A proven track record in negotiation, fundraising and interaction with donors,
- Excellent command of French and English, and advanced computer skills.

The position is located in Libreville, Gabon, with frequent missions in the field.

Interested candidates should send a motivation letter and a C.V. by 22 December 2005 to Ms. Brigitte Carr-Dirick, National Coordinator a.i., WWF Gabon - B.P. 9144 Libreville or BCarrDirick@wwfcarpo.org .

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EVENTS

Conservation and the Agricultural Fronteir: Integrating Forests and Agriculture in the Tropics

7-8 April 2006

New Haven , Connecticut , USA

Call for Papers

Is agriculture responsible for deforestation? In discussions of forest conservation, the debate over the impact of forest clearing by small-holder farmers is of long standing. While some argue that the effects of traditional agriculture are mild and reversible, others suggest that smallholder forest clearing ¿ especially in the context of population expansion ¿ has drastic negative impacts on ecosystem integrity. Recently, the dimensions of this debate have expanded in light of research showing that large-scale agricultural development projects, including as plantation farming and ranching, may be changing the world's forest cover with previously un-acknowledged speed and extent. Faced with the linked challenges of livelihood maintenance, forest degradation, and sustainable development, what's a modern-day tropical forester to do?

Can initiatives along the agricultural frontier contribute to the ongoing and sustainable use of forest resources? In recent years, initiatives integrating agricultural production and forest management have proliferated in the tropics. Projects grounded in agroforestry, and the management and harvest of timber and non-timber forest products, have been offered up as compromises between the challenges of poverty, development, and sustainable forest management. However, challenges remain, not only in assessing the effectiveness of these initiatives, but also in determining where, when, and how their lessons can best be scaled up in policy, legislation, and practice.

The Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters invite academics and practitioners from both the social and natural sciences to submit abstracts addressing current trends in research, policy, and implementation along the tropical forest/agriculture frontier. We hope the conference will stimulate debate on a range of topics, including but not limited to such questions as:

· How can timber and non-timber forest product harvesting be integrated into agricultural management schemes? What impact do markets for these products have on ecosystems and livelihoods?

· Do income generation schemes integrating agriculture and forest management have the potential to reduce poverty? Or do they further trap resource users inside of the poverty net?

· What potential do agroforestry systems hold as a ¿middle ground¿ between agriculture and forest conservation? What institutional strategies have successfully motivated farmers to implement agroforestry systems?

· How does the legitimacy of biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes vary among actors, across regions, and across systems of government? How does perceived legitimacy play into conflicts on the agricultural frontier?

· What methods exist to pinpoint the collateral effects of agriculture-related activities indirectly threatening biodiversity conservation, such as local development plans, market liberalization, and/or illicit crop production?

· How do local communities measure success at integrating conservation and agriculture? How do these standards compare with guidelines generated by policy-makers, researchers, conservationists, or other communities?

We encourage abstracts based on primary research, or personal or institutional experience. Selected participants will present full papers at the conference, and typically have the opportunity to publish in a special issue of the Journal of Sustainable Forestry. Abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words, and all correspondence will be addressed to the principal author.

Please send abstracts to the following address or email address by 7 January, 2006 : Yale ISTF Conference c/o Tropical Resource Institute Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies 210 Prospect Street, New Haven , CT 06511

Email: istf@yale.edu

http://www.yale.edu/istf/

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The 1st IFOAM Conference on Organic Wild Production

3 and 4 May 2006

Bosnia and Herzegovina

There is significant trade in ¿organic¿ wild products, including products for direct consumption, such as berries, mushrooms and a wide variety of herbs. There is also a growing interest in organic wild products by the body care medicinal herb sectors. Statistics for this type of production are vague, and parallel to the ¿organic¿ market, other concepts such as the Non-Timber Forest Product scheme of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and other company-specific schemes have been developed.

This conference will focus on the harvesting of wild vegetable products from forest, ¿natural¿ lands, pastures and uncultivated land in the agriculture landscape. It will concentrate on current production that enters the organic market stream, but will also extend to other concepts, such as Fair Trade, sustainable forest management certification and Good Manufacturing Practices.

¿Wild harvested production¿ as a concept is very broad, and also encompasses commodities used for fibrous or industrial production. It could even include some types of animals (e.g. snails). Wild products may also come from the sea (shellfish) or from lakes (wild rice). The term ¿wild¿ is not fully appropriate, as many so-called wild products are collected in areas such as pastures, commons and marginal or uncultivated agricultural land. Additionally, the concept of ¿wild¿ implies a lack of management, although in reality almost all land is managed, and the collection of ¿wild¿ products themselves should be subject to sustainable management. Nevertheless, for lack of better alternatives, the word ¿wild harvested production is used here. It is also a term used in the IFOAM Basic Standards. Other systems use other terms to describe similar production, e.g. natural/biodiversity products, Non Timber Forest Products, Non Wood Forest Products or minor forest products. Some products that are ¿wild¿ can also be cultivated. This conference will not focus on such cultivation; however one session will address it.

General objectives of the conference

· Establishment of the state of the art in organic wild production, the volumes, the participating countries and communities

· Clarification of terms and definitions

· Increasing the understanding of the various initiatives for NTFP, NWFP, wild collection, etc.

· Exploring the possibilities of bringing initiatives together

· Identification of challenges and opportunities for the sector

· Information exchange and networking between actors in the sector, including forging commercial links

· Increased visibility of wild production

· Addressing sustainability in wild harvesting

· Initiating further development of quality assurance and standards

· Assisting IFOAM to further develop the concept of wild harvested production

For the host country, the conference also has the additional objective of promotion of the country in general and its wild collection sector in particular.

Target groups: Producers of wild plants

· Communities involved in collection of wild harvested products

· Processors of wild plants

· Buyers and users of wild plants

· Developers of standards and certification systems for wild plants and their collection

· Governmental or intergovernmental organizations involved in the sector

· Service providers to any of these groups (consultants, researchers etc.)

Exhibition

An exhibition will be linked to the conference. It is expected that exhibitors are will be producers, buyers/processors and service providers (consultants, certification bodies, institutes). Sponsors and partners may also wish to exhibit.

Further Information

Inquiries can be directed to the Agriculture Institute Banja Luka, polj.institut.bl@blic.net or to Gunnar Rundgren, gunnar@grolink.se

http://www.ifoam.org/events/ifoam_conferences/IFOAM_Wild_Conference.html

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9th European Forum on Urban Forestry: Urban Forestry Bridges

22-27 May 2006

Florence , Italy

Reflections and actions about the Urban and Peri-urban Environment comprise multifaceted spatial-time scales. Urban Forestry is, by definition, foreseen as a multidisciplinary domain aimed towards the optimal planning, design, and management of forests and other tree-dominated vegetation in interaction with urban societies.

But Urban Forestry very often looks beyond the urban forest and requires inputs or contributes to a wide range of domains in Human and Ecological sciences and approaches.

¿Building bridges¿ is a daily experience of the Urban Forester as well as a constant concern of the researcher that aims to outline the character of Urban Forest places. So, why don't we focus on the ¿bridging¿ aspects that Urban Forests raise? Whenever we approach any particular topic related to urban forest and urban greening we have to connect people and lifestyles, cultures, techniques, demands, values¿ We could write an endless list of styles and attitudes that need to be bridged in the frame of urban forestry.

The basic idea of the forum is to highlight Urban Forestry's ¿bridging¿ spirit and experience; something essential to every researcher or practitioner should acting for and thinking about urban forests.

For more information, please contact:

Fax +39 055 575724

E-mail: efuf2006@libero.it

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LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

41. Forests, Trees & Livelihoods

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The latest issue of Forests, Trees and Livelihoods ( Vol 15-4) includes articles on:

· Turning Straw into Gold: Specialization among Damar Agroforest Farmers in Pesisir, Sumatra

· Variation in natural regeneration of Shorea robusta in the vicinity of a cement factory

· Church forests in North Gonder Administrative Zone, Northern Ethiopia

· Poplar agroforestry systems of Western Uttar Pradesh in Northern India: a socio-economic analysis

· Lessons learnt in promoting MPTS on farmers' wastelands in a semiarid rain-fed region of India

A Special Issue (Vol 16-1) entitled ¿Tree domestication ¿ progress towards adoption" with Guest Editors Roger R.B. Leakey and T. Page, is due in January 2006. This will be the second Special Issue on the topic of forest fruit tree domestication (the first was published in Vol. 12 No. 1 & 2, 2002). It will cover contributions to the Tree Domestication sessions of the 1st World Agroforestry Congress held in Orlando Florida, USA in July 2004.

For more information, please contact:

Michael.S.Philip

Editor, Forests, Trees & Livelihoods

Luton Cottage
Bridgeview Road
Aboyne, Aberdeenshire
AB34 5HB, UK

e-mail: philipfor@aboyne93.fsnet.co.uk

http://www.foreststreesandlivelihoods.co.uk/index.htm

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42. Women's Empowerment: Measuring The Global Gender Gap

Source: Peak to Peak, December 2005

The World Economic Forum assesses the current size of the gender gap by measuring the extent to which women in 58 countries have achieved equality with men in five critical areas: economic participation, economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment, and health and well being.

As the study asserts, countries that do not capitalize on the full potential of one-half of their societies are misallocating their human resources and undermining their competitive potential.

Consolidating publicly available data from international organizations, national statistics and unique survey data from the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey, the study assesses the status accorded to women in a broad range of countries. Read the report on-line here: http://www.weforum.org/pdf/Global_Competitiveness_Reports/Reports/gender_gap.pdf .

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43. Other publications of interest

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Bermingham, E., et al (eds.). 2005. Tropical Rainforests: Past, Present, and Future . University of Chicago Press. Chicago. 672 pp.

Butaud, J.F., Rives, F., Verhaegen, D., and Bouvet, J.M. 2005. Phylogeography of Eastern Polynesian sandalwood ( Santalum insulare ), an endangered tree species from the Pacific: a study based on chloroplast microsatellites. J. Biogeogr. 32(10):1763-1774.

Cullen, R., Hughey, K.F.D., Fairburn, G., and Moran, E. 2005. Economic analyses to aid nature conservation decision making. Oryx 39(3):327-334.

d'Alessi, F. 2005. The cultivation of rare endangered plants: a different approach. Acta Bot. Gallica 152(2):247-250.

Duchok, R., Kent , K., Khumbongmayum, A.D., Paul, A., and Khan, M.L . 2005. Population structure and regeneration status of medicinal tree Illicium griffithii in relation to disturbance gradients in temperate broad-leaved forest of Arunachal Pradesh . Curr. Sci. 89(4):673-676.

Hecht, S.B., S. Kandel, I. Gomez, N. Cuellar, and H. Rosa. 2006. Globalization, Forest Resurgence, and Environmental Politics in El Salvador , World Development , Vol. 34 (2), February.

Hurni, H., and von Dach, S.W. 2005. Biodiversity conservation to benefit mountain people. Mtn. Res. Dev. 25(3):199.

McSweeney, K. 2005. Indigenous population growth in the lowland Neotropics: social science insights for biodiversity conservation. Conserv. Biol. 19(5):1375-1384.

Murphy, Mark L.;Oli, Krishna Prasad & Gorzula, Steve. 2005. Conservation on Conflict: The impact of the Maoist-Government conflict on conservation and biodiversity in Nepal . IISD.

This recent IISD report explores the linkages between ongoing Maoist conflict and conservation of biodiversity in Nepal. "Nine years of conflict between Maoist rebels and the government in Nepal has killed more than 12,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. The conflict has also halted conservation programs and disrupted the management of protected areas across large parts of the country. This paper analyzes the impacts of the Maoist-government conflict on the environment, on biodiversity and on conservation organizations in Nepal."

Predny, Mary L. and Chamberlain, James L. undated. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): An Annotated Bibliography. The Southern Research Station , US Forest Service

Goldenseal ( Hydrastis canadensis ), a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), is an herbaceous perennial found in rich hardwood forests throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada. Originally used by Native Americans as both a medicine and a dye, the herb was eventually adopted by the settlers and eclectic physicians1 in the 19th century. The alkaloids in goldenseal have been found to have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and tonic effects. Scientists and physicians continue to expand on the knowledge of the clinical applications and disease-fighting potential of the plant. Growing awareness of possible medicinal benefits has increased worldwide consumption, which, combined with a continual loss of habitat, has greatly reduced wild populations. Goldenseal has been listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II protection since 1997. Demand for cultivated roots has increased as wild populations become scarce, motivating research into propagation and cultivation techniques. More attention should be focused on: educating consumers about the appropriate uses of the herb in order to reduce overconsumption; working with growers to increase the profitability of cultivation and reduce pressures on wild plants; and identifying and tracking wild populations to determine the most effective management and conservation practices.

A searchable database and an electronic version available at: www.sfp.forprod.vt.edu/prodarea/goldenseal.asp

Hard copies can be obtained from the Southern Research Station, P.O. Box 2680, Asheville, NC 28804, USA or Jim Chamberlain, Ph.D.,CF, Research Scientist, Non-Timber Forest Products Coordinator, Research Group 5.11 (Non-Wood Forest Products), IUFRO U.S. Forest Service, SRS-4702 1650 Ramble Road Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA

Fax: +1-540-231-1383

Email: jachambe@vt.edu or jchamberlain@fs.fed.us

Robinson, C.J., Smyth, D., and Whitehead, P.J. 2005. Bush tucker, bush pets, and bush threats: cooperative management of feral animals in Australia 's Kakadu National Park . Conserv. Biol. 19(5):1385-1391.

Ruiz-Pérez, M., M. Almeida, S. Dewi, E.M. Lozana Costa, M. Ciavatta Pantoja, A. Puntodewo, A. de Arruga Postigo, and A. Goulart de Andrade. 2005. Conservation and Development in the Amazonian Extractive Reserves: the Case of Alto Juruá, Ambio , Vol. 34 (3) May: 218-23.

Vázquez-García, J.A., Cházaro B., M.J., Vera, C.H., and Berrios, E.F. 2005. Los Agaves del Occidente de México: Sistemática, Ecología, Etnobotánica e Importancia Económica . Universidad de Guadalajara. Guadalajara .

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44. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Career.edu

Job board for the academic and research community.

http://www.career.edu/index.php

Herbs from Nature

www.herbsfromnature.com

PLANTS Database

The USDA NRCS maintains this database to provide information and generate reports in specialized areas. The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. It includes names, plant symbols, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, plant links, references, crop information, and automated tools.

http://plants.usda.gov/index.html

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MISCELLANEOUS

45. Developing world 'faces greatest extinction threat'

Source: BBC Online, 14.12.05 in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 12-19 December 2005

A world map of sites where animals and plants face imminent extinction shows that developing countries face the greatest threat.

Researchers from the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE), a coalition of conservation groups, identified 794 species across 595 sites that they say will disappear unless action is taken to protect them.

The majority of threatened sites are in developing countries, primarily in the tropics and in heavily populated areas. Few are fully protected.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , the researchers say the annual cost of protecting each site would vary from US$470 to US$3,500,000. While the upper end of this scale might be prohibitively expensive, it suggests at least some sites can be conserved.

Working with local communities to promote sustainable development will be key to implementing successful conservation strategies, says conservationist John Fa.

Fa says conserving wildlife can benefit the local communities. He gives the example of Madagascar, where conservation projects have attracted donor money for building schools and wells.

For full story, please see: http://www.scidev.net/News/index.cfm?fuseaction=readNews&itemid=2541&language=1

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46. India says it busts major tiger poaching ring

Source: Reuters (in ENN, 23.11.05)

Indian police have busted a tiger poaching ring responsible for killing at least 10 animals in one of its premier wildlife parks, an officer said on Tuesday.

Local media said the poachers had confessed to killing up to 22 tigers in Ranthambhore, which is in the desert state of Rajasthan just a few hours' drive from New Delhi.

Police have also recovered turtle shells and animal skins.

But wildlife activists say more must be done after a rapid, unexpected fall in the tiger population was discovered this year. "The authorities are in a complete state of denial about the problem and large scale tiger poaching has not been addressed," said Belinda Wright, executive director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

In March, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered a police investigation into revelations that the number of tigers in India had plunged and that some major parks under the Project Tiger conservation programme might have none left at all. He also ordered the creation of a special wildlife "flying squad" to combat poaching. Singh has taken a personal interest in fighting the decline in numbers and visited Ranthambhore in May.

Before the latest arrests, one wildlife group has estimated at least 18 of the reserve's 47 tigers had disappeared in a year.

The government says poachers killed at least 114 tigers across India between 1999 and 2003, although some conservationists put the figure much higher. Just 59 died of natural causes during the same period.

Trade in dead tigers is illegal but a single animal can fetch up to $50,000 in the international black market and arrests and convictions are rare. Poorly paid forest rangers are suspected of helping poachers or at least turning a blind eye.

Organs, teeth, bones and penises fetch high prices in the black market, where they are used in Chinese medicine.

For full story, please see: http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=9312

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47. Promoting sustainable hunting in Russia

Source: Peak to Peak, November 2005

The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), which joined the Mountain Partnership earlier this year, has initiated action to halt the decline in game species in Russia through unsustainable hunting. At a recent symposium in Irkutsk , Russia , representatives from the Government, research institutes, national park authorities and the Russian Union for Hunters and Fishers met to discuss the importance of hunting to rural economies and its future, on the shores of Lake Baikal -- an area renowned for its abundance of wildlife and biodiversity.

In efforts to promote the use of sustainable hunting, the participants endorsed the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, which were developed under the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and adopted by the Russian Federation . Another important outcome of the symposium was a Resolution which outlines a number of priorities as a basis for an extensive working programme and appeals to the Government to finalize the implementation of a modern and efficient hunting law. Visit the CIC Web site:

http://www.cic-wildlife.org/index.php?id=home and read the Resolution at:

http://www.cic-wildlife.org/uploads/media/CIC_Baikal_2005_Symposium.pdf

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last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009